Africa In Your Earbuds


When we called up Brooklyn spitter/spinner Stimulus to chat about his Africa In Your Earbuds #4: WHAT IT MEANS mix we found him hanging in Buenos Aires, Argentina, beat-selecting for porteño nightowls. Stim's a busy dude, he moves around a lot — just last year he managed to play over 7 different countries while holding down residencies in both NYC and London clubs.

It's no surprise that Stimulus garners such high demand, he's got the call sheet to warrant it, which includes crafting dorm room beats with Mark Ronson in his heydays, co-fronting live hip-hop group The Real Live Show, and sharing the stage/DJ booth with the likes of De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Mos DefDead Prez, The Cure, Cee – Lo, Q-Tip, Grandmaster Flash, Pete Rock, Marley Marl, and many more.

In WHAT IT MEANS Stimulus navigates through 48 minutes of afrobeat jams with a focus on the influence of genre-pioneer and all around legend Fela Kuti. Stim related to us that he first dipped his toes into afrobeat frequenting Rich Medina's JUMP N FUNK parties, but what really made him choose the style for this mixtape was seeing FELA! the musical:

i went to see FELA! when i had a few friends in it, like Sahr [Ngaujah] and Afi [McClendon]. I interviewed them for hours on end. "What's your take on Fela? What do you feel peole don't get about him?" Both spoke about about his humanism and mysticism — he was worried about his people and humanity in general. Mysticism has gotten lost in our culture, and FELA!  is a lot about how a lack of mysticism takes away from humanity.

To make the mix, I watched a lot of Fela documentaries and listened to all the interviews I'd done with the cast. Unfortunately I lost the recordings [of the interviews], I was gonna put them on the mixtape... One of the things i watched was how Fela made his music, going up to London listening to jazz and salsa. He'd say "I make my music being inspired by all kinds of things being melded together." So i just started going through my files and listening to things that had his influence.

That's how Stimulus arrived at his afrobeat-rooted eclectic mix, which features many of Fela's own sounds plus appearances by Jay-Z, Michael Jackson, KRS One, D'Angelo, and Macy Gray. For more of Stim check out his recent 3rd 1st Impression mixtape.

Props to Underdog for some truly dope artwork, peep more of his work. Stream and download Africa In Your Earbuds #4: WHAT IT MEANS below!




Buy Africa - Fela Kuti - Shakara / London Scene - Nigeria

Egbe Mi O - Fela Kuti & Africa 70 w/ Ginger Baker - Nigeria

Monday In Lagos (Marksmen Remix) - KRS One - Afrostreet Records

Water No Get Enemy Pt. 2 - D'Angelo, Femi Kuti & Macy Gray - Red Hot + Riot

American Gangster (Mike Love Remix) - Jay Z - Nigerian Gangster

Teacher - Sahr Nguajah & Lilias White - FELA! Original Broadway Cast Recording

Don't Worry About My Mouth - Fela Kuti - Stalemate / Fear Not For Man

Remember The Time (Roforo Mix) - Michael Jackson - The King Meets The President In Africa

2000 Blacks Got To Be Free - Fela Kuti & Roy Ayers

Previously on Africa In Your Earbuds: QOOL DJ MARV, SINKANE, and CHIEF BOIMA.

"SA Rappers Out Here Killing Y'all," M.I Abaga On Nigerian Rappers

M.I has fueled a debate about the state Nigerian hip-hop with his latest song, "You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life."

Nigerian star M.I Abaga is back with a punch and taking aim at all of his fellow Nigerian rappers.

The track—which sees M.I. drop lines like "none of you rappers is real enough... that's why these fans are not feeling ya'll," "SA rappers out here killing ya,ll," and "rappers are singing now just to get popular, yuck"—has sparked a debate across social media on the current state of Nigerian hip-hop.

There's been some calling out M.I for not supporting young Nigerian rappers like big rappers do in South Africa. These years have seen the likes of Cassper Nyovest and other big SA stars supporting younger talent.

Others, however, have taken up the challenge and started responding to M.I's track over the "Fix Up Your Life" instrumental. M.I's been retweeting the responses and, in a way, the track's been getting a lot of the young rappers M.I calls out some more attention.

M.I and his label Chocolate City have also been in the news lately over suing Nas for not delivering a good verse.

What do you think? Is Nigerian hip-hop in decline?

See some choice tweets below.

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In Photos: Migos' Culture Tour in Johannesburg

ATL trio Migos' Culture Tour had two South African stops–in Durban on Friday and Johannesburg on Saturday.

We attended the Joburg leg of the tour, and the group didn't disappoint, although the event itself was unacceptably disorganized. South African rappers Riky Rick and Nasty C gave great performances, especially the latter.

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