popular

You Need This Mixtape Of Ebo Taylor's Afrobeat & Highlife In Your Life

The legendary Ghanaian highlife and afrobeat musician gets a mix from Chris Read.

Ghanaian music legend Ebo Taylor has just released his latest record, Yen Araan album that he's calling his finest to date.

The 81-year-old veteran has been a key figure in the evolving afrobeat and highlife sound since his arrival in the late 1950s, when he played with his group the Black Star Highlife Band and collaborated with the likes of Fela Kuti.

He later went on to lead the Ghana Black Star Band and the Uhuru Dance Band back in Ghana, and also worked with groups like Apagya Show Band, CK Mann and Pat Thomas in the '70s.

Now, to pair with the release of Yen Ara on Mr Bongo, UK producer and DJ Chris Read has put together an incredible mix of Ebo Taylor classics that we're premiering here.

"I was thrilled when I was asked to put together this mix of material from the wonderful Ebo Taylor in support of his new album," Read mentions.

"Like most music from his generation, my first point of discovery was through samples, so this mix includes tracks like 'Come Along' (as sampled by Ghetto Concept, whose track 'Certified' I also included) alongside a selection of favourite cuts from his back catalogue. A couple of years back I had the pleasure of DJing in support of one Ebo's live shows in London—it was an education in Afrobeat and Highlife, and I can only hope that I might have the same energy and enthusiasm for music that his live performances and his new album exhibit after 8 decades."

Yen Ara, which is available now, features nine tracks that push Ebo Taylo's energetic highlife and afrobeat into modern times with the aid of pulsating beats and hard-hitting percussion.

Listen to Chris Read's mixtape and check out the track list below. It'll make your week—or even your year.

TRACKLIST

1. Ghetto Concept - Certifed (Instrumental) [Samples Ebo Taylor - Come Along]

2. Chris Read - Theme #1 (Scratchapella)

3. My Love and Music

4. Maye Omama

5. Gyae Su Na Nkomo

6. Bra

7. Enye Nyame Niko

8. Will You Promise

9, Aba Yaa

10. Efi Na Matase

11. Ankoma'm

12. Ohye Atar Gyan

13. Come Along

14. No Condition is Permanent

15. Egya Edu

16. Victory

17. Atwer Abroba

18. What Is Life

19. Peace on Earth

20. Mind Your Own Business

21. Mumudey Mumudey

22. Break Through

Interview
Photo: Shaughn Cooper

Ras Nebyu Is Washington, D.C.'s 'Uptown Lion Walkin'

We talk to the Ethiopian-American rapper about his new album, his Washington Slizzards crew, and the impact of gentrification on D.C.'s music scene.

Ras Nebyu is caught up in the crowd at Howard University's homecoming tailgate, where he can barely walk a block without shaking hands with another person who he knows. Although he didn't attend Howard University, the campus and the surrounding neighborhood forms as much of a part of his narrative as any student.

The Ethiopian-American rapper hails from uptown Washington, D.C., a neighborhood he uses to inform his latest album, Uptown Lion Walkin, a project that pays homage to his ancestral upbringing, as well as his thoughts on making money, love, happiness, and the government.

There's a twoness to Nebyu's identity that allows him to create from a place of historical-cultural reverence while pushing forward new ideas. He was raised in a Rastafarian household by an Ethiopian dad and African-American mother.

Nebyu doesn't hold much back when he speaks, like his music. He preaches about belonging to his community, gentrification and the diaspora. His work serves as a strong soundboard, for not only his Ethiopian community but D.C. natives.

In 2011, Nebyu co-founded the Washington Slizzards, a collective of Ethiopian creatives in D.C. What started as a joke, tacking on "slizz" to everything, became a buzz-worthy crew. Around the same time as the group's inception, he began releasing music into the world.

Nebyu first ventured into making music as a producer, but soon found it frustrating getting artists to use his beats. He decided to begin experimenting with using his own voice and hasn't slowed down since. OkayAfrica caught up with Nebyu to discuss the new album and growing up uptown.

Keep reading... Show less
Audio

Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty, Afro B & Mayorkun Join DJ Neptune On 'Tear Rubber' Remix

Listen to the "All Star Remix" now.

"Tear Rubber," one of the standouts from DJ Neptune's latest album, Greatness, gets a big remix that'll jump start your week.

The track, which originally featured Mayorkun, now gets a massive revisit featuring Mr Eazi, Duncan Mighty and Afro B.

All three are potent additions to this laid-back and addictive Young John-produced track which was already getting a lot of spins.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Listen to Sade's Beautiful New Song—'The Big Unknown'

Sade has graced us with her second single of the year—this time for Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, "Widows."

We now have two new Sade songs to shed thug tears to before the end of 2018, y'all.

The queen herself released a lyric video for her new track, "The Big Unknown." This single will be played during the end credits of Steve McQueen's highly anticipated film, Widows, which is due to be released in theaters November 16, Highsnobiety reports.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.