From the Series
Track of the Week is a dreamy remix of Alec Lomami’s “Kinshasa” by Danish producer CHLLNGR that shows the diversity of Lomami’s tastes. The Congolese electro heavyweight rapper-producer has spent a good portion of his life in three vastly different cities in the US, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo – and it shows through his melding of French wordsmithing and catchy Afro-electrics.
Spending nine months in a US immigration detention centre also opened his mind to what global souls like himself often go through when caught between worlds.
“It taught me how to feel at home and comfortable in different settings and environments, so it made me open to new experiences," Lomami says. "I feel like I simultaneously belong everywhere and nowhere. So the music production style is kind of a mélange of all these different experiences.”
“The chorus says 'Na Za Mwana Kin', which is a self-referential term used to describe a person who is from Kinshasa. It carries a certain connotation of dignity and pride, kind of like when Biggie says 'Brooklyn!'," he explains. "In the song, I’m describing how seduced I was by the American way of life – well, at least what I came to identify as the American way of life via music and films. I identified myself more with that culture than with the Congolese culture."
But when he traveled to the States, he quickly realised that he didn’t fit in.
“It didn’t stop me from trying to reach the American dream, though. But my post-incarceration philosophy of life has changed tremendously. I’m more interested in being a better friend, a better brother, a better son, a better believer than in pursuing wealth, status, etc… because frankly making the pursuit of the American dream the goal of your life is ultimately unfulfilling and will quickly turn into a nightmare,” he said in an interview with MTV’s Iggy.