Film
'Yardie' movie poster.

Idris Elba's Directorial Debut 'Yardie' Is Coming to Theaters In March

The crime drama set in Kingston and London is heading to the big screen very soon.

Idris Elba's directorial debut, Yardie, is set for a U.S. release, after being acquired by film distributor Rialto Pictures, Deadline reports.

The crime drama, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, will make its theatrical release on March 15. The film "revolves around the intertwined worlds of the Jamaican narcotics syndicates and the music industry," according to a synopsis from Deadline.


Set in the 1970s and '80s and based on the Victor Headley cult novel by the same name, the film "follows a courier named 'D' (Aml Ameen) from Kingston to Hackney in London where he seeks revenge for his brother's murder and also reunites with his estranged girlfriend (Shantol Jackson) and child."

"I'm very happy that this movie is going to get play in the States," said Elba in a statement in The Hollywood Reporter. "It falls in line with a very specific Afro Caribbean experience by way of Kingston, Jamaica and East London but plays right into the heart of the universal human experience of loss and trauma."

Elba directed and executive produced the film, while the script was adapted by Brock Norman Brock and Martin Stellman.

Elba has his hand in several exciting projects, and we're totally here for it. The actor is set to star in the upcoming Netflix series Turn Up Charlie, which will also premiere in March, and he'll also play a set at Coachella this year. He recently released the single "Boasty" along with Wiley, Steflon Don and Sean Paul.

Check out the official trailer for Yardie below.

YARDIE - Official Trailer - Directed by Idris Elba www.youtube.com



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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