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Abiola Oke For CNN: “The Oscars Snubbed 'Beasts Of No Nation’ Because Of Its Blackness"

Okayafrica CEO Abiola Oke weighs in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy for CNN.

Idris Elba and Abraham Attah were some of this year's most egregious Oscar snubs argues Abiola Oke.
Our fearless leader, Abiola "Oke-Africa" Oke weighs-in on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy for CNN. Yes, he's an unabashed fan of Beasts of No Nation, but there's more to it than that. See below, or read the whole thing on CNN.com.

Beasts of No Nation: The most shocking Oscars snub?

Abiola Oke, Special for CNN


New York (CNN) "Beasts of No Nation" was one of the best films of 2015, yet it didn't receive a single Oscar nomination. In fact, out of 528 nominations in the Best Picture category, no film with an all-black cast has ever been nominated for Best Picture. Even space has more gravity than the number of all black-cast films nominated.

In the spirit of fairness, "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" which featured virtually all non-white casts, received nominations and won respectively.

It might be irresponsible but certainly not irrational of me to suggest that one of the reasons "Beasts" was snubbed at the Oscars was because of the racial make-up of its cast.

When you consider the Academy's 87-year history of ignoring black performances—only 15 African Americans have won the honors for acting—the thought of unintentional bias doesn't seem so absurd.

Read the rest on CNN.com

 

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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