I was first exposed to Senegalese popular music in the early part of the decade hanging out in Madrid, Spain. Between experiencing high energy Mbalax dancing in a local club, seeing Youssou N'Dour perform outside of the Palacio Real, and hearing the beautifully melodic music and raps of Hip Hop groups like Positive Black Soul and Pee Frois, I became hooked on the country's diverse sounds.
Around that time, the rap group Bideew Bou Bess came to my attention via a compilation of Senegalese Hip Hop called Da Hop. I recently discovered them again after visiting Harlem's Little Senegal and buying a bootleg of Rap Galsene containing this amazing guitar driven beautifully sung tune:Bideew Bou Bess - Baije Hias
Today, after a couple trips to Senegal, Dakar has become one of my favorite cities. The New York times recently did a feature on the diverse music scene there. It was a introductory look at the city's rich contemporary nightlife and music culture. Hopefully through more exposure to Dakar's music, increased interest will serve as motivation for people to explore this culturally rich and welcoming country.