Music of Haïtians, In Haïti and in the Diaspora

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Music of Haïtians, In Haïti and in the Diaspora

Postby Sisyphe » 2006-08-02, 0:47

Music has been an amazing tool to convince youug Haïtians to go back to their roots and to make them proud and aware of where they came from. Some of my favourite artists that are from Haïti and sing in Haïtian Créole include Wyclef Jean (whom most of you alredy know- now living in NYC), Sky'z Da Limit (aka SDL - living in Miami) and Muzion (representing Montréal :woohoo: ).
Wyclef Jean-24 E Tan Pou Viv (This version is the French one unfortunately)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3AKZQRsgvE
SDL-Nouvo Ayiti
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDWr-1NKXEE
Muzion-La Vi Ti Nèg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glS4Dy5U4i8
Needless to say, don't open these links if hip-hop with political purpose offends you. There is no profanity in any of these songs (The KA is probably too fast for you to notice anyway though...It's too fast for me :lol: ).
I really want to put the song 'Haïtian Mafia' by Wyclef Jean here, but it is a little obscene for here...

I found the lyrics for La vi ti nèg if anyone is interested - it is a very accurate portrayal of how languages are code-switched by Haïtian Créole speakers.
La vi ti nèg
Interprété par Muzion
Le bug de l'antéchrist arrive, on ne sait même pas ou aller
représenté par Jasmine descendante de doualé
so protége ton lakay, ya du piyajè in & out
c'est la panique totale freestyle des criminal
ya plus de justice. Pour les hustlers, c'est une époque triste
toxique et combien de cops puff, puff, give
la panne d'hydro a démontré notre dépendance au système
qui aime la bête n'en est jamais rassasié
qui traîne est appellé jescome neophyte a babylone
au salaire minimum, plats en aluminium
sous des cages de 10 000 tonnes, esclaves qui vivent de rhum
qui après minuit dorment, bye bye millenium
ici l a vie est si belle quand elle précède la mort
les familles se réunissent, prient le ciel pour qu'elles apportent
leurs anges au près de Dieu, au moins des ailes au dessus de la morgue
au delà des ailes de Bordeaux
ya trop de familles déchirées, d'enfants battus martyrisés
j'ai vu le pouvoir s'immiscer pis j'ai vu des noirs se diviser
pou tèt fredi tout neg sezi, tounen crezi
boulet reci pran youn rezidan annik voyé'l an ba te nan youn recypian


Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh
Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh


C'est one love, comme la paire des Antilles mon clan brille
En tant que les gens qui ont anéanti le pouvoir d'autruit en 1804
Black & proud to be, j'vise les gens aptes
À reconnaître qu'aujourd'hui c'est camouflé mais faut pas s'soucier
Car nous sommes associés, yo tu peux t'accoter sur moi si la charge est lourde
Un coup de main aux miens avant le compte à rebours
On part de où?
1 reconnaît ta force. Black, ta rage, pense bien à où est-c'que tu l'amorces
2 baisse jamais la tête. C'est ta planète
Fais ce que t'as à faire avec de A à Z
3 reconnaît d'où tu sors, donne beaucoup d'support aux crews
Qui pour toi s'en foutent de la mort
À bout de tes forces, t'as besoin de tes alliés
Effacer le mal et aller devant l'vent « cé sa li yé!


Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh
Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh


kriye kriye ou, mwen kriye deja
Kounye-a pa gen moun kap manke mwen d'éga
Pran poz ou pa konnen'm
Mwen té konn wè ou bo zonn Delma
Koté ou té ap bwè bon dlo kokoyé
Ou te ap manjé mango
Kounye-en ou pa konn koté ou yé
Mwen wè je ou nan dlo sa ki pran ou?
Mwen pa sa rekonèt aksen ou
Wap mache di bétiz, ap fè lenmi ak prop san ou
Tonbe pale franse, gro klas lekol bliye kreyol
Montre fanmi lakay wap bien mennen, se kob la kap monte
Bouch ou senti ou ap bay manti
Ayiti, ou te konn manje
Kounye-en ou rete nen yon ti piès kay plen ravèt
Jescome ki fèk parèt, pa gen kob fè makèt
Chak jou manje farin ak lèt


Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh
Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh


Avanse, avanse! Ou konprann m'ap ranse?
Avanse, avanse ! Kanpe vini wè sa kap pase
Avanse, avanse! Nou konprann m'ap ranse?
Aiysyen!
M'al chèche travay, blan en di se kob li m'ap volè
M'al chèche kay, yo di mwen malprop
Se pou mwen tounen lakay
Lekol, mèt la di mwen se kretin, tout fanmi'm gaye


Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh
Lavi a pa fasil sé pou sa nou rasanble, oh oh oh oooh, oh oh ooh

EDIT: I changed the name of this thread from 'Popular Music of the Haïtian Diaspora' to 'Music of Haïtians, In Haïti and in the Diaspora' to encompass [b]all[b] music related to Haïti - even that which has its roots in Haïti itself.
Last edited by Sisyphe on 2007-02-11, 19:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Alcadras » 2006-08-02, 8:21

Actually hip-hop is not my style,but i give it a go :wink: The lyrics are French?

