Gokh-Bi System (a.k.a. GBS)

Gokh-Bi System (a.k.a. GBS)

BandWorldHip Hop

Sounds like The Roots hanging with Baaba Maal. Gokh-Bi System unite hip hop with its ancient West African ancestors. Backed by guitar, bass and drums, GBS kicks out the jams on djembe and the rare stringed ekonting, all while rapping in English, French, Arabic, and Wolof.

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Biography

Childhood friends from the Dakar, Senegal hood of Pikine Guinaw Rail-literally "the other side of the tracks"- Gokh-Bi System (pronounced Go Bee) reunite rap with its ancient West African ancestors in a style dubbed "ancient meets urban.

"Formed in 1993 by three childhood friends: Mamadou Ndiaye (Emcee), Diasse Pouye (Emcee), and Pape Bathie Pouye (Music Director/Manager). The three boys were transfixed by the conscious lyrics and powerful messages found in hip hop and began creating their own lyrics against the beat. They started out imitating what they heard on the cassettes, combining English, French, Arabic, and several other Senegalese dialects including Wolof (the official language of Senegal), Serer, and Jola into their own flow. Soon freestyle turned into original compositions and the boys from the other side of the tracks added Backa Niang percussionist/vocals) and Sana Ndiaye (ekonting/vocals) and christened themselves Gokh-Bi System which means neighborhood system.

A distinctive component of GBS's authentic sound is the ekonting, an ancient instrument once used to calm social unrest played by Sana. Gokh-Bi's positive message, inspired by rap greats from The Last Poets to Chuck D, transform the group's sound into an uplifting yet hardhitting African homecoming for hip hop that has been described as The Roots hanging with Baaba Maal. Drummer Matt Garstka, bassist/keyboardist Joe Sallins and Guitarist Greg Garstka add modern instrumentation while an African dancer adds energy and movement to the stage performance.

After producing a number of recordings in Senegal and reaching #1 on the charts, in 1999, the group was discovered by U.S. producers visiting Senegal who recruited them for the Senegal-America Project, a non-profit organization that exposes American school children to African music, dance and culture. In 2000, they were selected by CNN to represent the African hip-hop scene in a documentary on music around the world.

Their 2001 release Message From Home united GBS with The Last Poets. The lovely and mournful "Xaesel" which laments the use of skin bleaching agents made its way on Africa Raps, the first compilation of songs by African rappers. In a review of the compilation, The New York Times reported, "Gokh-Bi System sets positive thinking rap (in English as well as Senegalese languages) to handmade music, percussion, singing and riffs plucked on the ekonting, a Senegalese lute. Hip-Hop takes a joyful, respectful place alongside traditionalism."

Between 2002 and 2004, the band solidified their musical presence in Senegal with the release of “411” and “Pour Mouy Leer,” which produced a number of hits for the band and a permanent home on the radio and cassette players of their fellow countrymen. In 2005, the band's North American release Mission Of Music climbed to #4 on the Global Rhythm Top 10 Charts. They filmed two videos, "Mission Of Music" and "Mama Afrika", both directed by Joshua Atesh Litle. The video for "Mission of Music", an official selection of The National Geographic All Roads Film Festival, made its world premiere in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, CA and aired on BET J, VH1 Soul and The African Channel.

In early 2008, "In God We Trust" was featured on Germany's Piranha Muzik compilation Many Lessons. In December 2008, GBS released Voice of the Jeli a live studio recording which includes crowd favorites from their North America tours. Voice of the Jeli is distinctively different from its predecessor Mission of Music with a decidedly more traditional feel, highlighting the percussion of Backa and Sana's ekonting. On Jeli, radio-friendly "Musica Del Mundo" (Music of the World) boasts that music is a universal language uniting people around the world. Jeli is available on CD Baby as well as digital distributors including itunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, etc.

In March 2009, GBS will release the single "Rap Tassu" which will enlighten people about the origins of rap music. While it is well known that Hip Hop is an American creation, its origins are rooted deeper than the Boogie Down, Bronx. Historically in Senegal, the drum and rapping have been part of tassu, a system of communication used by jeli to spread news amongst villagers. “Tassu survived the Middle Passage, crossed over oceans and time and found its rhythm reincarnated in the microphones of emcees who continue to ride the beat, send a message about what's going down in the streets and tell their stories like the jeli of Senegal," explains Mamadou, the emcee of GBS.

The band's third music video "Rap Tassu" was shot in hidef, directed by Ilse "Boogie" Rumes and produced by AMU Music/Hybrid Lounge Productions. "Rap Tassu" proceeds will be donated to the band's village Pikine Guinaw Rails which suffers annually from major flooding resulting in malaria, death and extremely poor living conditions. The band will perform a number of benefit shows in 2009 to support this noble cause.

In addition to rais

Lyrics

Mission of Music

Written By: Gokh-Bi System

Open up, open up!
So I can come out
I’m out.
Wrap it up, wrap it up!
Your lyrics make ‘em up.
Your voice turn it up.
Your ears listen up.
I am the truth.
The sun over your head.
Shine, I’m the beauty of life.
Leave, no more tears in our eyes.
No peace to realize.
No more tears no more lies.
Respect the mike.

