Ugandan president says may release rap album

KAMPALA Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:33am EST

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni addresses a campaign rally at the Makerere university Freedom Square in the capital Kampala, February 14, 2011. REUTERS/James Akena

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni addresses a campaign rally at the Makerere university Freedom Square in the capital Kampala, February 14, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/James Akena

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KAMPALA (Reuters) - President Yoweri Museveni says he might release an album after a rap he performed became a smash hit on Uganda's radio stations and in its nightclubs.

"I was very happy with the reaction of the youth because that means they are very thirsty for the music of their ancestors," the 67-year-old told a news conference before elections on Friday.

"So after the election you may get quite a big album of the classics."

The leader, nicknamed "M7", performed two children's folk chants from his birthplace in Western Uganda at several election rallies over the last few months -- "Naatema akati" (I cut a stick) and "Mp'enkoni" (Give me the stick).

Record producers then mixed the performances with hip-hop beats and audio of Museveni talking to the crowd about a genre of music that he said was new to him.

"Today these young people taught me about this 'rap'. I was not following what they were saying. Well, I can even give you some rap myself," he says, before launching into a rhythmic rendition of the chants in his distinctive gravelly voice.

The song was titled, "You want another rap?" after a question Museveni shouted to crowds of young people and quickly appeared for sale in Kampala.

"Those poems which I gave to the youth are classical poems they were being recited before colonialism," Museveni told reporters. "There are quite a number of other songs and recitals which I will make available to them."

Ruling party officials were pleased with the popularity of the song before the poll but issued warnings to some newspapers after they published doctored photographs of a topless Museveni with a muscled and heavily tattooed torso.

(Editing by David Clarke and Angus MacSwan)

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