News

The Afro-Disco Fusion Of 1970s Ghanaian Percussionist Rim Kwaku Obeng

Unsung Ghanaian multi-instrumentalist Rim Kwaku Obeng's afro-disco album is being reissued via UK's BBE record label.


Photo via BBE

The name Rim Kwaku Obeng might not ring a bell for even the most devoted funk and afrobeat aficionado. The Ghanaian percussionist's music, which includes a string of groove-inducing tunes recorded in the late 70s and early 80s, has remained relatively unheralded despite its blatant appeal in today's retro-tinged musical climate. Luckily for those with a penchant for vintage obscurities of the afrobeat variety, the musician's 'lost' records are being reissued by UK-based label BBE.

The multi-instrumentalist began his career as part of Ghana's Uhuru Dance Band. While recording with the band in Los Angeles, he caught the attention of production maestro Quincy Jones who invited the artist to play in his band. A series of setbacks induced by threats from a fellow bandmate of a lawsuit if Rim were to work with Quincy led to a sorely missed opportunity and soon his bandmates abandoned him in LA, leaving him stranded and resourceless for 6 months. The musician's break finally came when he was given the opportunity to record his debut album in San Fransisco. Rim Arrives is a dance-worthy blend of funk, disco and afrobeat hoisted by catchy call-and-response lyrics, reminiscent of Fela Kuti's trademarked sound.

Items from Rim Kwaku Obeng's brief yet noteworthy discography — carried by its unique intermix of soul, funk and afro-disco — are being re-released by BBE Records. Rim Arrives/International Funk is available now for purchase on vinyl/CD/MP3/WAV download and his second album Too Tough/ I'm Not Going To Let You Go will also be out soon. Get a taste of Rim's energizing sound in the sampler below.

Spotlight
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Global Citizen x OkayAfrica: The Impact of Conflict on Children

An estimated 1.4 million children have been hit by schools closing in the Tigray region of Ethiopia amid conflict and crisis. Here's how that's impacting Ethiopia's children.

In times of conflict and war, school-aged children could have their futures defined by whether or not they can access education amid ongoing violence.

Ethiopia's northern region of Tigray is in the midst of a war that has impacted millions of lives and affected neighboring regions, Amhara and Afar. The war — which has forced citizens to flee, has tipped the region into famine, and has barricaded humanitarian aid from reaching the most vulnerable — has now been going on for about 11 months.

As the beginning of the school season draws nearer, safely reopening schools, making education accessible, and protecting children from the impacts of violence in the affected regions is a priority for aid agencies.

"As schools prepare to reopen in early October in most parts of the country, in Tigray and the bordering regions of Afar and Amhara, where the conflict has expanded, education remains at a standstill," Director of Education Cannot Wait, Yasmine Sherif, told Global Citizen.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

How Beauty Boy, Enioluwa Adeoluwa, Is Shattering the Expectations of Masculinity In Nigeria

Affectionately known as Lipgloss Boy, Enioluwa has become one of the most popular influencers in Nigeria — and he's done so without conforming to the notions of masculinity or imposed limitations on what a man should be able to do.