Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Saturday, February 23

No rapper’s backstory comes close to matching that of Sierra Leone’s

Refugee All Stars’. First, its members had to flee Freetown, the

ironically titled capital of their titular home country, after rebels

descended on it in a fusillade of hot metal. Then the group had to

haul ass outta their refugee camp in Guinea, because the army decided

it was high time to visit yet more cruelty on the landless miserables.

Luckily for them and us, however, the All Stars met some cool Canucks,

who gave them equipment (and, along with a pair of Americans, filmed a

doc on their lives) so they could deliver their reggae-splashed, West

African–rooted, peace-loving music. Their sound reinforces the idea

that, while we may come screaming into this world, we can leave

singing. KEVIN CAPP

Listen to a sample of Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars’ “I’m Not a Fool.”

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Sat., Feb. 23, 8 p.m., 2008