We would like to present a podcast series that maps the revolutionary and emancipatory thoughts in current music presented by Mary C and Institute of Anxiety.

Let’s explore revolutionary thoughts and strong emotions in contemporary music, that have the power to move our society. They have always been here but are very often neglected. However, there still are places where they thrive, where new provocative and strong realities emerge and where new pop music arises, along with new revolutions.

How do artists, especially those from african diaspora, create? Is it even possible to create when the art should be an absence of fear? What can artists help us learn and unlearn and how can we become connected and free ourselves through listening? Meet the artists who produce music as well as important knowledge, bring communities together and organize a variety of initiatives. How does their emancipation diverge from the current normative equation? The title of the podcast is inspired by Lauryn Hill’s lyrics ‘My emancipation don’t fit your equation.’ appears in her song Lost Ones.

Marie Čtveráčková aka Mary C is a curator, musician, music journalist, producer, and cofounder of ZVUK and Synth Library Prague. From 2011 to 2020 she worked at Radio Wave as the creator and moderator of Scéna s Mary C (The Scene with Mary C), which focused primarily on rap, its context, and its contemporary forms. She is currently focusing on musical education in the area of electronic music and works as a curator and instructor at Synth Library Prague. In 2018 she founded the collective Trigger, which aims to connect women and trans* people in the music scene. She is interested in the use of feminist theory as well as considerations of hiphop culture in informal education and opportunities for community organizing.

Episode details:

Episode 1: Abdu Ali (Always in the state of interrogation and questioning)

Abdu Ali possesses many different creative and revolutionary powers. They create music and poetry as well as curate and organize events that represent far more than a simple club party. According to them, what inspires them to do so are their ancestors as well as various critical thinkers like Audre Lorde or Paulo Freire. What are the ideas that can help a gender non-comforming creative person navigate various forms of oppression and create their own image of the future in collaboration with their community? How important is it for them to create new spaces where marginalized people can be free of western ideologies? What does it mean to create a non-capitalistic and spiritual performance? Why must self care always involve caring for others and what was the source of a life force for Abdu Ali in their hometown of Baltimore. These are some of the topics discussed in the first episode of podcast My Emancipation Don’t Fit in Your Equation presented by Mary C and Institute of Anxiety.


Abdu Ali – F.U.F.M.
Miss Tony – How U Wanna Carry It
Audre Lorde reading Uses of the Erotic
June Jordan reading Poem Against The State of Things
Abdu Ali – DaWon
Abdu Ali – Interlude – To Be Human

Episode 2: theKEEPERS (Akua Naru & Sammus)

Ideally, the question why is there not enough women in rap should fall to promoters, journalists and managers. Sexism still sets the pace in all genres of music, however it is usually associated with rap the most. It’s deeply embedded in the structures of our society and plays a major role in who is considered a genius and therefore gets to have their name written into history. It was only last year when the Grammy for the best solo rap album went to a woman – Cardi B, and the hall of fame was graced by its first rapper and producer – Missy Elliott. This year to many people’s surprise, Billboard magazine announced Lauryn Hill’s debut album as the most influential hip hop album of all time.
Despite these achievements, prejudice remains. Festivals, media, labels, as well as literature, present and award primarily men. All the while women have always been and always will be a moving force of hip hop culture. All we need to do is observe it from a different angle. The hurdles that stand in the way of women, trans* and non-binary people in hip hop are being highlighted by a unique project called TheKeeper – a digital archive focusing on, and highlighting the representation of women, trans* and non-bianry people in hip hop culture, as well as their significance for the culture on a global scale. Where do women of rap disappear to? What exhausts them? Why is keeping focus on black feminism so crucial? And how does an archive become a living global community? In the second episode of My Emancipation Don’t Fit In Your Equation podcast series, the movers of culture and guardians of theKeeper archive, Akua Naru and Sammus, are sharing their experience from the rap scene as well as the academic spheres.

Latanya Olatunji aka Akua Naru is a hip hop artist. In her case this means that she is not only a rapper – her creative occupation spans from writing music to activism, community organising and research. On her four solo records, as well as in her writings and poetry she focuses on the stories of black women. She has traveled the world not only with her music but also as a researcher and a lecturer. She was awarded The Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellowship and worked with HipHop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard University. Currently she is continuing her academic work at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Brown University. She is the initiator of theKeepers project.

