All of them instrumentalists, composers and songwriters, their music reflects an evolved understanding of hip-hop as the universal language of their generation. With lyrics in Wolof, English, French and Spanish, they deliver their message through original melodies and close harmonies, infused with traditional rhythms and sparse but evocative instrumental accompaniment. In a conscious attempt to remain deeply rooted yet open to experimenting with new and diverse genres, they bring together the contemporary genres of hip hop, soul, rap and reggae with a range of rhythms and melodies from Senegal and across northern Africa to southern Spain.
In 2010, Bideew Bou Bess returned to the music scene with the release their second international CD, Ndoumbélane, which means “The Jungle” in Wolof – a reference to their experience in the world of music “…where all shots are allowed, as master money rules, where there are neither ethics nor morals. We want to remind people to respect African ethics,” says Baïdy Sall. The album was a major success in Senegal, and allowed the group to reconnect with their audience after such a long absence.
In 2000 they toured extensively with Youssou Ndour’s Project Joko to connect Senegalese communities around the world. That same year, the trio received their first gold disc for the hit single “Ex-nihilo,” produced by the Congolese-born French rap star Passi for his album Gènese (V2/Sony), which was released in Europe and featured Bideew Bou Bess and Gabonaise rapper Rcfa, among other international hip-hop and reggae artists.
The group then signed with Passi’s label, ISSAP, which produced their first international release, Original, in 2003. During this time, several of their hits also appeared on popular compilations such as Da Hop: Le son de Dakar (Jololi/Delabel, 2000), Dis l’heure 2 rimes (ISSAP Productions, 2002), and more.
At that point, the brothers were still just teenagers. As a young band from the suburbs of Dakar, they had experienced some big things, but had a lot to learn about the music business. They took some time off, allowing them to mature as artists and further develop their unique style.
BIDEEW BOU BESS (“New Star” in the Wolof language) is a performing group of three brothers: Moctar, Baïdy and Ibrahima Sall. The trio is recognized throughout Senegal for their innovative mix of musical genres and languages, as well as for their attention and commitment to important social issues at home and abroad.
Natives of Podor, the brothers relocated to Senegal’s capital city, Dakar, where as young hip-hoppers they began performing in 1994.
After winning a contest organized by the Ministry of Education in 1996, they caught the attention of Senegalese cultural icon Youssou Ndour. Three years later, in 1999, the brothers released their debut cassette, Ndékété Yoo!, produced by Ndour for his Jololi label. The title track, “Ndékété Yo”, featured an appearance by Wyclef Jean and became an instant hit, along with another track, “Ouh Ah”. The album topped the charts, sending Bideew Bou Bess on their trajectory toward stardom.