Video

Eritrean Rapper Negash Ali, A 'Millennial Man' With A 'Wandering Soul'

Danish-Eritrean MC Negash Ali releases new EP 'Millennial Man' and shares the steely visuals for it's lead track "Wandering Soul"


Danish-Eritrean rapper Negash Ali releases his latest project Millennial Man along with a new music video for his single "Wandering Soul," an emotive track which sees the MC bearing his soul through poised melodies and forthright rhymes. In the video, the spirited rapper is shown delivering his introspective lyrics amidst dark and hazy surroundings. "'Wandering Soul' centers around being what it feels like to be new in a big city, scouring the place for energy and documenting the sensations, which is my favorite thing on earth to do," mentions the burgeoning MC. "Wandering Soul" is the lead track from his 4-track Millennial Man EP, which the rapper says "portrays the modern man, who has a lot going for him but somehow manages to make melancholy his object of affection. As if the world around him has made him numb.” Watch the visuals for "Wandering Soul" and stream Negash Ali's Millennial Man EP in its entirety 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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