Style

Prêt-À-Poundo: Top 10 Style Guide and Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Video

This is our Top 10 Style guide pictures and behind-the-scenes video featuring emerging designers, Okayplayer shop and mainstream, photographed by Rae Maxwell.

We've been providing you with exclusive fashion editorials featuring a blend of our original Okayplayer and Okayafrica tees alongside emerging and mainstream fashion. Our goal was to create and introduce another window to your shopping targets. Open your eyes to endless possibilities, unique designs of unique and innovative features that are quite diverse. Of course, it's always left up to you to decide what and where you're buying, but cool designs are not that easy to find. These 4 editorials were a melting pot of a talented creative team, incredible designs, beautiful models and locations. Photographer Rae Maxwell captured the essence and spirit of each of her subjects. She has an eye that catches beauty’s fleeting moments — revealing them underneath the surface. Al Malonga‘s fashion styling doesn’t incorporate anything exuberant; it’s all kept in a bold and edgy subtlety. Last but not least, the make-up and hair work done by Cat Alexis and Afi Bijou, respectively, played a key role in the characters’ portrayal. I'd also add that chief makeup artist Michela Wariebi provided excellent work on the two last editorials.


We rounded up our  Top 10 Style Guide shots and give you an exclusive behind-the-scenes video, shot by Herman Jean-Noel (of Neglakay Productions) and edited by Rae Maxwell, in which you'll discover the two first editorials featuring the entire team. You can find a lot of pieces on our online store. One last thing: allow yourself to be bold, fresh and free.

Browse through our previous Style Guides: The Dapper Real Live Show, Rock Your Punk Fela Tee, Wax Doll Rag Doll, Prints Patterns &... Prints!

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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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