Win Tickets To Baloji & L'Orchestre de la Katuba Live In NYC!

Baloji returns to NYC with L'Orchestre de la Katuba April 17th for Pace Presents at The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts.

We know for a fact that Baloji puts on a high energy live performance. The Congolese/Belgian rapper is hitting NYC once more next week with L'Orchestre de la Katuba when PACE presents a night of live music curated by Live Sounds. Find out more details on the event below and in the meantime peep the lyric video for Baloji and L'Orchestre de la Katuba's cover of Fela Kuti's "Buy Africa" below. We're giving away a pair of tickets to the show. To enter to win, follow and tweet at @okayafrica with the hashtag #BalojiNYC.


Thursday, April 17

Pace Presents

Baloji and L'Orchestre de la Katuba

Futuristic Africa: Congolese Rumba, Hip-Hop and Funk

Curated by

at The Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts

3 Spruce Street, NYC

Doors at 6:30pm, Show at 7:30pm

Tickets: $35


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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