Audio

You Need to Hear This New Ethiopian Beat Tape From Ras G & Azla Vegan

LA-based producer Ras G and Azla Vegan share a mixtape that blends the vintage sounds of Ethiopia with head-nodding beat work.

Here’s a mixtape to hold the beat heads down for a minute.


LA-based producer and Brainfeeder affiliate Ras G—also known as Ras G & The Afrikan Space Program—comes through with a limited edition cassette tape that blends the vintage sounds of Ethiopia with his signature "SpaceBase" sound.

In Azla Sounds Volume 1, Ras G flips and loops traditional Ethiopian music and Ethio-jazz into both booming beat works ("Hulätt," "Sost," "Aratt") and hazy electronic textures ("And," "Sïddïst").

The mixtape tape is being released in partnership with Azla Vegan, a family owned Ethiopian restaurant in South Central Los Angeles, the first of its kind in the area.

Founded in 2013 by Nesanet Abegaze and named after her mother, Azla Vegan modifies traditional Ethiopian recipes into health-conscious vegetarian dishes.

Ras G and Nesanet tell us that they “cooked up the idea for the beat tape over a plate of injera and Shiro Wot.”

We all know that Ethio-jazz samples and hip-hop go hand-in-hand—if you’re not on board simply check out these 11 Samples From Ethiopiques to get you on track.

Stream Ras G and Azla Vegan’s Ethiopian mixtape and grab a limited edition cassette over at Bandcamp. Check out a pair of promo videos for the mix above and below.

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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