Hip Hop as Diplomacy

Toni Blackman

Toni Blackman (via artist website)

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When it comes to crossing musical borders, hip hop artist Toni Blackman has crossed so many and traveled so far, she ended up at the US State Department as its first ever Hip Hop Ambassador.

Here’s what she sounded like live in our studio, freestyling for all you public radio listeners, with a little help from her friend — Senegalese rapper Xuman.

Rapper Xuman is the host of Journal Rappe — a weekly news program in Senegal that is rapped in Wolof, French, and English. Journal Rappe is not a gimmick. It’s serious, hard-hitting news — just rapped.

In their full conversation, Xuman and Blackman sat down with Charles in our studios in Madison to discuss the future of hip hop.