This is another edition of the column, and it seeks to promote music, culture, performing and fine arts.
A well-known Gambian Rap Mbalax star, Gibou Bala Gaye, commonly Known as GEE has extended a hand of gesture to the inmates of the country’s main central Prison, in the form of Iftaar locally called ‘Ndogu’ in wollof. This gesture by the artist was done on Sunday, 11th June, 2017. The Rap Mbalax star provided meals for the inmates to break their fast. GEE disclosed that he made this gesture on humanitarian grounds, adding that the Prison is a place people should consider extending help.
The artist said he started the Iftaar drive last week, by serving free meals at popular spots within the greater Banjul area, such as the Westfield roundabout where he was joined by friends as well as fellow artists among them, Killa Ace and Trouble Smallz.
The Inmates at the Mile 2 prison, expressed gratitude for the gesture and the Management and staff thanked the artist for his benevolence.
Gibril Bala Gaye, was born on the 3rd of July 1987 at Westfield, in the KMC. He grew up in Pipeline and attended Marina International School from nursery to High School. He proceeded to Cates International Academy and also attended college in the United Kingdom (UK).
At age 23, Gee evolved into one of Gambia’s most talented and hardworking artists. This is evident in the numerous solo projects he has successfully completed with absolutely no financial assistance.
He possesses world-class proficiency when it comes to his lyrics and musical arrangements, and this is unmistakably apparent in his songs.
His discography includes three hip-hop albums and a mix tape. Behind the scenes was a collaborative album with Sweden-based rapper Nube, and was laced with basic bass-and-kick driven rhythms over fundamental raps chronicling street experiences of the two young emcees.
Featured on the project were few upcoming names among them She Romeo, a female R&B crooner featured on a couple of cuts and most notable amongst them was Mary Jane. This instantly got transformed into a street classic. The album had only one video titled “Wat time iz it” featuring Kanasu Barz of the DLC.
Freedom of Speech was his sophomore effort and showed more diversity than its predecessor in more ways than one especially on the production end. The album had more stand-out singles and Gee’s exceptional delivery made it all the more listenable. Of noteworthy to mention are Banjul, Dakar to Holland ftRhymzter a Dutch hip-hop artist and “Age is a Weapon” featuring Da LyrikalCypha. Both songs were transformed into videos and have been premiered on the “FiiLa” TV Show on GRTS.
In 2010 Gee offered to come out with an album titled ‘Never too Early.’ This album was preceded by a mix-disc also titled ‘Never Too Early’, it served as a teaser in building up anticipation for the Never Too Early album.
The release of Never Too Early in December 2010 was an important milestone in Gambian music circles and is inclined to take hip-hop in the Gambia to a new threshold. This album embodies the definition of hip-hop as defined by the art form itself but with a true Gambian identity. Most of the production was done by a Swedish producer called Jatrix who works for an independent label Nordic Steel.
Jatrix has more than a decade of musical work experience as a producer and worked for Universal Records, which is one of the world’s biggest record companies. Jatrix’s versatile productions coupled with Gee’s lyrical proficiency would give hip-hop-heads a lot of things they can relate to.
A few artistes have been featured on the Never Too Early project and they include the following: She-Romeo (Gambia), Snow Eazy (Gambia), Essay (Sweden), Fata (Senegal), Nix (Senegal), Nube (Sweden), and the La Cosa Nostra Family.
Gee has also been prominently featured on “Grounded DVD Vol.1” which was the first locally-made hip-hop DVD magazine, he has also been on noteworthy audio compilations such as “Dont Get It Twisted”, Unplugged” etc. Of late, he has been featured on stellar projects such as the recently released “Shout Gambia DVD” which is the first ever documentary on the emerging music scene in the Gambia. The song that is on everyone’s lips right now is the Hakim produced hip-hop, R&B Mbalax hybrid titled “Yow LaaBuga” with Mariam Sowe a Gambian singer based in California.
He has made the performance list of the annual all-Gambian Open Mic Festival for the past six years due to his hard work and dedication.
In 2012 he released another album titled “That Feeling”, in 2014, the album “Situation”was released and of recent, he has collaborated with Senegalese musicians including Viviane, Wally Secka, Aida Samba and Fata. He also has collaboration with Nigerian Afro beat singer Wizikid.