Vol No: 83,
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Emmanuel Jal Sudanese child-soldier turned rapper - Entertainment news
WHEN he was a little boy in Sudan, singer Emmanuel Jal's mother was killed. Soldiers raped his sister. At the age of 9, filled with longings for revenge, he became a child soldier. "I had a lot of hatred, I had a lot of bitterness," he says.

But despite his beyond-brutal background, the dreadlocked Jal is gentle, almost shy. He's tall and skinny with a blinding smile. As one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, he has travelled a road of pain many people cannot imagine, survived against all odds and come back to become an artist, rapping about those experiences.

"Rap music is amazing, it's beautiful," he says. "But the problem is the lyrics. The person who writes the lyrics, that's the problem."

Jal was born in southern Sudan. He thinks the year was 1980. He's not sure of the exact date. The region was engulfed in a civil war as rebels from the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) began fighting for independence and control of the country's oil. 

His father became a rebel. His mother was killed. He says government soldiers raped his sister three times.

Jal ended up in a United Nations refugee camp.

But SPLA rebels recruited the boys, and Jal became a child soldier. He slept with an AK-47. He was filled with rage. "That's why I agreed to be trained as a child soldier. Wanting to (get) revenge because I've witnessed my mom beaten in my face. I've witnessed my auntie getting raped. I've seen my village burned down. And that's so much bitterness, wanting to know who's this person doing all these things."

All songs written and produced by Jah Blakks, other musicians involved in this project include renowned bass guitarists Robbie Shakespeare, Lloyd Park and Danny Brownie. Legendary drummer Sly Dunbar and Danny Brownie played the drums while the piano was played by Robert Lyn, also supported by Danny Brownie.

Bongo Herman and Sky Juice played percussion, and guitar was by Dalton Brownie.

'Red Hot Ina Babylon' was recorded and mixed at Mixing Lab Recording Studio, Kingston, Jamaica. All songs remixed by Chester Walker except 'Set We Free', which was remixed by Collin (Bulby) York.

Maxine Richard and Jimmy Ras backed in the laying of the tracks at Pals ID recording studio.

'Red Hot Ina Babylon' is released under Suffer For Better Management and Productions.

To listen to samples of some of the tracks featured visit www.myspace.com/jahblakksmosiah


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