News

The Best 1970s Nigerian Psychedelic Funk Gets Compiled In ‘Wake Up You! The Rise & Fall Of Nigerian Rock'

Now-Again Records presents a 34-track compilation chronicling 'The Rise And Fall Of Nigerian Rock 1972-1977'

'Wake You Up!' Volume II via Now-Again Records.


Funk, rock and psychedelia had a strong footing in early 1970s Nigeria. Though less popular than Fela’s afrobeat, a large number of rock groups formed out of the ashes of the Nigerian Civil War to create some exceptional, footwork-friendly tracks.

34 of these vintage Nigerian tracks, written and played by often forgotten bands and songwriters, are being compiled in Wake Up You! from Now-Again Records—the trustworthy label that’s previously reissued the Zambian psychedelic rock of Amanaz and WITCH.

Wake Up You! is presented as a tribute to the many bands that formed this relatively unknown 1970s Nigerian psychedelic circle. It plays like the best dance track you could imagine and includes tracks from Ify Jerry Krusade, The Hygrades, The Hykkers, Waves, The Funkees, Theodore Nemy and many more.

The two volume release will also come with “two 100+ page books full of never-seen photos and the story of the best Nigerian rock bands told in vivid detail by musicologist and researcher Uchenna Ikonne (Who Is William Onyeabor?)” the label explains.

Hear Ify Jerry Krusade’s “Everybody Likes Something Good” below. Wake Up You! Volume I is out April 15 from Now-Again Records.

WAKE UP YOU! VOL. 1 TRACKLISTING:

1. Formulars Dance Band "Never Never Let Me Down"

2. The Hygrades "Keep On Moving"

3. Ify Jerry Krusade "Everybody Likes Something Good"

4. The Hygrades "In The Jungle (Instrumental)"

5. The Strangers "Onye Ije"

6. The Hykkers "Stone The Flower"

7. The Funkees "Baby I Need You"

8. Waves "Mother"

9. Ofo the Black Company "Beautiful Daddy"

10. War-Head Constriction "Graceful Bird"

11. The Magnificent Zenians "Ije Udo"

12. The Apostles "Never Too Late"

13. Aktion "Groove the Funk"

14. Wrinkar Experience "Ballad of a Sad Young Woman"

15. The Founders 15 "I Can't Be Satisfied"

16. Tirogo "Float"

17. Question Mark "Scram Out"

18. P.R.O. "Tell Me"

WAKE UP YOU! VOL. 2 TRACKLISTING:

1. Theodore Nemy "Come Back"

2. The Funkees "Slipping Into Darkness"

3. The Hykkers "I Want A Break Thru"

4. The Hygrades "In The Jungle (Vocal)"

5. Shadow Abraham with Monomono Friends "Babalawo"

6. Waves "Wake Up You"

7. War-Head Constriction "Shower Of Stone"

8. Question Mark "Love"

9. Action 13 "Set Me Free"

10. Jay U Experience "Baby Rock"

11. The Doves "Flying Bird"

12. Kukumbas "Awa Lani Arawa"

13. The Believers "Life Will Move"

14. Tony Grey & the Black 7 "The Feelings"

15. Ceejebs "Life In Cannan"

16. The Identicals "Who Made the World"

'Wake You Up!' Volume I via Now-Again Records.

Culture

The Best African Memes of 2018

Laugh with us into 2019 with OkayAfrica's best African memes of 2018.

Meme culture has become a mainstay on these internet streets. It's essentially an alternate form of communicating, of commentary and of simple laughter. 2018 had its fair share of highs and lows, and young Africans continue to utilize memes to celebrate or to cope with the nonsense.

To reflect on the African memes that broke the internet this year, we tapped contributors and African meme tastemakers to list the best African memes of 2018.

Laugh away below.

