Film

Issa Rae Is Producing a New HBO Show Set in 1990s Los Angeles

Issa Rae has teamed up with award-winning author Angela Flournoy for a new show set in 1990s Los Angles.

Issa Rae, is making some major power moves, and we're absolutely here for it.


The Insecure show runner will executive produce a new show for HBO centered on a black family living in Los Angeles during the early 1990s and dealing with the political and social dynamics of the time.

A synopsis from Deadline, reads:

Bridging those later Reagan Era and early Clinton years, the drama will center on the marriage of Sheryl and Jackson, with the former an envelope bounds-pushing real estate agent and the latter a conflicted LAPD anti-gang task force recruit. The potential series will also feature the couples' teen daughter and son, Ebony and Les.

The currently untitled show, will be penned by the award-waining author behind The Turner House, Angela Flournoy. Rae expressed her enthusiasm about working with the talented writer in a statement to Deadline. "I'm so thrilled to be working with Angela," Rae told Deadline. "I was a huge fan of The Turner House and we feel so lucky to bring her beautiful storytelling to HBO."

It's common knowledge that Issa Rae is a comedic genius. We can't wait to see her branch out into drama. Both Rae and Flornoy are shared their mutual excitement for the project on Twitter.r

Fans of are undoubtedly excited about the upcoming show as well. We'll basically watch any and everything that has Issa Rae's imprint on it.

Several folks are even trying to get casted in the series—I mean, you never know, with Twitter anything is possible.



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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