Film

‘Dope’ Director Rick Famuyiwa Helms DC Extended Universe’s ‘The Flash’

Nigerian-American director Rick Famuyiwa makes a departure from signature films 'Dope' and 'Brown Sugar.'

Though it seems far away—2018 is stacking up to be LIT in the Marvel and DC Comics universes.


First we heard news about the stellar, mostly black cast slated for Marvel’s Black Panther. Now there’s word from the Hollywood Reporter that Nigerian-American director Rick Famuyiwa, who most recently directed HBO’s Confirmation starring Kerry Washington, has signed on to steer Warner Bros. Picture’s production of The Flash—an installment of  DC Extended Universe (DCEU) or media arm of DC Comics.

A clash of creative direction for the film, and Famuyiwa’s 2015 breakout, coming-of-age film Dope, which received nods at the Sundance Film Festival, paved the way for his entry. He replaces Seth Grahame-Smith.

Famuyiwa has a knack for drawing from his youth in Inglewood, California as a hip-hop loving blerd (black nerd), and translating that experience for the silver screen in Dope and classics like The Wood and Brown Sugar.

Helming The Flash is quite a departure from what we’ve grown to expect from Famuyiwa, so it should be interesting to see the accomplished director bring “the fastest man alive” (starring Ezra Miller) to life.

The Flash bolts into theaters March 16, 2018.

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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