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popular

The Black Women Who Made Big Strides in France in 2018

Yes, this was a bad year for many reasons, but we can still celebrate the black women who rose to prominence

Back in 2015, a group of Black women activists appeared in the French media: les afrofems. They were and still are, fighting against police brutality, for better inclusion in the media and to destroy harmful sexual stereotypes surrounding black women among other worthy goals. Since then, more influential Black women have gained a bigger representation in the media. And, even better, some of the afrofems activists, like Laura Nsafou and Amandine Gay, have made films and written books to bring more diversity to the entertainment industry.

2018 has, in many ways, been a year where black women made strides in France, at least in terms of culture. From winning Nobel prizes, to having best selling books and being on top of the charts, Black French women have showed that, no matter how much France wants to keep them under the radar, they're making moves. And, no matter the tragedies and terrible events that have shaped the year, it is something worth celebrating.

France's New Queen of Pop Music

We begin with Aya Nakamura, France's new queen of pop music. Her song Djadja was a summer hit. Everyone from Rihanna, to the French football team who successfully won their second world cup, sang it. Her sophomore album "Nakamura" has been certified gold in France and is still on top of the charts. She is the first French singer to have a number one album in the Netherlands since Edith Piaf in 1961. The last time a black woman was as visible in pop music was in 2004, with Lynsha's single "Hommes...Femmes".

Nakamura has received a huge backlash, mostly due to misogynoir—misogyny directed towards black women where race and gender both play roles. From a French presenter butchering her African first name despite the fact that he can easily pronounce words like "Aliagas", to online trolls calling her ugly and manly when a picture of her wearing no makeup surfaced, to people complaining that she is bringing down the quality of the entire French pop music industry, Nakamura responds to her critics gracefully. Her music is not groundbreaking but her album is full of catchy songs with lyrics using French slang she masters so well that she came up with her own words like "en catchana" (aka doggy style sex). And most importantly, many black girls and women can finally see someone like them in the media getting the success she deserves.

The Nobel Prize Winner

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Another Black French woman has broken records this year: the Guadeloupean writer Maryse Condé who won the Alternative Nobel Prize, a prize meant to replace the Nobel Prize in Literature, after the scandal that the Swedish Academy of Literature faced last year. Condé wrote her first novel at only 11 years old and has been prolific ever since. A former professor of French literature at Columbia University, she has published more than 20 books since the 1970s, exploring the complex relationships within the African diaspora. "Segu", her most famous novel, is about the impact of the slave trade and Abrahamic religion on the Bambara empire in Mali in the 19th century. Condé's work is radical and she remains committed to writing feminist texts exploring the link between gender, race and class, as well as exploring the impact of colonialism. Condé is a pillar of Caribbean literature and it's taken long enough for her work has been acknowledged by the Nobel prize committee.

The Children's Books Writers

From Comme un Million de Papillon Noir

And finally, 2018 has been the year where France's children's literature industry has finally understood how important, for the public, writers and publishers, being inclusive and diverse was. From Laura Nsafou's Comme un Million de Papillon Noir, a best selling book about a young black girl learning to love her natural hair which sold more than 6000 copies, to Neiba Je-sais-tout: Un Portable dans le Cartable, the second book of Madina Guissé published this year after a successful crowdfunding campaign, there are more and more children's and young adult books with non white protagonists. In France, there are still no stats about how diversity is doing, but in America, in 2017, only 7 percent of writers of children's literature were either Black, Latino or Native American.

There's still much to accomplish in France for the Black community to have better representation in the media, politics and all walks of life, but important strides have been accomplished this year, and it make me hopeful for what 2019 and the following years have in store.

News

J Hus Has Been Sentenced to Eight Months in Jail for Knife Possession

The rapper has been convicted following an arrest in June.

Gambian-Biritish grime rapper J Hus has been sentenced to eight months in prison for knife possesion, reports BBC News.

The artist, neé Momodou Jallow, was arrested in Stratford London in June when police pulled him over near a shopping center, claming that they smelled cannabis. Police officers asked Hus if he was carrying anything illegal, to which the rapper admitted that he had a 10cm folding knife in his possession. When asked why, he responded: "You know, it's Westfield."

Hus pleaded guilty at a hearing in October after initially pleading not guilty.

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