So, while searching for new African music, we stumbled across Killa Ace from The Gambia. On the surface, we could have overlooked his cap and baggy tee-shirted style as yet another of the cringeworthy wannabe gangsters flooding Youtube. But then listened to his track, ‘That’s my word Ma,’ (Mamma) and we just about fell in love with this sweet, Tupac-style dedication to his mum. We continued on to ‘Dyin Genre’ and with the tight, intelligent rhyming, an honest respect for his young talent was formed – and we’re not even hip-hop fans!
To find out more about him, we took to the Gambian webzines. One of them, Whatson-Gambia, interviewed him in 2013.
Born in The Gambia, Killa Ace moved to the USA at the age of four, with his mum and dad, however, his worried parents took him back to Gambia at the age of fourteen for fear that he would be dead or jailed. According to Killa, in the States, his family lived in the projects of New York, surrounded by murderers and drug dealers. He says he became, ‘a product of his environment,’ clashing with the police and getting suspended from school. Which is when his mum realised what could become of him and brought him back to Gambia ‘to see the real life and learn a lesson.’
Real name, Borom Bondeyee, he has focused everything into becoming one of the finest rappers in the country. His insightful track, ‘Frustration’ released in 2013 shows just how much he began to understand what life was like was Gambians and the challenges they face.
His family are strong followers of Baye Nyass, the spiritual leader of Sufi order of Islam in West Africa. Killa Ace entered the faydou after a friend enlightened him about Baye Nyass and his mission during some tough times and he says he realised that following the teachings of Baye Nyass was the perfect remedy and exactly what he needed at the time.
Regardless, this young rapper seems to be working hard to create a career for himself in a tough musical genre. He can spit, he’s got lyrics and the production ain’t that bad either. Definitely worth checking out. We especially love his use of English, Gambian pidgeon and Arabic… and his love for his mama.
Check out our two favourite tracks below and you can judge for yourself!
‘That’s my word Ma,’ (Mamma)
photo credit: Whatson-Gambia