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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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Global Citizen x OkayAfrica: The Impact of Conflict on Children

An estimated 1.4 million children have been hit by schools closing in the Tigray region of Ethiopia amid conflict and crisis. Here's how that's impacting Ethiopia's children.

In times of conflict and war, school-aged children could have their futures defined by whether or not they can access education amid ongoing violence.

Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray is in the midst of a war that has impacted millions of lives and affected neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar. The war — which has forced citizens to flee, has tipped the region into famine, and has barricaded humanitarian aid from reaching the most vulnerable — has now been going on for about 11 months.

As the beginning of the school season draws nearer, safely reopening schools, making education accessible, and protecting children from the impacts of violence in the affected regions is a priority for aid agencies.

"As schools prepare to reopen in early October in most parts of the country, in Tigray and the bordering regions of Afar and Amhara, where the conflict has expanded, education remains at a standstill," Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, told Global Citizen.

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