The Lil Kim of Maputo Can't Stop Shining
People call Dama do Bling (“Lady Bling”) the Lil Kim of Africa, so it’s not too surprising that she’s embroiled in some industry beef. Since exploding onto the Mozambican music scene in 2006, when she guested on pandza queen Lizha James’ tracks with undeniable fierceness, Dama has led a high-profile, high-wattage career in African hip hop.
With her direct and sexy flow in Portuguese and English, she was quickly dubbed a lusophone Queen Latifah. And with her videos prominently featuring helicopters, mansions, and collabos with other Pan-African superstars like Nigeria’s Sasha P and Kenya’s Yvonne, Dama do Bling was on well her way to a large Maputo hip hop lifestyle.
Watch her breakout hit “Danca do Remexe,” a hip hop club banger closer in spirit to dancehall and Dirty South than the easy melodies of Mozambican pandza:
That is, she was living large — until she mysteriously split with her production company, Bang Entretenimento, in 2009. Could it have had anything to do with the fact that Bang A-lister James married the company CEO just last year and they now have a child? That’s just fofoca (gossip). All we know is that Lizha and Dama are no longer speaking. When asked what happened, Dama do Bling just says that she wishes that the Mozambican music industry had fewer haters. Us too, Dama, cause we hearted your saucy, out-there work with Bang.
But don’t count Ms. Bling out just yet. She spent 2010 figuring it all out, and now she has her own production company, new filmmakers in her fold, and new collaborators. She went as far afield as Switzerland — well, Switzerland actually came to her, in the form of rapper and beatmaker Pushking Noize. Together, they released a hot electro-rap track that has the Lady of Bling shining again:
Dama do Bling is also focusing on Africa — conquering it, that is. She’s put together an anthem of self-definition, “Moza Girl,” a reggae hip hop cut laced with live drums. In it, she declares, ”I’m a moza girl, chocolate and cinnamon…I can tell you now, I’m the best in town, little bitty boy dance on my ragga…You can feel, you can move on my swagga.”
And to prove it, she’s made a killer music video that tops anything she did with her former team. Not only does the “Moza Girl” video feature half a dozen car explosions and a wealth of video girl booty, she and her dancers rock some of the best fashion in the southern hemisphere. Of course. Because she’s a fashion designer too, and showed her line at fashion week in Maputo last year. Dama do Bling can’t stop, won’t stop. And that’s why she is still the queen of Mozambican hip hop.
Photo Courtesy of the Artist