Aslında hip-hop tarzım değil ama bir deneyim :wink: Sözler Fransızca mı?

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Postby Sisyphe » 2006-08-02, 17:48

Alcadras wrote:Actually hip-hop is not my style,but i give it a go :wink: The lyrics are French?

Aslında hip-hop tarzım değil ama bir deneyim :wink: Sözler Fransızca mı?


The lyrics are code-switched as I said. The language often switches. This is actually the manner in which most Haïtians who speak French and English speak under normal circumstances.
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Postby Sisyphe » 2006-08-02, 20:16

Alcadras wrote:Actually hip-hop is not my style,but i give it a go :wink: The lyrics are French?

Aslında hip-hop tarzım değil ama bir deneyim :wink: Sözler Fransızca mı?


When you gave it a go what did you think? :wink:
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Postby Sisyphe » 2007-02-11, 19:05

Axiom requested that I write more about music other than rap and R&B which is quite the brilliant idea. :) I should have thought of that earlier myself. :doh: :lol:
Naturally, Haïtian music is by no means limited to the diaspora. :) Some of the more 'purer' and more palatable forms of our music are actually from Haïti itself. One of these types of music is called kompa. It is my personal favourite genre of music other than Portuguese fado. :bounce: Kompa is not only from the Caribbean, but from Haïti itself. It has since spread to the other islands of the Caribbean naturally, though. It is distincive in the fact that the lyrics are more commonly sung in Haïtian Créole with less code-switching than other types of our music (although code-switching is still common, it seems). Kompa often has a more synthesized sound than other music of the Caribbean; it also has a strong emphasis on lower bass voices and syncopated percussion rhythms, while importing trumpets and saxophones from the American sound. Here are a few artists and samples of kompa:

One of my favourite kompa artists is Misty Jean. This is her greatest hit, Se ou mwen vlè (You're the one I want). Please ignore the spelling of the video poster - they were trying to imitate French spelling - how arrogant... :roll: Note the switching of language within the video - it is mostly in Haïtian Créole, but sometimes switches to French and there are even a few English verses. :lol: She does live in Miami, US though. ;-) Also, note the strong bass rhythm and the accordion-like instrument in the beginning of the song. These characteristics are very typical and unique to kompa.

Daan Junior also has a lot of music which can be considered kompa. Here is his video Avè'w (With you). This song is almost entirely in Haïtian Créole. :yep: You will once again notice the strong bass parts and the percussive rhythms of the drumset.

Kompa could hardly be mentioned without saying something about T-Vice. This is his video Kitè'm viv (Let me live!). The quick tempo is very common in kompa. This song also features a brass section which is also a signature of kompa. Enjoy! I'll put more clips up soon. ;-)
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Postby Axiom » 2007-02-15, 19:43

I'm sorry for answering so late. Thank you Sysphe for the explanation and links to the music. I find Haitian music great. Sometimes I feel really silly, because I can't understand if they sing in Haïtian Créole or in French(in the beginning of the first song for example) :roll: And I like the first song most of all.

Haha, just a bit and I'll feel like learning Haïtian Créole, I think :D

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Postby Alcadras » 2007-02-15, 20:18

Axiom wrote:
Haha, just a bit and I'll feel like learning Haïtian Créole, I think :D

It's really easy. :wink: I thought, it was going to be hard like French. But it's completely different from it. No verb conjugation at all! :lol:

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Postby Sisyphe » 2007-02-15, 22:42

You're more than welcome Axiom. :) I'll try to put up some more music soon. :)

Axiom wrote: Sometimes I feel really silly, because I can't understand if they sing in Haïtian Créole or in French(in the beginning of the first song for example) :roll:


Don't feel silly about that. :lol: Haïtians code-switch at lightning speed - it's often a lot more complicated than a song being entirely in French or Haïtian Créole. I'll try to include some examples from 'Se ou mwen vlè' to show you. :shock: The first song is one of my personal favourites as well. :bounce:

