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MP3 Gokh-Bi System - Mission of Music

Gokh-Bi System (a.k.a. GBS) has arrived as the leader in an emerging African hip-hop movement and is the premiere band blending traditional African rhythms with beats and rhymes made popular by the hip-hop culture in the United States.

6 MP3 Songs
HIP HOP/RAP: Hip Hop, WORLD: African

Biography of Gokh-Bi System (a.k.a. GBS)

Gokh-bi, which means Neighborhood, was created in March of 1994 in Pikine, Guinaw Rail ("The other side of the track"), a suburb of Dakar, Senegal. Before starting the band, GBS grew up as friends and brothers sharing an understanding of the meaning of a hard life in poverty. In the early 1990''s, Mamadou Ndiaye, a member of the band, introduced GBS to the culture of hip-hop. GBS instantly fell in love with hip-hop because it was a form of music that represented life in the ghetto and spoke for people without a voice. At the time GBS discovered hip-hop, they felt they had a message to share that spoke to the issues of poverty, inequality and injustice. This new form of music gave a voice to our messages of peace, love, justice and community with a powerful sound.

"We believe that we were all born to be good, but some of us forget their mission and others forget that they forget. We all need to remind each other. This is the mission of our music!" GBS

Started as a rap group backed by synthetic beats, the band''s music evolved into a spirited blend of traditional Senegal music, rap, funk and soul. The group was founded by Mamadou Ndiaye, Pape Bathie Pouye and Diasse Pouye who all grew up in the same neighborhood (practically in the same house). Shortly thereafter, GBS added traditional musical elements including the ekonting (an obscure southern Senegal stringed instrument) played by Sana Ndiaye, and traditional drums and vocals by Backa Niang. Not long after, the group invited dancer Abdou Sarr to bring additional energy to the music through local dance styles. These additions created a new unique hip-hop sound that would distinguish GBS from the current movement of hip-hop around the world.

GBS has been performing internationally since 1999, in Senegal, Guinea, Gambia, and the United States. Currently, GBS is the most well known African hip-hop group in the United States. Over the last five years, GBS has completed 8 US tours in 22 states including performances at a number of major festivals including the International Festival in Louisiana, and World Music Festival in Indiana and Chicago, Celebrate Brooklyn in New York. GBS has shared the stage with a number of notable performers including Angelique Kidjo, The Last Poets, Damian Marley, Culture, Toots and the Maytals, Michael Franti, Eryka Badu, and Toni Blackman. In 2000, GBS toured with the Last Poets, the founding fathers of hip-hop, on the Senegal-America Project tour. That year, the Last Poets recorded with GBS on their debut album Message From Home.

GBS has been featured in magazine and newspaper articles in Africa, Europe, Canada and the United States, occupying the cover story spot in the Valley Advocate of Western Massachusetts and named as an up and coming act from Africa in the New York Times fifth annual world music survey. The group was also featured in a CNN documentary about hip-hop around the world, representing the hip-hop scene from Africa. GBS also participated in yet to be released documentary, Furious Force of Rhymes, which focuses on hip-hop around the world.

In 2004, GBS performed at the National Geographic All Roads Film Festival in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, CA in support of the world premiere of their music video Mission of Music, which was an official selection of the festival.

In 2005, the band released the Mission of Music EP and performed shows in the United States and Canada in support of the EP. GBS also appeared along with Grammy Award winning artist, Patti LaBelle at a special tribute concert in honor of legendary singer and songwriter, John Whitehead at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA in April. Joining GBS at this momentous evening were Gerald LeVert, Floetry, Angela Bofill, and many more friends of John Whitehead.

Among many tour highlights, GBS performed mega-shows at Festival Nuits d''Afrique in Montreal (Quebec), Sunfest in London (Ontario) and the Celebrate Brooklyn African Festival in New York. With nearly 10,000 appreciative fans in attendance at each supercharged performance, GBS showed why they are the leader in the emerging African hip-hop movement and the premiere band blending traditional African rhythms with beats and rhymes made popular by the hip-hop culture in the United States.

Next, GBS will be joined by other acclaimed hip-hop, dancehall reggae and R&B hybrids from and nearby their village in Dakar as part of a new "Ancient Meets Urban" subsidiary record label of A ROUND WORLD. ARW recently announced the new label and African relief tour that will feature GBS along with other groups from Senegal including Waflash, Meta Dia and Ass Malick. The project is geared toward putting a face and a voice to the important relief work led by Bono''s D.A.T.A. happening in Africa right now. The tour will make stops at emerging suburban areas populated by African Americans including Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte and other Sun Belt metros. In addition to raising funds for African relief, the tour will seek to bring together African Americans with their African heritage. The tour will also make stops at universities across the United States.

GBS is following up the release of the Mission of Music EP with a full-length version that promises four new tracks including remaining songs from sessions in Dakar, Senegal and their HIV-consciousness anthem A.I.D.S. produced by Maurice Wilcher (Stevie Wonder, Destiny''s Child, etc.) and featuring Jamie Knight a new up and coming Rock-a-fella Records recruit. Simultaneously the band is putting the final touches on a live studio recording, which includes hits from their recent mega-shows in North America.

1999 - Featured on Tony Vacca''s album Rhythm Griot (World Rhythms, USA)
2001 - Message From Home (World Rhythms, USA) featuring The Last Poets
2001 - Featured in an international hip-hop documentary for CNN (USA)
2002 - Africa Rap Compilation (Trikont, Germany)
2002 - Raise Your Hands (Ladiaz Production, USA)
2002 - 411 (Debut album for Gokh-bi System in Senegal)
2003 - Furious Force of Rhymes (Hip-Hop documentary, USA)
2004 - Pour Mouy Leer (Siga Productions, Senegal)
2005 - Mission of Music EP (A ROUND WORLD Music Production, USA)
2005 - Mission of Music music video (A ROUND WORLD Music Production, USA)
2005 - Mama Afrika music video (A ROUND WORLD Music Production, USA)
2005 - John Whitehead Tribute CD (GBS performs "Wake Up Everybody")
2205 - "Adjoua" selected for Festival Nuits d''Afrique CD Compilation - 2005

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