Eyewitness is a Hip Hop artist, beat producer and sound engineer. He also facilitates hip hop workshops through youth centers and organizations.
Papa Lo, a.k.a. Waterflow, was born in Pikine, an outlying area of Dakar that epitomizes the hardships of families and lack of opportunities for the youth in Senegal. His name reflects his attitudes about life through the flow of water, the life-sustaining element of the earth that flows positively forward each day.
Waterflow is the charismatic and thoughtful spokesperson for Wagëblë, a pioneer hip hop group in Sénégal, formed in 1997. Wagëblë’s was formed on the philosophy built from the name’s associative acronym, Wax Aduna Gettu Ëttu Battu Lemu Ëlëk, which essentially means that Wagëblë feels that their calling is to speak truth to the world…………Wagëblë’s first album, Rap New Generation was released in Sénégal in 2003 and firmly established Wagëblë as the “voice of the voiceless” on the Sénégalese hip hop scene. Wagëblë teamed up with Norwegian manager Fred Russel and producer XXXX and released Wagëblë’s second and critically acclaimed album, Sénégal, in 2005. Sénégal was voted best album by a group at Sénégal’s Annual Hip Hop Awards in 2005. Since the release of Sénégal, Wagëblë has toured Norway, Switzerland, Sweden and France, while remaining steady on the scene in Sénégal and The Gambia (other African countries??).
Wagëblë’s music is a unique blend of hip hop, poetry and spoken word. They describe their style as ‘Rap Afro,’ a style built on a combining rhyming patterns with themes speak to the difficult life of the disenfranchised youth, as well as highly-politicized and cultural messages. Through Rap Afro, Wagëblë builds on the tradition of the griot as the storyteller who affirms the values of society, the oral historian, societal critic and spokesperson for the community to speak truth to those in power. Wagëblë raps in in Wolof and French, though the group also speaks English.
Wagëblë’s messages to the youth in Sénégal emphasize hard work, self-determination and encourages the building of the future from Sénégal, rather than the dreams of gold in the West. Though many find Wagëblë’s messages universal, their focus has been to empower women and the youth of Africa towards building a better world for themselves in light of the failure of many of the previous generation.
Waterflow was a member of One People, a global peace organization based in Norway; Wagëblë also serves as ambassadors for Diambaars, a sports-based youth empowerment program in Sénégal. Currently, Wagëblë is recording their fourth album and planning for another European tour next year.