Limerick-based Rusangano Family’s excellent new album is a microcosm of the multicultural society Ireland is quickly becoming, but which some unfortunately are not yet ready to accept. (The members are an Irish born beatmaker and two African MCs who came to Ireland as children.)
It touches beautifully on both the intimate and the universal and covers topics like the difficulties of integrating into a conservative Ireland, being caught between and coming to terms with two seemingly clashing cultures, fulfilling the parental expectations of their traditional families, profiling in international travel and tracing of lineage both of their African ancestors and their predecessors in the hip-hop world.
Nestled near the end of the album is an unexpected but welcome surprise – a powerful poem by Denise Chaila taking on our society’s ugly and insidious misogynistic attitudes, the same society that allows monsters like Bill Cosby hide in plain sight for decades and sees nothing wrong with letting Blurred Lines top the charts.
While getting digs in at our latent acceptance for such behaviour, she also puts them succinctly in a macro view of the world which silences women by methods as extreme and far-reaching as acid attacks and Twitter harassment. Not to put them on an equal footing, but to say that they originate from the roots of the very same violent patriarchy. A compelling, universal and deceptively plain account of the female experience.
Song (with links to stream and buy the album): https://rusanganofamily.bandcamp.com/track/isnt-dinner-nice-feat-denise-chaila
Feature on Rusangano Family by GoldenPlec: https://www.goldenplec.com/featured/rusangano-family-plec-picks-2016-2/