Blitz the Ambassador

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Blitz the Ambassador
Blitz the Ambassador in Paris 2014.jpg
Background information
Birth nameSamuel Bazawule
Born (1982-04-19) April 19, 1982 (age 37)
Accra, Ghana
GenresHip hop, Hiplife
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
  • filmmaker
Years active2000–Present
LabelsEmbassy MVMT
Associated actsPublic Enemy, The Roots

Samuel Bazawule (born April 19, 1982), known by the stage name Blitz the Ambassador, is a Ghanaian hip-hop artist, filmmaker, and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Samuel Bazawule was born in Accra, Ghana, in April 1982. He is the third of four children and attended the renowned Achimota School. While in school, he amassed awards for his visual art, but later developed an obsession with hip hop music after hearing his older brother play the classic Public Enemy album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Drawing on his love for history and social observation, he began to research and write historically-loaded rhymes for which he became famous in school.[3]

Musical career[edit]

After graduation from Achimota School in 2000, Blitz (as he had come to be known) was first recognized by Ghanaian Ace producer Hammer of The Last Two. Blitz was asked to come to the studio the next day after delivering an impressive eight bars upon meeting Hammer, who wasted no time in putting him on wax. He recorded a verse on the song Deeba and - in the fashion of one of his idols, Nas, gained instant notoriety and received an award for best new artist at the 2000 Ghana Music Awards. Soon after, in 2001, he moved to the United States to study at Kent State University in Ohio. It was while studying for his bachelor's degree in Business Administration that he developed his skills as a live artist, performing at several live shows and opening for iconic rappers such as Rakim[4] as well as recording a self-released album, Soul Rebel (2004),[5] under the moniker Blitz.

After graduation, Blitz moved to New York City to pursue his dream. In NYC, Blitz recorded another album, Double Consciousness (2005),[5] and more recently he released Stereotype, a live-instrument-heavy musical exploration, that tests the limits of Hip Hop. Drawing from his diverse musical background, he immersed himself in the project with explicit intent of changing Hip Hop forever. In order to achieve the live sound he was looking for, he formed a band, The Embassy Ensemble, and brushed off his own djembe skills.[6]

After three long years of recording, Blitz took the album to several major labels. Getting the major label run around one too many times, Blitz decided to go it alone. He established a label, Embassy MVMT, and is now connected to The Roots community initiative Okayplayer.[6]

In late 2009, he was chosen as of one Beyond Race Magazine's "50 Emerging Artists", resulting in a spot in the publication's #11 issue (with Bodega Girls and J. Cole on the cover), as well as an exclusive Q&A for the magazine's site.[7] In 2015, Blitz received the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Contemporary Music.[8][9]

In 2011, he released "Feelin' High" with the French singer Ben Mazue, and in 2012, we can hear him on the album Tetra of the French electronic crew C2C. Blitz has also frequently collaborated with Professor A.L.I. featuring on "Things Fall Apart" along with Raekwon in 2011,[10] on the remix "Things Still Fall Apart" in 2012, and on his song "The Mic Shall Inherit The Earth" off of the "XFactor" album in 2015.[11]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
  • 2009: Stereotype
  • 2011: Native Sun
  • 2014: Afropolitan Dreams
  • 2016: Diasporadical
Soundtrack albums
  • 2019: The Burial of Kojo
EPs
  • 2004: Soul Rebel EP
  • 2005: Double Consciousness EP
  • 2009: StereoLive EP
  • 2013: The Warm Up EP

Film career[edit]

Bazawule is set to show in the 2019 Whitney Biennial curated by Rujeko Hockley and Jane Panetta.[12]

Filmography[edit]

Feature Films
Short Films
  • 2011: Native Sun
  • 2016: Diasporadical Trilogia

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sam Blitz Bazawule". IMDb. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  2. ^ Editorial. "Whitney Biennial". Two Coats of Paint.
  3. ^ "About Blitz The Ambassador". Archived from the original on 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  4. ^ "Blitz the Ambassador: A New Face for Hip-Hop's Foreign Policy". Brooklyn Bodega. 2009-07-24. Archived from the original on 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  5. ^ a b "Interview: Blitz the Ambassador, 2008". Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  6. ^ a b Obenson, Tambay; Obenson, Tambay (2018-10-31). "How 'The Burial of Kojo' Is Giving a Boost to an Unsteady Ghanaian Film Industry". IndieWire. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-02-23.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Ghanaian born Blitz the Ambassador wins $35,000 at the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise". NYDJ Live!!!. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  9. ^ Wakin, Daniel J. (2013-02-04). "A $100,000 Prize for Yo-Yo Ma". ArtsBeat. Retrieved 2019-03-22.
  10. ^ SFBayview.com [1] 20 May 2011 (accessed 21 November 2014)
  11. ^ ProfessorALI.com [2] 23 December 2014 (accessed 23 December 2014)
  12. ^ "Whitney Biennial 2019". whitney.org.
  13. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (February 15, 2019). "Ava DuVernay's ARRAY Acquires Surreal Drama 'The Burial Of Kojo'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  14. ^ "Business - NYTimes.com". markets.on.nytimes.com. Retrieved 2019-03-22.

External links[edit]