Okayafrica Electrafrique + Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars At Celebrate Brooklyn!

May 22nd Okayafrica Electrafrique heads outdoors with Chief Boima and DJ Underdog and Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars for Celebrate Brooklyn! at Brooklyn Bridge Park!

The event has been moved from Pier 1 to its rain location under the canopy of Pier 2

Earlier this year we teamed up with Nairobi's Electrafrique to introduce NYC's new dance party held the second Saturday of every month at the 303 at Louie and Chan. We're excited to announce we're taking Okayafrica Electrafrique outdoors with DJ Underdog and Chief Boima as a part of this summer's BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Dance Party series at Brooklyn Bridge Park. In a special Thursday night edition of Electrafrique, #OKAYAFRICADC/Electrafrique resident behind the decks Underdog and Okayafrica regular Sierra Leone's DJ Chief Boima are set to kick the night off on the 1s and 2s before Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars take the stage on the heels of releasing their fourth studio album, Libation. Find out more details on the event below.

>>>Okayafrica Electrafrique + Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars At Celebrate Brooklyn! Dance Parties At Brooklyn Bridge Park

Thursday, May 22nd

7:00 PM

Celebrate Brooklyn! at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Pier 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park Under the canopy of Pier 2

Brooklyn, NY 11201


Join BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! for their two other dance parties at Brooklyn Bridge Park with Balkan Beat Box and Cibo Matto!


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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