Mozambique Mourns Its Best Rap Artist

One of the most influential Mozambican rap artists, Edson da Luz, commonly known by his stage name of Azagaia, died at his home in the southern city of Matola on 9 March at the tragically early age of 38.

He was well known for criticising the Mozambican political system and rapping about the most vulnerable social groups, including the former migrant workers in East Germany (known colloquially as "madgermanes") and the veterans of the civil war.

Azagaia was once accused by the Mozambican Attorney-General's Office (PGR) of inciting violence through his polemical tracks, such as Mentiras da Verdade (Lies of the Truth), and Combatentes da Fortuna (Combatants of Fortune).

He recorded two studio albums, Babalaze (hangover) and Kubaliwa (birth), and many other singles on which he performed with other prominent artists such as Stewart Sukuma, Dama do Bling, Deltino Guerreiro and the influential Portuguese rappers Valete and Jimmy P.

According to the minister of culture and tourism, Eldevina Materula, Azagaia was an emblematic rapper. "I was surprised and shocked by his death", she said.

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