Axiom wrote:Haha, just a bit and I'll feel like learning Haïtian Créole, I think :D


:D We'll I'll be here if you do decide to pick it up. :) As for the difficulty level, I would say that Haïtian Créole is reasonably easy to speak passably, but not so easy to speak well. :lol: Your greatest problem would be a lack of resources though, not the difficulty factor. And one can deal with that problem, of course. ;)As Alcadras said, we don't have comjugations, but we do have verb particles. ;-) They are reasonably challenging for non-natives to learn from what I've seen from a lot of the non-native writing here.
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Postby Axiom » 2007-02-24, 15:33

Sisyphe wrote:
Axiom wrote: Sometimes I feel really silly, because I can't understand if they sing in Haïtian Créole or in French(in the beginning of the first song for example) :roll:


Don't feel silly about that. :lol: Haïtians code-switch at lightning speed - it's often a lot more complicated than a song being entirely in French or Haïtian Créole. I'll try to include some examples from 'Se ou mwen vlè' to show you. :shock: The first song is one of my personal favourites as well. :bounce:


Ok, thanks;)

Sisyphe wrote:
Axiom wrote:Haha, just a bit and I'll feel like learning Haïtian Créole, I think :D


:D We'll I'll be here if you do decide to pick it up. :) As for the difficulty level, I would say that Haïtian Créole is reasonably easy to speak passably, but not so easy to speak well. :lol: Your greatest problem would be a lack of resources though, not the difficulty factor. And one can deal with that problem, of course. ;)As Alcadras said, we don't have comjugations, but we do have verb particles. ;-) They are reasonably challenging for non-natives to learn from what I've seen from a lot of the non-native writing here.


The factor which stops me there is a lack of time. I think I have time just to learn some basics of the language but I'm not sure I'll be able to refresh my knowledge or/and to practise the language. But I'd like to try it, I think, because the language seems to be interesting. I've never tried learning a language without verb conjugations so far.

Alcadras wrote:It's really easy. I thought, it was going to be hard like French. But it's completely different from it. No verb conjugation at all!


I don't think French is too hard (haha, but I can't speak it though :lol: ). Easier than German, for example.

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Postby Sisyphe » 2007-02-27, 3:01

Axiom wrote:The factor which stops me there is a lack of time. I think I have time just to learn some basics of the language but I'm not sure I'll be able to refresh my knowledge or/and to practise the language. But I'd like to try it, I think, because the language seems to be interesting. I've never tried learning a language without verb conjugations so far.


Ah, that makes sense. If you ever do decide to learn the basics of the language, and decide that you want to do the upkeep of the language as well, I watch the forum closely, and my contact information is also in the indicated place. :) I've been interested in Russian recently, so it could be a nice exchange, if you like. :)

BTW, Here is a kompa video by Nu Look, which contains many elements of this type of music as described in previous messages.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1aOKpL3C0I
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Postby ego » 2008-02-07, 19:04

The song that France sent to the ESC in 1992 is in Haitian Creole: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOt77hnwn3M

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-08, 5:00

That link doesn't work.

Link sa a pa'l alè.

What was the song called? I don't really watch the ESC...

Kisa chanson nan rele? M pa janm gade Eurovision...
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Postby ego » 2008-02-08, 7:59

Monte la rivie by Kali

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Postby ego » 2008-02-08, 8:21

Yesterday I watched it and today it says it's removed due to user violation :(

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Postby ego » 2008-02-08, 12:33

Try this link: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xpewg_ ... kali_music

I just love this song. Could you please translate the lyrics Sisyphe? :oops: . The singer is from Martinique so I thought the lyrics were in Martinican Creole but apparently they're in Haitian.

The lyrics:

Monté la riviè wo, whoa...
Entre les roches et les racines, un jour tu verras la source da la rivière
Monté la riviè, oh...
Wouvè zorey ou
Fòk ou aprann kouté bri dlo-a
I ké toujou montré'w la pou kontinyé
Kontinyé, oui, pe pe ba...
Ou pé ké janmen swèf
Pli ou ké monté pli dlo-a ké fré
Pli ou ké lé bwè pli ou kè lé monté

Monté la riviè wo
Entre les roches et les racines, un jour tu verras la source da la rivière
Monté la riviè wo
Wouvè dé zyé'w gran
Toujou gadé koulè dlo-a
Anmizi ou ka monté, i ka vini pli klè
Pli klè, oui, pe pe ba...
Ou pé pa garé
Afos i klè tèlman i ka briyé
Ou sé di sé an limyè ki ka gidé'w monté

La rivière d'amour, la rivière da la vie, oui
Monté la riviè
Wé, wé, wé... la riviè la vie, doudou...

