Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Related Press – | Story: 402694

When Probability the Rapper visited West Africa earlier this 12 months, he initially thought his journey with fellow Chicago hip-hop artist Vic Mensa could be simply one other trip getaway.

As a substitute, the Grammy winner related with Mensa’s father’s household in Ghana and different natives from the Motherland on a deeper stage. He noticed Ghana’s lovely ocean shoreline and waterfalls, engulfed himself within the musical tradition and artwork scene and realized extra concerning the nation’s wealthy historical past of being the primary sub-Saharan African nation to free itself from colonialism.

After a pair extra journeys to Ghana, Probability determined to create a free live performance sequence and visible arts present so others may expertise the nation’s vibrant tradition similar to he did. Throughout the summer time, Probability and Mensa introduced eight college students from Chicago to Ghana to study extra about Africa.

“I felt so free in Ghana. .. and I would like others to really feel the identical manner,” mentioned Probability, who together with Mensa will host the inaugural Black Star Line competition in Accra, Ghana, in 2023. The weeklong competition will characteristic occasions, panel discussions and a free live performance on Jan. 6 with performances by Probability, Mensa, Erykah Badu, T-Ache, Jeremih, Sarkodie, Tobe Nwigwe, Asakaa Boys and M.anifest.

The occasion shall be held in Accra’s Black Star Sq., a monument to the political freedom that was received by Ghanaians in 1957. The competition’s title was impressed by civil rights chief Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line, which was based in 1919 and operated by Black individuals who helped hyperlink international delivery and tourism alternatives between America, the Caribbean and Africa.

Garvey impressed Probability’s music video “ YAH Know, ” that includes King Promise, and his upcoming album “Star Line Gallery,” which is anticipated for launch subsequent 12 months. He’s already launched a number of different new music movies — reminiscent of “ Little one of God,” “ A Bar A couple of Bar ” and “ The Highs & Lows ” with Joey Bada$$ — during which he calls “album artwork” to spotlight fashionable artists in Africa.

Probability mentioned Naila Opiangah ’s artwork piece for “Little one of God” shall be on show on the competition. He mentioned his new “songs are candid realities of Black life.”

“Artists have superb graphics and album covers and single artworks which are made by nice artists each day that’s launched,” he mentioned. “However the one time you get to see it’s on this little inch-by-one inch depiction of it. These items are painted by world class artists. The flexibility to go see these items and work together with them in actual life type of provides folks’s understanding of the music.”

By means of his competition, Probability says he desires to bridge the hole between Black folks overseas and Africa.

“I believe that particularly the story of the founder’s independence is one thing that each one black folks ought to know,” he mentioned “There aren’t any free sub-Saharan African international locations till 1957. I believe they need to know concerning the revolutionary leaders on the continent and overseas. I believe that if we had this connectedness and this interplay, folks will even have an opportunity to see this.”

Initially, it was powerful gaining commitments from big-name music artists to journey and carry out in West Africa. With few sponsors, a lot of the bills to fund the free live performance had been out-of-pocket.

However Probability’s crew discovered a option to make the journey extra reasonably priced for vacationers by means of a partnership with United Airways, which is providing low cost fares to Ghana for a 12 months.

It’s taken plenty of work to arrange the occasion in such a short while, however Probability believes this competition may reside on efficiently for the following 50 years. Sooner or later, he desires to host the competition in different international locations, reminiscent of Jamaica and Haiti.

However for now, Probability’s focus has been on attracting extra folks to Ghana, a spot he can envision his household residing after his daughters head to school.

“I want I may reside there proper now,” mentioned the rapper, who has lived in Chicago his complete life. “I would like folks to see the convergence and similarities in all of those Black lives.”