News Brief

Ms. Lauryn Hill Just Dropped New Music

Listen to ‘Rebel/I Find It Hard To Say,’ a new version of Ms. Lauryn Hill’s tribute to Amadou Diallo.

Here’s something no one’s said in a very, very long time: Ms. Lauryn Hill has new music. Sort of.


The Diaspora Calling curator has just shared “Rebel/I Find It Hard To Say.” It’s an updated version of “I Find It Hard To Say (Rebel),” which originally appeared on 2002’s MTV Unplugged 2.0.

The song is streaming exclusively on Tidal. If you’re not subscribed you can still listen to a 30-second preview.

Hill wrote "Rebel" about Amadou Diallo, the 23-year-old Liberian-born college student who was shot and killed by four NYPD officers in the Bronx on February 4, 1999. At the outset of the MTV Unplugged version, she explained "It was such a hot time in the city at that point, I was afraid that if I put the record out, people would misunderstand what I meant by 'Rebel' and they just take it to the streets."

The song carries a haunting relevance in 2016 America. “Old tune, new Version, same context, even more relevant now: sick and tired of being sick and tired,” MLH said in a statement.

Ms. Hill is currently in the middle of her Diaspora Calling! tour alongside special guests like Nas, Machel Montano, Kehlani, Talib Kweli, Little Simz, Noname, Seun Kuti, Jojo Abot, EL and a number of other artists from across the diaspora. Head here for the full list of dates.

In more MLH news, the singer pretty much made Nicki Minaj's life this weekend. The two of them–one of whom is the idol and source of a high school yearbook quote for the other one–met backstage Saturday night at the TIDAL X: 1015 benefit concert in Brooklyn. Do yourself a favor and check out their encounter below. It's pretty amazing.

I quoted her in my HS YEARBOOK!!!!! Like ????????

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

?????????????????????? #MsLaurynHill

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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