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Afrikan Boy Wrote the Undisputed Anthem for '£2 Chicken and Chips'

Afrikan Boy pens an anthem for London's go-to after school meal "£2 Chicken and Chips"

After school meals are underrated.


Remember all the joy, good times, and (for many) havoc you and your friends caused at a fast food spots near your school?

Afrikan Boy's got the soundtrack to those times—with a slight London twist.

"£2 Chicken N Chips has long been a cultural favourite amongst teenagers and children from all races living in inner city London," Afrikan Boy explains to Okayafrica via e-mail.

"I first fell in love with £2 Chicken n Chips when I started secondary school, I had to save up for the whole week because I only received 0.30p a day to spend on what I liked from my mum. Chicken n chips to me meant ultimate freedom of choice lol."

The next time you get a chicken box use #2PCC "Nothing Tastes Better Than This" ?

A photo posted by #2PCC (@afrikan.boy) on

It's not all about the food though, the Nigerian-British rapper mentions, these spots also shape kids' characters by serving as defacto community centers.

"I made this track because chicken shops played a part in developing my cultural identity. If you look in any inner city town centre after school on a weekday, they will be surely packed with school kids hustling for that 2 piece chicken n chips meal."

"I wanted the video to have a real sense of my local community in it so I set the location of the music video in the most on demand chicken shop in Woolwich 'Super 1 Fried Chicken'," adds Afrikan Boy. "Abdi the manager also runs a Saturday football training and mentoring initiative for the local teenagers in the area. This shop is more than just a place to buy chicken and chips but it acts as a community centre for school kids to also feel safe. I posted a message on my instagram saying free chicken and chips and supermalt bottles 3pm in Woolwich!"

"On the day of the video shoot over 100 school kids turned up in excitement, I brought over 100 two piece chicken and chips boxes with drinks and handed them out freely for those who partook in the shoot. It was truly a celebration of our beloved Chicken n Chips!"

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6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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