Enongo Lumumba-Kasongo aka Sammus is a rapper and a producer. She has three solo albums and several EPs under her belt, is a computer game sound designer and does research in the field of music and technology. Her dissertation at Cornell University focused on the politics of community recording studios that target primarily young, marginalised people. Currently, Sammus continues her research at Brown University, where she also teaches courses such as ‘Rap as Storytelling’. She is a feminist and an afrofuturist thinker who describes her music as ‘black girl nerd rap’. She takes part in building and connecting communities with the aim to draw attention of the academic sphere towards other kinds of experience and knowledge producers and to change the preconceived notions of how, what and who from should we be learning.


Akua Naru – Black Future
Sammus – Power-Ups
Akua Naru – The World Is Listening
Missy Elliott – Sock It 2 Me
Akua Naru – The Journey …
bell hooks in discussion at Lion’s Roar
Sammus – Comments Disabled
Akua Naru – One Woman w/ Dr. Tricia Rose
Sammus – Crown

Episode 3: Fejbs

Martina Fabová aka Fejbs / /hails from Slovak town Trnava. Five years ago on her debut single featuring fellow Trnava neighbors Torula and Boy Wonder Martina proved that she is a great singer and a rapper, and she is here to give it to you straight. Her savvy approach, skills and potential were recognized by local rap scene celebrities as well as the media.
However, skills will not guarantee success. In 2018, Fejbs released the album Fabka which contained features by a couple of famous rap artists. The main topics included relationships, identity or emotional and unconventional life stories. Fejbs again showcased a wide range of vocal expressions. She was labeled “too straight forward” or “strict”, which suggested a distinctive talent appeared on the scene. When she released her new single Groupies along with a new music video, it seemed another album was on the way. However, two months ago, Fejbs posted on Instagram that she no longer feels at home in this industry, her priorities changed and that she feels she is failing. Will this be the end of her career? Is it possible to speak your mind on the rap scene and succeed? A lot of times women in music are told not to be shy and to make sure they are always seen. But what is it good for when they find themselves in a web of relationships and conventions that they don’t like and that might even hurt them? Is it time to move on? How does Fejbs feel reflect on her music and in what way can rap, as a genre and a music scene, be limiting?


Martina Fabová – Kuč
Fejbs – Groupies
Kontrafakt – Zme Úplne Napiču
Fejbs – Pajšle Ven
Fejbs – RapShit
Fejbs – Biela Neni Čierna
Fejbs – Čajori

Episode 4: Masma Dream World

Devi Mambouka is an artist, DJ, dancer, sound therapist and the creator of the Masma Dream World music project. In all her activities, first and foremost, she is a disciple exploring the rhythmic and sound structures; the depths of her own self, the shadows, the demons and everything that is beyond her; and the magic of the interconnected worlds. Her new record Play at Night released this year by the Northern Spy label is the result of experimenting with her own voice, theta waves, and the moments experienced and captured in Gabon and Singapore, the countries of her ancestors. Can this be the gateway to the awakening of one’s healing powers? Although it might not be obvious given Devi Mambouka’s music production, even famous singers like Toni Braxton and Mariah Carey are her inspiration. Currently she is intensively pursuing sound therapy which she has studied, she built her own studio Vibro Bath in New York and she is giving workshops focused on the power of the voice. Which stories and narratives influenced her? What is her approach to healing and sound therapy? What is the power of bass frequencies and how about the power of our inner voice?


Masma Dream World: Unwind
Masma Dream World: Before Sunlight
Masma Dream World: The Council
Masma Dream World: Becoming a Magician
Masma Dream World: Sleeping Whale
Masma Dream World: 333 AM
Masma Dream World: Back Home
Masma Dream World: Theta

Episode 5: The Spectacular Empire

When South London-based multidisciplinary artist Gaika released his debut mixtape Machine in 2015, talk of avant-garde grime with dancehall and industrial influences began. He wanted to talk about the fact that there was something wrong in British society. Fear, police brutality, racism, inequality and debt… The empire is in ruins. We need to start building on new values. So together with DJ, manager and booking agent Mensa or singer, songwriter and organiser Glor1a, they build The Spectacular Empire, an infranstructure for black sonic and visual art. They don’t wait for help from the authorities and with their new project Nine Nights they show what a sustainable and fair model of collective organizing in the music scene can look like.


