Photos

Danny Brown x Soweto: adidas Original Welcomes Detroit's King Of The Ruckus To Joburg

Detroit king of the ruckus Danny Brown was treated like royalty during the adidas Originals Unite Joburg festivities.


Photos by Paul Ward

When he dipped... they threw him a celebration fit for a king. Detroit's Danny Brown was the latest international titan adidas Originals arranged to perform in SA — this time a one-show stop at Soweto's Walter Sisulu Square. Many ups to adidas for an original, albeit Gatsby extravagant, method of music exchange. It's nice to see photos of an international artist kicking it outside of hotels and game reserves — not that everything the dude did on his own time was easy on the eyes. In true Versailles fashion, adidas invited a who's-who of Joburg street culture and STR CRD elite (basically everyone in THIS video) for a fancy pants banquet, or what looks like a roast minus the roasting to Sir Brown of Michiganville. Post-mingling, 2000 strong turnt up for a night with the king of the ruckus, who shared the stage with his tourmate DJ SKYWLKR, as well as some homegrown talent including kwaito/electronic producer Mma Tseleng, deep house DJs Phat Jack and Cuebur, SA's first Redbull Thre3Style champ Tha Cutt, Soul Candi beatmaker Kid Fonque, hip-hop battle circuit Scrambles4Money, and lastly DJ Switch. Watch "euphoric" expectations being met in the recap below and take a look at select photos from Paul Ward's Diary of Brown (above).

Music

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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