Video

The Vaal Brother Rappers Fratpack 'Home Pt. 2 (Oh One Six)'

South African brother rap duo Fratpack talk their video for 'Home Pt. 2 ( Oh One Six)' off their 'FAMLOVE volume 1:Fun Is Serious' mixtape.


Fratpack is a Gauteng rap outfit made up of brothers Kitso and Kabelo (Mr. Calibre) Moremi, who shot onto our radar last month with a featured spot on Revivolution rapper Tommy Ills' "Pacmanbass" video. "Influences range from 90s boom bap to noughties Neptunes/N*E*R*D to Tribe Called Quest to Zubz and Tumi," they told Okayafrica. Laidback rapper Kitso handles much of the duo's production, while the younger of the two emcees, Mr. Calibre, has a "more in-your-face, energetic type of delivery," they explained. "His rhymes are witty and punchline-heavy." Back in July the brothers came out with their latest mixtape, the 14-track FAMLOVE volume 1: Fun Is Serious, which featured verses from the likes of $tilo Magolide, Ofancy, and Tommy Ills plus production credits from BIG FKN GUN, Hopemasta, and Modiakgotla Shole. Most recently they've delivered the sharp visuals to the tape's hometown nod. Produced by Kitso, "Home Pt. 2 (Oh One Six)" is a hard-hitting celebration of the Vaal Triangle in South Gauteng. "It's just outside of the Free State," Fratpack say. "Vaal is former farm area which is now more Steel company area ( ISCOR ). Not much opportunity for a musician so we decided that wherever music is then that's our home." Download FAMLOVE volume 1:Fun Is Serious and watch the "Home Pt. 2 (Oh One Six)" video below. For more from Kitso and Mr. Calibre follow Fratpack on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Soundcloud.

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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