Colin Powell Raps At African Festival

Former secretary of state Colin Powell is the latest politician to get the urge to emcee, as the respected Washington veteran performed an impromptu freestyle this week at London’s Africa Rising Festival.

The festival, which has become a popular showcase for African music and culture, paired Powell with African rapper Olu Maintain, originator of the Nigerian dance and song “Yahoozee.”

Powell, to the crowd’s shock, alternated between performing the dance and spitting various call and response chants into the mic.

After his set’s conclusion, Powell took a moment to pontificate with the crowd on the importance of African heritage, acknowledging their culture and never dismissing or forgetting it despite their achievements.

“I stand before you as an African-American,” Powell reflected. “ Many people have said to me you became secretary of state of the USA, is it still necessary to say that you are an African-American or that you are black? And I say yes, so that we can remind our children.”

After initially advocating the U.S. war in Iraq as secretary of state, Powell resigned from his post in 2004 after learning the intelligence he received from government officials was inaccurate.

Since returning to private life, Powell has advocated reform of the US intelligence community.

Also, Powell has revealed he privately opposed the Iraq war and spent considerable time attempting to convince President Bush not to invade.

With his foray into Hip-Hop, Colin Powell to date joins Karl Rove (MC Rove under his Hop-Hop persona) as the only two Washington politicians to perform Hip-Hop music.