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Photo Diary: Dancehall Star I-Octane In Gambia

Browse through a gallery of photos from I-Octane's trip to Gambia and stream a remix of his collaboration with Gambian rapper T. Smallz.

I-Octane, the Jamaican dancehall star behind hits like "Happy Time" and "Lose A Friend," recently embarked on his first trip to Gambia, where he performed a concert at Banjul's National Stadium and collaborated with Gambian rapper T. Smallz on "Fire Dancer," a track which will be the subject of a forthcoming remix EP on KickRaux & Future Dancehall Records.


"This was my first trip to Africa," I-Octane explains in an exclusive with LargeUp. "I was looking forward to experiencing it for myself because I’ve always heard people talk about going back to their roots. My only knowledge of it was what I saw on TV, in books and what I’d hear, but I wanted to have my own experience. It was finally my time."

"It was a blessing to start with Gambia. I found it to be a lot like Jamaica. It was a spiritual elevation that has heightened my sense of purpose. The way I was embraced there, I feel Gambia will always be a part of me. I have to big up T. Smallz and the Katato team— A dem seh, Conquer the Globe! I’m hoping to go to other countries soon, places like Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Kenya. Our team is working towards doing a tour of the full continent in the near future."

Stream I-Octane and T. Smallz' "Fire Dancer," plus our Okayafrica and LargeUp joint premiere of producer Kush Arora's "Fire Dancer" remix, which takes the dancehall-meets-Gambian hip-hop style of original into bhangra reggae territory, below.

Scroll through selections from I-Octane's photo tour diary above and view the complete gallery over at LargeUp.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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