The famous Belgian-Congolese rapper chose Kinshasa, during a return to his motherland, to launch his new album QALF on September 18, 2010. Tale of a Kinshasa weekend like no other.

Something has been going on in Kinshasa for several days. EnigmaticSomething has been going on in Kinshasa for several days. EnigmaticQR codes, or a huge Q letter in bright red on a black background,line the billboards of the Congolese capital’s arteries… A teaser for aminimalist but skillfully orchestrated marketing campaign, as part ofthe expected launch of the new album “QALF” (“Qui Aime Like Follow”)by the artist Damso, set for September 18. The Belgian-Congoleserapper has chosen his hometown to finally come out of several yearsof silence, and to launch his new compositions, considered more intimateand less provocative than those of his previous albums, whichhave propelled Booba’s ex-protected son to the rank of mega star.

It is an understatement to say that the Congolese capital was expectingIt is an understatement to say that the Congolese capital was expectingthe return, albeit discreet, of the “mwana mboka”, the country’schild. An ultra VIP event marked the occasion, organised on theimprobable Mimosa Island by the local agency Dream Factory, towelcome the rapper and his relatives in the commune of Ngaliema.A contest had been organised to allow some feverish fans to comeand celebrate the event, and pose with their idol during a 􀊬meet &greet􀊬, punctuated by interminable sessions of selfies. An exhibitionand meeting with young Kinois painters had also been initiated bythe special youth advisor. All this, at the request of “Dems” who, he said, wants to get closer to his roots, and finally put the DRCsaid, wants to get closer to his roots, and finally put the DRCand Africa in the spotlight. Hence the choice of Kinshasa tocreate a buzz.

The buzz was well and truly talked about, since in less thanThe buzz was well and truly talked about, since in less than24 hours only, QALF was already propelled best selling worldwidealbum (quite an achievement for an album in French!)all streaming platforms combined. On a local level, the newsof Damso’s arrival in Kin also heated up social networks,through digital word of mouth. Dozens of fans were squattingthe entrance of the Hôtel du Fleuve, chanting his name, hopingfor a little photo with the star.

Another highlight of this weekend: the shooting of an improvisedAnother highlight of this weekend: the shooting of an improvisedvideo clip with another national star, Inoss’B, in a warehouseof the former ONATRA, in the middle of old trainwagons, in a popular district of Limete. There too, the wordspread quickly, and Damso was able to measure his popularity,in front of the crowd of kids in the neighbourhood, whowere calling him for a handshake. This almost turned into ariot, however, as the security services were a bit overwhelmedby the sheer size of the crowd, which surrounded the star’sjeep in unprecedented fervour, conscious of living a historicmoment.

Video crews from the urban music media Booska-p and RTBFVideo crews from the urban music media Booska-p and RTBFalso followed Damso, documenting his journey back to hisemblematic roots – even during more intimate moments,notably when Damso, visibly moved, wandered with his brothersin his childhood neighbourhood in the city center, takingadvantage of the darkness, to try to find the house where theygrew up, before fleeing the looting in the 90s and taking refugein Belgium…

A resolutely different weekend which Kinshasa will remember.A resolutely different weekend which Kinshasa will remember.Damso’s work in the DRC and Kinshasa does not end there. Hewill come back. He has promised.