News

Olawumi Premieres Two New Tracks From Her 'Hate Me' R&B Series

Nigerian-American R&B singer and songwriter Olawumi premieres two new tracks from her new 3-part series 'Hate Me,' produced by Reckless.


Nigerian-American songstress Olawumi returns with the first installation of her 3-part series Hate Me, which features two new songs from the budding R&B singer. The Reckless-produced tracks see Olawumi crooning out heart-felt lyrics over understated melodies and addressing past lovers and present haters with self-assured lines proclaiming, "you can hate me now, but I'm gonna be a queen regardless." In an email to Okayafrica, the New Jersey-based singer-songwriter discussed the motivation behind the creation of the Hate Me series, "what people fail to understand is that absolutely nothing is stopping me, not even a broken heart. This is a literal message to the people who thought their words and actions could keep me down." Check out our premiere of Olawumi's Hate Me (Vol. 1) streaming below and, for more on the singer, revisit her previous single "Queen Shit." Olawumi's sophomore EP CROWNS is slated for release later this summer.

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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