Two West African immigrants rap with purpose.
Through his shows in New York City, his activism, his music and his speeches that are broadcast on YouTube, Gallice Jr. is part of a tradition and a region where, even though multiple burgeoning democracies have problems, social and government criticism through rap are robust.
Another West African rapper with a message is Bako Back, a New York City cabbie and a member of Malian rap trio Tata Pound.
Bako, whose real name is Sékou Tangara, carries himself with a demeanor and style that resembles popular American M.C.s. At a breakfast-and-burger joint in Harlem, he slouched under a flat-brimmed Yankees cap that he cocked to the side like Jay-Z. He speaks with a confident nonchalance, but he gets earnest when he talks politics. Occasionally, he will flash a wry smile at his own observations.