Rap, Reggae, Soul ...or any music must teach or inspire people.
You the listener open your mind and see what music is right for you.

It seems like people forget the mission of music.
Let’s remember our mission.
We have to be responsible for what we say in our songs because so many people are fans of ours.
Let's tell them the truth.

All I know is I have a mission,
This mission is to teach people about peace, love and justice.
The day will come when I will leave this life for another life and people will judge me by my music.

Rap, Reggae, Soul ...or any music must teach or inspire people.
You the listener open your mind and see what music is right for you.

I'm the best you’re the best, that’s not what I want to hear.
I want good rhythm with a strong message.
MCs stop telling me about gold, diamonds or fancy cars.
We have so many things to say.
Let’s stand for something positive.

Let's be real when we are talking to the fans
And think we are teaching ourselves when we teach people.

Mama Afrika

Written By: Gokh-Bi System

Mama Africa (repeat)
When are we going to find peace?

Give me some rhythm so I can sing to our Mom Africa.
We will never give up singing about you.
So many things have happened to you, but we still hope that the day is going to come when you will smile again.
It's time to see the sun of peace shining on everyone’s head in Africa and around the world.
One love, one heart must be our everyday song.

Mama Africa (repeat)
When are we going to find peace?

Oh my beautiful Africa.
If you only knew how life is good in my mother land.
Senegal, where I come from, country of hospitality.
People are brothers and sisters, smile on every face, share everything and respect one another.
The culture is rich because of the different ethnic groups.
Rice and fish is the national dish, don't forget to take a cup of tea after lunch.
Welcome to Senegal!

Hello Everyone!
Its time to say hi to the people around the world

Senegal, Paris, Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Japan, Germany, Venezuela, Kingdom of Tonga, USA

People Are Talking

Written By: Gokh-Bi System

We'll keep saying it
We'll keep fighting for a better society

People you’re talking talking but will never act
Why are people talking talking but never mean what they say?
Now it's time to make this world a better world
But nothing can be done if we just talk about it

You guys sent me on a mission
Because life is about action
So act when you hear action
Action action
How can we act?
How should we act?
How can we get back and help the people in need?
Bring it back, bring it back
With a memory
Back on the block
Back in the back
Back being a slave of one king (God)
The One with one love
The love you are loving
Loving, living, believing
Follow me
Are you digging me?
Hire me, fire me
Fire me, hire
When you can't make up your mind
Quick fire me!
When you can make up your mind
Quick hire me!
Dig it dig it, deep in your mind
Do re mi fa sol la si do inspired me
Bring it back
Back to the freedom fighters
Story writers
No more madness let the sun shine
So we can see the light inside the darkness
Let's bring back happiness
Stand against weakness, madness and hypocrisy
Wouldn’t it be cool if we all mean what we say
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all have peace in our mind
You can be as smart as
Without kissing ass
Hit the quality like Talib Kweli and DJ Hi-Tek
It's all about Psychology

People you’re talking talking but will never act
Why are people talking talking but never mean what they say?
Now it's time to make this world a better world
But nothing can be done if we just talk about it

Rap Tassu

Written By: Gokh-Bi System

Rap Tassu (Wolof)

Chorus

Hip Hop es me visa
Hip Hop es me vida
Music sama life
Back to the basics, Rap Tassu
Back to the basics

Mamadou Rap #1

Bibap ba Hip Hop sounion culture la
Selingue sougnou cale la
Fougnon Diare Dialela
Hip xane la neck
Hop Beure la neck
xalate deurale reck
Loat poets taco dji
Pack discoteck yi-khane thi tesets
Begual ese yi takh gnon egsi fi
xanale deugue la ladjie kate
xele mou sele mate fekhe ba yeme thia mague
Ba yeme thia nack

Diasse Rap #2

Faw ma delou 69 siggil Oyewule
Omar Last Poets talk singing
Gokh-Bi System def back to the roots
reek akk
Diam la real hip hop
mu nekh ma deuk di akk
Dekkalate Afric, sunu art sunu afric
Diallalen sunu lyrics ne luy rangele ak bric
Bu desul dara ludul deug
Fe leu bal bi takke
Delloo diounkeul mother land
mom mi mounul fate
Music bi monu dolen khalal nu yonu rap
Bi dieul Tassu taff si rap bi sant borom Rabbi
Faw nga diang rap bi boy say what

----------------------------------
Rap Tassu (English Translation)

Chorus

Hip Hop is my visa
Hip Hop is my life
Music is my way of life
Back to the basics, Rap Tassu
Back to the basics

Mamadou Rap #1

Bee Bop to Hip Hop is our culture
Slang was our code speak to each other
it's just history in the making.
Hip is the message
Hop is the entertainment
All this for a mission
Thanks to the Last Poets
for making the street an Industry
Now hip hop is worldwide
in the clubs, radio, concerts everywhere
Thanks to the B boys and girls for supporting the
movement
If you are an mc, remember that you are an ambassador
Hip is more than music, it's a way of life

