Film

Lupita Nyong’o is Just Like Us, Geeks Out Over Beyoncé

Watch Lupita Nyong'o talk her new movie, Queen of Katwe, and meeting Beyoncé and Jay Z on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Superhuman Lupita Nyong’o isn’t all that different from us. Thanks to Wednesday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, we have official confirmation that the Vogue cover star geeks out over Beyoncé, just like the rest of us Oscarless mortals.


When the topic turned to Jay Z’s famous shoutout (“I'm on my Lupita, Nyong'o”) on the Jay Electronica-featuring “We Made It” freestyle, Lupita had some delightful stories to share about the Carters.

“I felt like the coolest kid, ever,” she said of finding out about the shoutout. When Lupita did finally meet Hov at the 2015 Oscars, she assured him that he totally killed it on the name drop.

Of course, that wasn’t Lupita’s first encounter with a Carter. She goes on to tell of her Beyoncé meet cute at the 2014 Met Ball, and how a drunk friend almost botched their photo together. Luckily, B came to the rescue.

The Oscar winner also spoke about the true story behind her new movie, Queen of Katwe, in which she plays the real-life mother of real-life Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi (played in the movie by newcomer Madina Nalwanga, of Lupita Instagram fame). The real-life Phiona was with them at the movie’s world premiere this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, and according to Lupita, it was Phiona’s first time watching a movie in a movie theater.

As for the first movie Lupita ever saw? Something with Steven Seagal, she bets.

Watch the full interview below. Queen of Katwe opens in select theaters on Friday and everywhere else on September 30.

Literally laughing out loud with @jimmykimmel. See why tonight on @jimmykimmellive! #QueenOfKatwe

A photo posted by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

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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