Real Raw Rap with SMOD: Summer Tour Dates

“Africa needs to speak out right now,” says Ousco calmly over a crackling phone line from Bamako. “Africa must stop crying.” His words are a neat little summary of what African rap is all about: No mincing words or metaphors. No ancient musical traditions that cosy up to power. No decadent ghetto fabulous fantasies. None of that. Just plain words about the simple truth that everyone can see out of… his or her window.

To get a taste of this raw, genuine African rap music, go see Ousco and the other members of the Malian hip-hop group, SMOD on tour in the U.S. July-August! See the tour dates below:

(To RSVP to concerts, click here!)

Jul 20  Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

Jul 21  Trumansburg, NY @ Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival

Jul 22  New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage

Jul 25  Pittsburgh, PA @ Shadow Lounge

Jul 27  Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center, The Ohio State University

Jul 28  Chicago, IL @ Clark Street Festival

Jul 30  Chicago, IL @ Jay Pritzker Pavilion Millennium Park

Jul 31  Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center (with Wanaku)

Aug 03 Los Angeles, CA @ Levitt Pavilion

Aug 04 Santa Monica, CA @ Central SAPC

Aug 05 San Francisco, CA @ Stern Grove Festival

Aug 06 Santa Cruz, CA @ Moe’s Alley


Ousco is the ‘O’ in SMOD, a trio of hard working musician MCs from Bamako, the capital of Mali in West Africa. He met Donsky, the ‘D’ in the name, Mouzy the…ok, you’ve it now…and Sam at the Lycée Biya, a progressive high school in the Sogoniko district of the city.

In many ways, SMOD, along with many other Malian rappers, embody a new spirit, a new freedom of expression, unchained by old social constraints or the need to kow tow to the rich and powerful.

“Hip-hop is rebel music,” Ousco affirms. “It came along because things weren’t working right. Back in the day, the griot sang the praises of the King, except that the king wasn’t thinking of his people any more. Many people were marginalized and rejected and it was those people who became rappers. They said to the king, “Your power may be fine and all that, but there are people dying of hunger. And we who are from the ghetto, we want something better.””