GAIKA – Born Thieves
GAIKA – Ruby
GAIKA – Enoch’s Drone
GAIKA – Acid Wares
GLOR1A – Out
GAIKA – Chop
GLOR1A – Juice
GAIKA – Hackers & Jackers
GAIKA – Crown & Key
GAIKA – Last Dance At Baby Grand

Episode 6: Tygapaw

When she was 19 years old, she moved from Jamaica to New York in order to study design. At that point Dion McKenzie, aka Tygapaw, had already been producing electronic music and eventually became an important part of the New York club scene. As a black queer artist, this allowed her to break free from the pressures of the conservative Jamaican society, constricted by religion and marked by colonialism. Although her experience in the US wasn’t just positive either, since it’s also a place where some still have more freedom than others. Despite these obstacles, she managed to start her own night Fake Accent which celebrates queer people present in the club scene and creates a safer space for them and their audiences. Her other event No Badmind focused on Carribean trans* and queer POCs. Since 2017 Tygapaw has published three EPs and several singles exploring identity, nurturing self-esteem as well as dealing with toxic relationships and violence.
Her newest album Get Free is published under the label of the mexican collective N.A.A.F.I. and its main theme is empowerment. In Tygapaw’s case this is another step in the process of healing and unlearning self-doubt.
What was the journey of Tygapaw’s exploration of the afro-american roots of techno music? What are her experiences with establishing oneself within the music scene as a black queer person? And how is she rebuilding relationships with her body and her ancestry?


TYGAPAW – Get Free Intro – ft. Mandy Harris Williams
TYGAPAW – Untitled Fantasy
TYGAPAW – In Their Fear They Plotted Her Destruction
TYGAPAW – No Boderation
JUAN ATKINS – Urban Tropics
New Dance Show – TV show excerpt (1990)
TYGAPAW – Ownland
TYGAPAW – Scene 1 – Unseen
TYGAPAW – Thank You ft. Mandy Harris Williams

Episode 7: Planet

Aneta Kováčová is a musician, an educator, and a music event organizer. She graduated from performing arts high school and afterwards she spent some time in London. Currently she resides in Prague and until recently she was organizing regular jam sessions at the Cross Club where she was also participating mainly as a vocalist. During this summer she started performing with her solo project Planet. Her musical production is mostly the result of improvisation and she frequently uses the loop station which helps her build a whole song with just her vocals. What is it about solo and group improvisation that she finds so enriching? What is it like to find your way back to music after uncomfortable experiences? What are her thoughts on music education that she went through and what is her approach to music lessons? Does she feel a connection to the Roma musical tradition? And what are the stereotypes related to Roma musicians that our society upholds?


Planet – Csisco (Sketch)
Planet – Forgiveness (Sketch)
Planet – Thoughts

Episode 8: Dope Saint Jude

Catherine Saint Jude Pretorius aka Dope Saint Jude is a rapper and a producer. She hails from Cape Town where she studied Political Science and where she formed the first drag king group BrosB4Hoes. She explored masculinity as well as misogyny in hip hop as Saint Dude, her character inspired by rapper Lil Wayne. Soon after she released her first singles and in 2016 the debut EP Reimagine. In 2018, she followed up with a project called Resilient focusing on the barriers a queer artist of color has to deal with. Race and gender inequality, stereotypes, beauty standards, pride, and a positive attitude towards oneself are the themes of her music production as well as her amazing videos. Her first music video Golden Ratio addresses different forms of power, breaking down stereotypes, her own superpowers, and the importance of community.
Dope Saint Jude recently moved to London. Does she see any parallels between the British metropolis and her hometown in South Africa? Where does she find the strength to create such a personal music that empowers others? What are the important parts of her creative process? How did she experience her coming out, and what did the women artists she looked up to teach her?