Monté la riviè wo
Afos janbé wòch ni an lè ou ké rivé lasous-la ka soti ya
Monté la riviè wo
Afos janbé wòch ni an lè ou ké rivé lasous-la ka soti ya

Monté la riviè wo
Entre les roches et les racines, un jour tu verras la source da la rivière
Afos janbé wòch ni an lè ou ké rivé lasous-la ka soti ya
Entre les roches et les racines, un jour tu verras la source da la rivière
Monté la riviè wo

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-08, 17:33

Souple li mesaj kreyòl mwen premyè.

:lol: M t'ap di'w ki sa gen yon pòz Zantiy...kon sa sotu Matinik, tankou'w te devine, men sa pa kreyòl ayisyen. ;) Men kreyòl yo sotu Zantiy vrèman gen menm lè - m pa sètèn sa sotu Matinik, paske yo sèl toupit diferan. Fòk mwen ouvri yon thread montre'w diferans yo ant kreyòl yo - fè'm konnen si'w vlè'm fè sa. :)

Chanson sa a vrèman romantik. :D

Bo, pa pwòblem ou vlè mwen tradwi - w ka trouve tradisyon mwen anba mesaj sa a. Men souple notise ki'm te pase sou kèk vèse ki twò diferan pase kreyòl mwen. Si'w vlè yon bagay nan braket yo - sa se yon nòt pou'w oswa yon "summary" bagay ki'm pa't ka tradwi mo mo.


:lol: I was just going to tell you that this looks like Antillian Creole (probably from Martinique, like you guessed), not Haitian Creole. Then again, though, the Antillian Creoles are very close to each other. I'll open a thread to help you recognize differences between the Creoles, if you're interested in that. Just let me know.

This is a very romantic song - it's very lyrical. :D

Anyway, it's no problem to translate. Here is my translation - I had to leave out the last half of the second verse because it's too dialectical for me to translate word for word. :? When you see something inbrackets, it's either a summary of the meaning of the passage, or a note to you.



Go on up onto the stream, whoa…
Between the rocks and the roots,
one day you’ll see the beginning of the river
Go onto the river, oh…
Open your ears
You’ll have to learn to listen to the gushing of the waters
And I’ll always show it to you to keep going on
Continue, yes, [in Haïtian Creole these syllables are used commonly to be like humming, but I’m not sure if they have an actual meaning on other islands]
Don't need to fear getting thirsty
The more you will go up, the more water will come forth.

Go up onto the stream
Between the rocks and the root, one day you’ll see the beginning of the river
Go up onto the stream
Open your two big eyes
Always watch the water flow
[Things got clearer for you, there's nothing to fear, the light will always guide you, so get up]

The river of love, the river of life, yeah
Get onto the stream
Yeah yeah...the stream of life, my darling...

Get up onto the stream
[I have no idea about : "Afos janbé wòch ni an lè ou ké rivé lasous-la ka soti ya
- 8 of these words are very dialectical, I'm sorry :oops:]

Get up onto the stream
Between the rocks and the root, one day you'll see the source of the river
["Afos janbé wòch ni an lè ou ké rivé lasous-la ka soti ya" :twisted:]
Get up onto the river
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Postby ego » 2008-02-08, 18:16

"Afos janbé wòch ni an lè ou ké rivé lasous-la ka soti ya" was the verse that mostly intrigued me :lol: . Anyway mesi anpil

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-08, 19:16

Merite, men m regret ki'm pa ka tradwi fraz sa a...fòk ou mande yon pesònn sotu Matinik. :lol:

I'll say this part in English so you get it...there are too many possible ways to translate some of those words - I couldn't be sure of how to do it. I'll illustrate...
knowing how Antillians speak to some degree, afos could mean incorrectly, but it could also refer to a hole or a pit. Or it could mean something else that I'm not aware of, naturally. :lol: Janbé is definitely very Antillian. Ni could mean...well...we, our or naked (:lol:). An could mean the or in/at. Ké is Antillian but I could make sense of it if I knew the other words around it. Lasous...oh god...when I first read it, I thought it was very sexual, and there are some other places in the lyrics that might suggest that, so it's not my dirty mind. :P Ya is also very Antillian, and I couldn't make an accurate guess about it.
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Postby ego » 2008-02-08, 20:01

Now I wanna study Creole again :(

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Postby Sisyphe » 2008-02-08, 20:32

Well, I'll be here if you decide to. :P

I forgot to mention that lè could mean 4 different things also.
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