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Dave's 'Psychodrama' Wins 'Album of the Year' at the 2020 Brit Awards

The British-Nigerian rapper took home the top prize moments after a performance during which he called the British Prime Minister a 'real racist'.

British Nigerian rapper Dave took home the top prize at this year's Brit Awards. His 2019 debut album Psychodrama, which was certified gold in just three months and went on to win last year's Mercury Prize, was awarded "Album of the Year".

However, it was Dave's performance prior to him receiving the award that really stole the show.

According to the BBC, the artist gave a fiery performance of his track "Black" wherein he added a new verse which called out the government and referred to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a "real racist".


Speaking to the BBC about Dave's comments, Home Secretary Priti Patel said, "I don't know how much [Dave] knows about the prime minister and whether he actually has met the prime minister or knows the prime minister." Patel added, "I work with the prime minister, I know Boris Johnson very well, no way is he a racist, so I think that is a completely wrong comment and it's the wrong assertion to make against our prime minister."

Dave's new verse also called out the British government and their efforts (or lack thereof) to helping the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire back in 2017 and which led to at least 70 people losing their lives. "Grenfell victims still need accommodation," Dave rapped. His verse comes exactly two years after Stormzy's own impassioned verse at the 2018 Brit Awards where he asked then Prime Mninster Theresa May, "Where's the money for Grenfell?"

Additionally, Dave also called out the tabloid press for their unrelenting badgering of Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle. While some might have been left feeling uncomfortable by the artist's new verse, "Black" is a track that speaks to the varied experiences of Black people in the UK and unapologetically so.

Watch Dave's performance below:

www.youtube.com

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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