Over two million people were displaced by the civil war in Sierra Leone and you can count this threesome, Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew among them. Their name comes from a Sierra Leonean term, “dry eye,” a reference to being bold (and presumably, not weeping). They’ve been called “the voice of the voiceless” for their socially conscious music and in doing their best to keep the plight of the people in Sierra Leone from slipping out of our consciousness. The war is over in their country, but it’s legacy of poverty and corruption remains.
Bajah and his Dry Eye Crew, namely his fellow West Africans, A-Klazz and Dovy Dovy are releasing their self-titled debut worked by the production team Fyre Department (Snoop Dogg, GZA, Talib Kweli, Justin Timberlake) early next year on One Haven. Their style, called Gbomognoh (pronounced bo-mo-no) is a fusion of hip-hop, funk, reggae and the characteristic Sierra Leonean condemnation of the “Blood Diamond” — a film soundtrack to which they contributed.
One of the threesome, A-Klazz, labored in the diamond mines as a kid. “You go in the morning and come back in the evening. You sleep. You eat. You come back,” he recalled. “We’d be on that, like, eight months, and I’d never see a diamond.”
Here they are on a rooftop in Brooklyn, with a one of a kind cover — Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” into Paul Simon’s “Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes.”