Okayafrica's Guide To CMJ 2013: 10 Shows And Panels

We recommend 10 showcases and panels to catch at CMJ 2013.

CMJ week has arrived in NYC. The east coast's very own SXSW-like gathering of college kiddos, bands, and music personnel exhausts with opportunity — a work-week infested with music related panels by day (at NYU's Kimmel Center), and live music and parties from breakfast til 4am. Below are ten events (panels AND showcases) which you might spot us at (note: one of these parties you will absolutely find us at, and we best be seeing you there too — scroll on).


The Couch Sessions Present: The Circus CMJ Showcase w/ Osekre and the Lucky Bastards, Jennah Bell, + More

When: Tues. Oct. 15th, 8pm doors, 8:30pm show, 10:15pm-10:45pm (Osekre)

Where: DROM, 85 Ave. A, NYC


Coming To America: Breaking In The U.S. (panel)

When: Wed. Oct. 16th, 3:30pm-4:30pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center Room 406, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

Though no word yet on whether Africa will be accounted for amongst panel members, BYO questions/discussion to the room for this discussion on strategies for breaking overseas acts in the U.S. market.


Terrorbird CMJ Day Party w/ Tunde Olaniran + More

When: Wed. Oct. 16th, 1pm-6pm

Where: Cake Shop, 152 Ludlow Street, NYC

Free, no RSVP necessary, 21+

Wednesday offers two chances to catch sets from our friend Nigerian-American Tunde Olaniran, whose experimental excursions always make for a good time, a confusion of label sound that we once referred as "strains of modern Motown meet Euro-electronica with a heart of Nigerian funk, pure pop melodies and fluid 4-octave range vocals delivered with a glam-rock sensibility." Tunde will be playing while the sun's still out at the Cake Shop in the LES and then again at 10PM at Webster Hall.


Aputumpu's Official CMJ Showcase w/ Osekre & the Lucky Bastards, Pegasus Warning, Tunde Olaniran + More

When: Wed. Oct. 16th, 6pm

Where: Webster Hall, Marlin Room

$10-$12, 19+

The BK-based vid blog's showcase is packed with OKA favorites, including Ghanaian-American afropunk Osekre (aka Fela x the Clash crossover), the always electrifying fourpiece Pegasus Warning, and, for the second time Wednesday, Tunde Olaniran.


The Rise of Urban Alternative (panel)

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 12:30pm-1:30pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center 406, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

OKP fam Eddie STATS gets the mic for a talk on "urban alternative," aka the de-pigeonholing of music we love. We anticipate Frank Ocean, Solange, NWTSish namedropping to be strong.


Global Digital: Emerging Markets (panel)

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 3:30pm-4:30pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center Room 405, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

Ah yes, and industry look at emerging markets (with a focus on Africa and Latin America), a discussion we hear on growth potential respective "emerging digital ecosystem of labels, telcos, aggregators, digital service providers, distributors, hardware/software/handset manufacturers, and app developers." Come with questions.


Okayafrica CMJ: Red Hot + Felabration w/ the FELA! Band led by Sahr Ngaujah, Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew, & ?uestlove!

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 8pm Felabration, 10pm Fela Bowl Train

Where: Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe, Brooklyn, NY

$10 (FREE w/ CMJ badge)

Yep, we're getting in on this CMJ action too. To coincide with worldwide Felabrations we're throwing a birthday (well, post) get-down of our own. We’ll be holding it down and celebrating the release of the Red Hot + FELA album alongside the FELA! band led by Sahr Ngaujah (star of FELA! on Broadway) and Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew! The party continues afterwards with a special Fela-themed Bowl Train from the one and only ?uestlove, who will be spinning afrobeat hits til the wee hours. We’ll also be showcasing some classic Fela performances and interview clips. Come out and rejoice for what would have been our afrobeat father's 75th!


Monkey Rock Presents A CMJ Showcase w/ Zongo Junction, Jennah Bell + More

When: Thurs. Oct. 17th, 9pm

Where: Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, 196 Allen St., NYC

No Cover, 21+

The Thursday night showcase spotlights afrobeat ensemble Zongo Junction's dynamic take on the classic West African sounds of Fela, Tony Allen, and Sunny Ade as well as Okayplayer heart-stealer Jennah Bell.


Strange Lands: International Touring (panel)

When: Fri. Oct. 18th, 11am-12pm

Where: NYU Kimmel Center Room 405, 60 Washington Square South, NYC

Artists, managers, and agents slated for the panel are set to discuss best practices for touring outside the U.S. We're all for the cross-continental vibe spreading.


Craft Services + Rice & Cheese CMJ Showcase w/ Saul Williams & The Dragons of Zynth + More

When: Fri. Oct. 18th, 8pm, 12:15am (Saul Williams)

Where: Santos Party House, 96 Lafayette St, NYC

$10, 21+

We couldn't not make mention of our friend Saul Williams, fresh off a stunning performance in Senegalese-French director Alain Gomis' Dakar-set Tey. Catch Saul on stage alongside the ethereal-space sounds of Dragons of Zynth (who also played at our launch back in the day).


For an entire CMJ schedule head here.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

ProVerb’s Memoir Is A Huge Slap In The Face To South African Hip-Hop

In his memoir, one of South Africa's revered lyricists ProVerb and his co-author compromise his rich story with trite motivational talk.

The Book of Proverb

ProVerb has had a strange relationship with the SA hip-hop scene. Albeit being one of the most gifted lyricists the country has ever seen, he has grown to flow less and hustle more. Despite this, his name still comes up when the greatest (South) African rappers of all time are mentioned. MTV Base placed him as the 7th in their list of the greatest SA MCs of all time in 2018 for example.

The rapper-turned-media personality dedicates a paragraph of his memoir, The Book of Proverb, to explaining his complicated relationship with hip-hop. "Although I built my brand as a hip-hop artist, I never enjoyed full support or success from it," he writes. "Music is and always will remain a pass ion, but it stopped being viable when it stopped making business sense to me. If I was given more support, I might continue, but for now, I'll focus on my other hustles."

On the cover of the book which was released towards the end of 2020 by Penguin, Verb is wearing a charcoal blazer and sporting a white ball cap, so one can be forgiven for getting into it expecting both sides of his story. This memoir, however, is too vague to be a worthy read if you aren't necessarily reading to get motivated but to be simply informed and inspired.

While a few of The Book of ProVerb's chapters touch on his rap career, most of the book is about ProVerb the man, personality and businessman. Not so much one of the country's finest lyricists. This omission is a huge slap in the face for his fans and SA hip-hop fans in general.

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