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Gordon Ominde and Black Savage Band. Image: Afro7.

Kanye West Sampled This 1970s Kenyan Record On 'Ye'

The two Kenyan artists had no idea their music had been used in Ye album track, "Yikes."

Kanye West released his latest album, Ye, last Friday following a seemingly-unending and highly controversial build-up which culminated at a listening party session in Wyoming.

A close look at the album credits reveals that its second track, "Yikes," contains the use of lyrics and composition from Kenyan artists Ayub Ogada and James Mbarack Achieng.

Though they haven't spoken in 10 years, Ogada and Achieng were part of the 1970s Nairobi group Black Savage. Their vocal parts and melodies from the 1976 track "Kothbiro"are sampled in Kanye West's "Yikes."


OkayAfrica recently featured a new Black Savage reissue compilation from Afro7 records. In that article, contributor Thomas Gesthuizen writes:

"One band whose recorded output has been all but invisible until recently but who are well remembered by people who were young in 1970s Nairobi is Black Savage. Their music was released on an LP and three singles between the mid-'70s and the early 80s, and has remained out of print ever after."

"Mbarak Achieng is credit for composing Black Savage's "Kothbiro," which Ayub Ogada re-recorded and which ended on the soundtrack of the 'Constant Gardener.'"

Reached for a new interview with the Nairobi News, Ayub Ogada revealed that he was "clueless on his 'contribution'" to Kanye West's album and hadn't spoken to Mbarack Achieng for nearly ten years.

Listen to Kanye West's "Yikes" (sample stars at 0:23) and Black Savage's "Kothbiro" (sample stars at 0:53) below.




Black Savage reissue compilation art work. Credit: Afro7.

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Photo: Courtesy of Emerald East

Check Out RIMON's Beautifully Intoxicating Live Performance

The excitement around the songstress and her ever evolving sound, look and feel is very real in "Never Learned how To Cope + Feed Me."

Eritrea-born singer-songwriter RIMON has just released a live performance of her tracks "Never Learned How to Cope" and "Feed Me." The Amsterdam raised and London based songstress delivered a psychedelically beautiful performance live on her YouTube page in such a way that we questioned our sobriety.

The session, originally performed for Eurosonic, acts as a rebirth for the artist as her musical and visual journey continues to evolve before our eyes—while teasing new unreleased music to look forward to. It seems as though those around the singer agree, as she was then honored with a Music Moves Europe award.

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Listen to Makhalanjalo's New Single 'Thand'izinto'

Listen to new artist Makhalanjalo's kwaito single 'Thand'izinto' from the upcoming album 'Amanzi'.