Chorus

Hip Hop is my visa
Hip Hop is my life
Music is my way life
Back to the basics, Rap Tassu
Back to the basics

Diasse Rap #2

Back in 1969
when Abiodun and Omar from the Last Poets brought the
Talk singing
mark the birth of a new movement.
Gokh-Bi is back now to show the world how hip hop was
born in Africa
Today we'll talk about the real in rap
Grandpa use to call it "tassu" now it grows until it
became a nation,
a culture, a way of life.
Rap is the evolution of Tassu which was a music to show
skills and a message at the same time.
Rap, break dance, Graffiti, Djing are all now part of it.
Now the little poor down on the corner can speak his
mind and show his talent.
Now the Ghetto has a voice.

Chorus

Hip Hop is my visa
Hip Hop is my life
Music is my way life
Back to the basics, Rap Tassu
Back to the basics

Dreams

Written By: Gokh-Bi System

Instrumental

Rap Tassu

Written By: Gokh-Bi System

Gokh-Bi System
Rap Tassu (English version)

Chorus:

Hip Hop is my visa
Hip Hip is my life
Music is my way of life
Back to the basics, Rap Tassu
Back to the basics

Rap 1:

Bee Bop to Hip Hop is our culture
Slang was our code speak to each other
it's just history in the making.
Hip is the message
Hop is the entertainment
All this for a mission
Thanks to the Last Poets
for making the street an Industry
Now hip hop is worldwide
in the club, radio, concert everywhere
Thanks to the B boys and girls for supporting the
movement
If you are an mc, remember that you are ambassador
Hip is more than music, it's a way of life

Chorus

Hip Hop is my visa
Hip Hip is my life
Music is my way of life
Back to the basics, Rap Tassu
Back to the basics

Rap 2

Back in 1969
when Abiodun and Omar from the Last Poets brought the
Talk singing
It marked the birth of new movement.
Gokh-Bi is back now to show the world how hip hop was
born in Africa
Today we'll talk about the real in rap
Grandpa use to call it "tassu" now it grew until it
became a nation,
a culture, a way of life.
Rap is the evolution of Tassu which was music to show
skills and messages at the same time.
Rap, Breakdance, Graffiti and DJs are all now part of it.
Now the poor down on the corner can speak his
mind and show his talent.
Now the Ghetto has a voice.

Chorus

Hip Hop is my visa
Hip Hip is my life
Music is my way of life
Back to the basics, Rap Tassu
Back to the basics

+++++++++++++++++++++

Gokh-Bi System
Rap Tassu (Wolof version)

Chorus:

Hip Hop es me visa
Hip es me vida
Music sama life
Back to the basic, Raptassu
Back to the basic

Rap 1

Bibap ba Hip Hop sounion culture la
Selingue sougnou cale la
Fougnon Diare Dialela
Hip xane la neck
Hop Beure la neck
xalate deurale reck
Loat poets taco dji
Pack discoteck yi-khane thi tesets
Begual ese yi takh gnon egsi fi
xanale deugue la ladjie kate
xele mou sele mate fekhe ba yeme thia mague
Ba yeme thia nack

Rap 2

Faw ma delou 69 siggil Oyewule
Omar Last Poets talk singing
Gokh-Bi System def back to thr roots
reek akk
Diam la real hip hop
mu nekh ma deuk di akk
Dekkalate Afric, sunu art sunu afric
Diallalen sunu lyrics ne luy rangele ak bric
Bu desul dara ludul deug
Fe leu bal bi takke
Delloo diounkeul mother land
mom mi mounul fate
Music bi monu dolen khalal nu yonu rap
Bi dieul Tassu taff si rap bi sant borom Rabbi
Faw nga diang rap bi boy say

Discography

Discography/Videography

1999 - Featured on Tony Vacca's album Rhythm Griot (World Rhythms, USA)
2001 - Message From Home (World Rhythms, USA) featuring The Last Poets
2001 - Featured in an international hip-hop documentary for CNN (USA)
2002 - Africa Rap Compilation (Trikont, Germany)
2002 - Raise Your Hands (Ladiaz Production, USA)
2002 - 411 (Debut album for Gokh-bi System in Senegal)
2003 - Furious Force of Rhymes (Hip-Hop documentary, USA)
2004 - Pour Mouy Leer (Siga Productions, Senegal)
2005 - Mission of Music (A ROUND WORLD Music Production, USA)
2005 – Mission of Music music video (A ROUND WORLD Music Production, USA)
2005 – Mama Afrika music video (A ROUND WORLD Music Production, USA)
2005 - John Whitehead Tribute CD (GBS performs “Wake Up Everybody”)
2007 - Live at Northfire (scheduled for November)
2007 - "In God We Trust" will appear on Many Lessons, compilation scheduled for release globally by Piranha Music (Berlin, Germany) in January 2008
2008 - Voice of the Jeli
2009 - "Rap Tassu"