Jay Electronica Is In Nigeria

Jay Electronica went on a Nigerian radio show to talk about Fela Kuti and his knowledge of Don Jazzy, Ice Prince, Wizkid and more.

As he announced on twitter, Jay Electronica is currently embarking on his first ever visit to Nigeria. The rapper/producer stopped by Lagos radio station The Beat 99.9's The Morning Rush yesterday, where he mentioned that he's in the country to "reconnect with [his] black family." During the radio interview, Jay Electronica spoke about growing up listening to Fela Kuti and his knowledge of current Nigerian acts:

"I grew up with my mom playing Fela... of course, nowadays, I've heard of the Don Jazzy's, the Ice Prince, the Wizkid's and what not, but when Nigeria pops into my mind, the first thing that pops into my mind is Fela which is a beautiful thing to pop into anybody's mind." Talking about the artists he'd like to work with while in Nigeria, the Roc Nation artist mentioned, "I'm willing to work with anybody that's willing to work. Like I said, I'm back home, the music is secondary. But I'm here to connect... specifically on behalf of Roc Nation, bridge building. But generally, just bridge building between the black people in America and back here. It could be Don Jazzy or it could just be a guy in his basement somewhere on the mainland. I'm willing to work with whoever's available to work."

Stream Jay Electronica's full interview with The Morning Rush over at their website and check him out hanging with Don Jazzy below.

Studio Session with rapper extraordinaire Jay Electronica @THETALENTEDMRFLOWERS #SMD #RocNation @Rocnation A photo posted by Don dorobucci (@donjazzy) on


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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