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Mr Eazi Runs for President of 'Ogede' State In New Music Video Addressing Crooked Politicians

You probably won't want to vote for Mr Eazi after watching this video.

Mr Eazi gets political with his new song and video "Keys to the City (Ogede).

In the satirical music video, Eazi puts himself in the running to become president of Ogede (plantian) State, a fictional place—that happens to looks a lot like London—where politics is ruled by the same tactics used by many corrupt politicians: bribery, backdoor deals, greed—we could go on.

"Perhaps it is a story we can say we have seen many a time—a political candidate who panders to the people and sets a promise filled agenda in hopes of a brighter tomorrow," says the artist's team. "However, once this power hungry candidate secures his place you can say goodbye to financial security, human rights, social media and freedom of speech—issues prevalent in many African countries."

In the video, Eazi goes about dishing out large cash sums, saving babies, donning a "Make Ogede Great Again" hat, and calling out the young people of Ogede for being lazy. "The youth of Ogede, they're not serious, they're not focussed, they want free things" says candidate Eazi—sound familiar?


The video, directed by JMI Films, offers a lighthearted, yet effective criticism of the messy state of Nigerian politics following the recent Osun and Lagos State primaries, and in the lead-up to next year's presidential elections.

It's quite refreshing to see Mr Eazi make a slight departure from his usual chilled-out approach to music, to address pressing political issues. Watch "Keys to the City (Ogede)" below.

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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