Audio

First Listen: 2Baba Releases 'Hold My Hand,' A Song For World Refugee Day

First Listen: Nigerian legend 2Baba shares a song in support of support internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria.

Today marks World Refugee Day across the globe.


In honor of the day, Nigerian afropop legend 2Baba has released the new single, "Hold My Hand," which he's sharing to support internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The Bolji Beatz-produced song features features vocals from Grace Mathew, an 8 year-old girl from an IDP camp who witnessed the killing of her family in Borno, where she's since fled from.

2Baba will donate 60% of the song's profits to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Nigeria, in order to help refugees and IDPs.

"Hold My Hand" is available for purchase now. 

"The plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Nigeria is very dear to my heart," 2Baba writes on his Instagram page.

"I have decided to dedicate my time, resources and my voice to support the UNHCR in this massive endeavor of alleviating the sufferings of displaced persons," 2Baba mentions.

"60 per cent of the proceeds will be donated to the UNHCR to further its humanitarian effort to alleviating the plights of refugees and IDPs," he continues. "This download is an opportunity for every Nigerian to contribute in their own little way to the course of assisting displaced persons."

Stream and download "Hold My Hand" below.

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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