The Kennedy Center



Recognized as one of the most visible and socially engaged rap groups on the hip-hop scene in Africa today, KEUR-GUI consists of Kilifeu (a.k.a. Kalachnikov), Thiat (a.k.a. Mass 36), and DJ Gath who all hail from Kaolack, Senegal. Kilifeu and Thiat were beaten and arrested at the age of 17 because the lyrics of one their songs spoke out against the mayor of Kaolack. In 2000, their first album was censored by the socialist regime in Senegal. It was the first time a hip-hop album had ever been censored in the region. After the release of their album in 2002, the group became widely known in Senegal as being committed to addressing social and political issues. They continued to act as social commentators with the release of the album Liiy Raam in 2004 as they tackled head-on the interconnection between religion and politics in Senegal. In 2008, KEUR-GUI returned with Nos Connes Doléances (Our Idiots Complaints)—a French pun of “Condolences”—an album that sought to both entertain and educate. Their four years of relentless work paid off with numerous awards—best hip-hop album of the year, best-selling artists, and best band at the Hip Hop Awards Festival in Senegal; nominated best band of the year at the Sunu Music Awards; nominated for the micro d’or award (gold mic); nominated for song of the year, Tube de l’année, Rfm Radio; nominated for African Hip Hop Awards in South Africa—as they became recognized continent-wide for a brand of conscious hip-hop that confronts elements of bad governance and corruption.
In 2011, the band became founding members of Y’en a Marre, a world-recognized youth movement led by rappers and journalists formed to contest the attempted coup d’état of the Senegalese constitution by then president Abdoulaye Wade as he sought to change the constitution of the country in order to run for a third term and lower the number of votes needed to win the Presidency. With a calmer political scene in the country, the group has returned to the studio in Senegal and the United States to record their next album, a two-volume collection to be titled Encyclopedia volume 1 & 2. KEUR-GUI has become one of the most sought-after hip-hop acts on the continent and regularly appears on compilation albums and as guest speakers addressing contemporary social and political issues across Africa.

Watch Past Performances

Video 3/30/2014: Nomadic Wax Presents Las Krudas and KEUR-GUI

This double bill features Las Krudas, a female duo of hip-hop MCs, musicians, poets, and theater performers born and raised in Cuba who work to fight against oppression and to celebrate life. Joining Las Krudas is KEUR-GUI, a group of hip-hop musicians from Senegal whose music and performances speak out against bad governance and regime corruption in their home country. Please note: This performance contains explicit language. Part of One Mic: Hip-Hop Culture Worldwide.

Keur Gui