Dope Saint Jude feat OJ – The Golden Ratio
Dope Saint Jude – Inside
Tracy Chapman – Talkin’ Bout a Revolution
Dope Saint Jude – Grrrl Like
Dope Saint Jude feat. Angel Ho – Keep In Touch
Dope Saint Jude feat. Andi Mkosi – Brilliant, Arresting, Extravagant
Dope Saint Jude – Liddy
Dope Saint Jude – Go High Go Low

Episode 9: Anna Oravcová

Anna Oravcová is a sociologist whose research focuses on rap and hip hop culture, and Czech women rappers in particular. She studied at the Department of Gender Studies at Charles University in Prague where she also received her doctorate in Sociology with a dissertation on the construction of authenticity in Czech rap music. On the Czech music scene, she is known as the Hip Hop Scholar, but the hip hop scene is not only the subject of her research. Besides her research activities and writing academic articles and book chapters, she is one of the organizers of the Freestyle Mondays and End of the Weak events. On her Street Cypher radio show on Radio Spin, she regularly features young independent artists. Currently she is also teaching at the University of New York in Prague. How is hip hop, as a research topic, accepted in academia? How is Czech rap evolving? What is the position of women in rap, and which African American scholars influenced Anna?


Queen Latifah – Ladies First (feat. Monie Love)
Tricia Rose – Hip Hop Wars lecture at the Brown University, 2010
Pio Squad – Tanec na hrobech (prod. by Enemy)
The Roots – Dear God 2.0 (feat. Monsters of Folk)
Mono3x – Makadila (prod. by Cut Dem)
Lyric Jones – Face To Face

Episode 10: Hellwana & Jemah

Monika Evans aka Hellwana is a rapper and a singer. She was born in Prague, but she spent her childhood with her family in England and her roots can be traced to the Caribbean. She started playing piano at the age of six and by the age of nine she composed her first song. Today she represents a distinct part of the local rap scene, most often being labeled grime, even though she can flow through different styles with ease and self-confidence. She released her debut EP Sunbeam in 2017 and a year after that she won Czeching, the music export project of Radio Wave, where she got the opportunity to record her album Phases. Hellwana was the supporting act for American rappers Akua Naru and Sa-Roc on their Prague shows. Currently she is collaborating with the Bigg Boss label and she is working on a new album. What is the process of recording like? How is her creative process developing? How is she able to incorporate personal and sometimes painful topics into her music? Where does her interest in design, the subject of her studies, meet with her music career? What is expected of young women artists and what is the role of social networks in the life of women in music?

Just like Hellwana, rapper, singer and producer Jemah lives in Prague. So far she has released solo singles as well as a couple of music videos. Before the pandemic of Covid-19 you could see her live with rapper Dollar Prync or performing at the last Prague Pride event. Most often Jemah is collaborating with Slovak rapper Kubowelly, recently they released an encouraging single “Ake by to bolo” / “What it would be like”. She is also frequently rapping in English. In her music you can hear elements of G-funk, grime, trap, as well as the legacy of R&B legends, the singer Aaliyah, or the socially conscious rap of Tupac Shakur. She has been singing and rapping since her childhood. What topics are important for her? How does she approach improving her rap skills? Does she find any parallels between the experiences expressed in the lyrics of Afro-American rappers and the experiences of Roma minority facing structural racism in the Czech Republic? And was she ever interested in the Roma music traditions? Does she find inspiration in her roots?


Hellwana – Sunbeam
Hellwana – Bff
Hellwana – Halle Berry feat. Flesh
Hellwana – Charged Gun
Hellwana – Bump N’ Grime
Hellwana – They Advise and Kill Soul

Jemah x Kubowelly – Start Up
Jemah – Night Vibes
Jemah x Kubowelly – Ake by to bolo
Jemah x Kubowelly – Fuck Y’all
Jemah – Double Life


Concept & narration: Mary C
Title music: Mary C
Translation: Anna Oravcová
Dubbing: Zeynab Gueye
Visuals: Vladyslav Afanasiev & Jan Brož

The podcast is published with the support of the Prague City Hall and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.