Emma Martial Mbourangon

Music for a Democratic Future in Congo (March 2024–May 2024)

Mr. Emma Martial Mbourangon, who goes by the name Martial Pa’nucci, is a political hip hop artist and a co-founder of the citizen movement Ras-le-Bol in the Republic of the Congo. His music and writing, including four albums and two anthologies of poetry, are aimed at mobilizing Congolese youth for change. His first solo album, #2015CHRONIQUES, was recognized as “the most politically engaged Congolese hip-hop album of all time,” as noted in a 2016 profile of him by Vice. He was recognized as the “Best Hip Hop Artist of the Year” by the Beat Street Awards in 2016 and won first prize in the writing contest “Dis-moi dix mots,” organized by the French Institute of Congo in 2011. Following a targeted attack by the Congolese regime on members of the Ras-le-Bol collective, Mr. Mbourangon was forced into exile in 2016, where he continues to be the target of transnational repression. During his fellowship, he is working on a new album calling attention to kleptocracy, human rights violations, and repression that plague his country.