Bling is Dead!, Say Two African-born Artists

African Fashion Designer and Hip-Hop artist call for death of America's bling culture.

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New York, NY (PRWEB) November 15, 2006

Two African-born artists are calling for the end of "Bling" this holiday season. Chosan, the Sierra Leonean-born hip-hop artist whose voice is heard on Kanye West's "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" video, and G. Kofi Annan of award-nominated Annansi Clothing Co. are spearheading an effort to eliminate the bling culture which helps fund bloody wars in Africa. The "Bling is Dead" project is being launched in an effort to motivate consumers to be more selective in their gift purchases this holiday season. As part of Annansi Clothing Co.'s ongoing Demand Details! initiative, the "Bling is Dead" project features a newly released song by Chosan named "Blood Diamonds" and a special "Bling is Dead" t-shirt which will be used to encourage consumers to stop the illicit diamond trade. The song can be heard on the website at http://www.blingisdead.org . The public is encouraged to join the campaign and leave comments at http://www.myspace.com/demanddetails.

Using his talents to make a difference is nothing new to Chosan, however the topic of blood diamonds is one that hits close to home. "This Blood Diamonds song I recorded with producer Itill is probably one of the most important songs I have ever made", says Chosan. "I was inspired to do it after coming back from Sierra Leone right after the war had just finished and my father died. Just being in Freetown and speaking every day to kids in the streets, and hearing the stories of what happened, and what they saw was powerful to me. I was overwhelmed by their sense of hope and believe that good things are coming, after all the tragic things that have happened."

While the term bling and the culture it represents continues to grow beyond the hip hop community where it started, the exploitation of the Africans who mine the status-making diamonds continues to grow as well. With 75% of the world's diamonds originating in Africa and only 10% of the profits making it's way back to the continent, Annansi Clothing Co. is continuing to use it's popularity to influence the consumer and make a change on the African continent. Annansi Clothing's founder, Kofi Annan, has joined with Chosan to call for an end to the culture that is crippling their homelands. The "Bling is Dead" project's goal is to use the arts to inspire the world to take a moral stand now and ensure that human rights and fair trade are respected in diamond mining.

By wearing "Bling is Dead" t-shirt consumers will join the Demand Details! campaign in sending diamond manufacturers a message. The Demand Details! initiative which launched at the 2005 Hip Hop Odyssey (H2O) International Film Festival with the premiere of director Kareem Edouard's Bling: Consequences and Repercussions, combines film, music, and fashion to empower consumers to make educated buying decisions. The initiative asks consumers to demand details about the origin of the gems they are buying and force diamond distributors to change their business practices. A portion of the profits from the "Bling is Dead" project and all Demand Details! products sold will be donated to benefit non-profit organizations working to support those affected by the wars in Africa. The entire Demand Details! campaign is available to view on http://www.demaddetails.com.

About Annansi Clothing Co.

Annansi Clothing Co. was founded with the concept of making Africa pop(ular). The brand takes inspiration from the people and places that make modern day African societies unique. Annansi Clothing Co's shirts are designed for people who seek to broaden their awareness and flaunt their individual style. Our motto is "Afrique C'est Chic": Africa is cool, fresh, fashionable. Visit http://www.annansiclothing.com for more about the company.

About Chosan

Chosan was born in Sierra Leone and raised in the UK where he began his career in the studios of KISS FM London before moving to New York City. After the sudden death of his father and his brush with death a few months later when he was struck by an SUV, Chosan recorded his debut CD "The Beautiful Side of Misery" featuring the song and video "Ride" currently shown on MTV Africa. His energetic rhyming style and lyrical prowess has earned him spots opening for rap heavyweights such as Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss and Juelz Santana and feature articles in King Magazine (USA), Y-Mag (South Africa), Touch (UK), and Right On (USA). Since collaborating with Kanye West on his "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" music video, Chosan has gone on to headline shows in Brooklyn's famous Celebrate Brooklyn Festival and perform as a guest at Michael Franti and Spearheads sold out show at New York's Webster Hall. Chosan represents the diversity of hip-hop by steering clear of the messages that mainstream hip-hop too often focuses on. "[American] hip hop is too often about money, sex, and clothes and hardly ever about the real situations going on in [third world countries]." Visit http://www.silverstreetz.com for more about Chosan.

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Bling is Dead T-shirt Bling is Dead T-shirt

Annansi Clothing Co.'s "bling is Dead" t-shirt


Demand Details! launch Demand Details! launch

(pictured left to right)) Kareem Edouard (director), Kofi Annan (designer Annansi Clothing Co.), and Dante Kaba (director)