Audio

Listen to GoldLink's New Album 'Diaspora' Featuring Wizkid, Maleek Berry, Juls, Blinky Bill & More

Plus, watch GoldLink & Maleek Berry bring the heat to Jimmy Fallon with "Zulu Screams."

GoldLink, easily one of the most exciting rappers out right now, is back today with his brand new album, Diaspora.

True to its name, the 14-track Diaspora sees the DMV rapper connecting with the likes of Wizkid, hitmaker Maleek Berry, British-Ghanaian producer Juls, and Kenya's Blinky Bill, as well as Pusha T, Tyler the Creator, Khalid, WSTRN and more.

The record was first announced with lead single "Zulu Screams," an addictive track that features Maleek Berry on the chorus and Bibi Bourelly on additional vocals.

Both GoldLink and Berry appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon last night to perform the track. They, along with a crew of dancers, brought the heat for a highly-energetic performance that showcased the GoldLink's rapid fire flow and the track's sped-up highlife guitar samples.


GoldLink ft. Maleek Berry: Zulu Screams youtu.be

Diaspora also features standout track "No Lie," a head-nodder that sees him connecting with the Starboy himself, Wizkid, who delivers a solid chorus for the song.

Another clear highlight is the single "U Say," which features production from Juls and guest verses from Tyler, the Creator and Jay Prince. There's also production from Kenya's Blinky Bill who handles "TIff Freestyle."

"[Diaspora] is a natural progression of where I felt like I was going to head anyway," GoldLink told Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show. "After I kind of did my love letter to D.C. kind of thing, I wanted to figure out what was the pulse, why I love my city so much and I think the answer wasn't directly in the city. I think it was more so directly somewhere else. I've never had as much fun making a record."

GoldLink also recently appeared on buzzing Nigerian new waver Santi's album, Mandy & The Jungle.

Stream GoldLink's Diaspora in its entirety below and watch the Jimmy Fallon performance above.

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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