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Jovi Samples An Igbo Sermon In 'Big Vulture' ft. Rachel

Cameroonian rapper/producer Jovi releases "Big Vulture" ft. Rachel, a new track off his forthcoming Mboko God album.


A couple of weeks after featuring on Cameroonian singer Reniss's King of Pop-nodding cut "Michael Jackson," Yaoundé rapper/producer Jovi shares "Big Vulture," a self-produced new track, under his Le Monstre production alias, from his forthcoming Mboko God album. The track features a sunny, horn-backed Nigerian gospel excerpt from an Igbo sermon, which Arkansas-born singer/songwriter Rachel Applewhite (co-founder of Cameroonian hip-hop label New Bell Music with Jovi) echoes over electronic churns and drum taps, leading the way for Jovi's thudding surge into multi-tongued, smooth-gruff rap. Amidst the slowly-sinking Igbo sample and percussive cascades, the Cameroonian emcee raps in a combination of Pidgin, English, and French, urging his listeners to follow their dreams no matter what others say. Listen to Jovi's "Big Vulture" featuring Rachel below. For more from the label, check out New Bell Music's Lord Have Mercy EP from earlier this year, which showcases a fresh crop of Cameroonian rappers.

Audio

The Hustle: A Playlist of Anthems for Africa's Dreamers & Doers

This month at OkayAfrica we're celebrating Africa's dreamers and go-getters with the theme THE HUSTLE.

This month at OkayAfrica we're celebrating Africa's dreamers and doers with the theme THE HUSTLE. As DJ Khaled likes to say “they don’t want you to win.” But win we do. And this month's playlist is dedicated to all of you on your grind, making things happen.

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The Best Songs of 2016

The songs we had on repeat this year, from Cameroonian bangers to hits from Solange, Wizkid, and Drake.

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Photo by Hamish Brown

In Conversation: Lemn Sissay On His New Book About Re-claiming the Ethiopian Heritage Stolen From Him by England’s Foster Care System

In 'My Name Is Why,' the 2019 PEN Pinter award winner passionately advocates for children in the institutional care system, and in turn tells a unique story of identity and the power in discovering one's heritage.

It took the author Lemn Sissay almost two decades to learn his real name. As an Ethiopian child growing up in England's care system, his cultural identity was systematically stripped from him at an early age. "For the first 18 years of my life I thought that my name was Norman," Sissay tells OkayAfrica. "I didn't meet a person of color until I was 10 years of age. I didn't know a person of color until I was 16. I didn't know I was Ethiopian until I was 16 years of age. They stole the memory of me from me. That is a land grab, you know? That is post-colonial, hallucinatory madness."

Sissay was not alone in this experience. As he notes in his powerful new memoir My Name Is Why, during the 1960s, tens of thousands of children in the UK were taken from their parents under dubious circumstances and put up for adoption. Sometimes, these placements were a matter of need, but other times, as was the case with Sissay, it was a result of the system preying on vulnerable parents. His case records, which he obtained in 2015 after a hardfought 30 year campaign, show that his mother was a victim of child "harvesting," in which young, single women were often forced into giving their children up for adoption before being sent back to their native countries. She tried to regain custody of young Sissay, but was unsuccessful.

Whether they end up in the foster system out of need or by mistake, Sissay says that most institutionalized children face the same fate of abuse under an inadequate and mismanaged system that fails to recognize their full humanity. For black children who are sent to white homes, it often means detachment from a culturally-sensitive environment. "There are too many brilliant people that I know who have been adopted by white parents for me to say that it just doesn't work," says Sissay. "But the problem is the amount of children that it doesn't work for."

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(Screenshot from "Every Woman" video)

Check out Cameroonian Crooner Vagabon’s New Ode to Female Power

The singer dropped a video for new single "Every Woman" today, shot by fellow Cameroonian director Lino Asana.

Cameroonian-born singer-songwriter Laetitia Tamko, better known as her stage name Vagabon, has been spoiling us with delights as of late. First, the crooner teased us with two singles, "Flood" and "Water Me Down" from her forthcoming sophomore album, Vagabon, a work she wrote and produced herself. And today, she surprised us with a new single and video for "Every Woman"—a track Tamko claims is the "thesis of the album," as per a press statement reported by The Fader magazine

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