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Listen to Samthing Soweto’s Album ‘Isiphithiphithi’

Samthing Soweto's highly anticipated album is finally here.

One of the most anticipated albums of the year, Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto is finally here.

The South African artist's project consists of 12 songs and features Makhafula Vilakazi, Shasha, Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa and Mlindo The Vocalist.


The artist says in the album's Apple Music liner notes:

"Apart from Maphorisa and Kabza De Small, Mlindo's the biggest artist that I have on the album. He was the only one available to actually feature, everyone else was hectically busy. I would have loved to have all the main acts, bo-Cassper Nyovest, bo-Kwesta, all those characters. They're working on their own stuff, it's hard to get them into any type of commitment. Mlindo's the only one who came through and showed love. I'll forever be grateful for that. He didn't have to. He's a young man, has the whole world eating off of the palm of his hand. He's also the catalyst that showed me that Maphorisa's a dope person to work with."

Isiphithiphithi is not as chaotic as the name states. Most of the project consists of soulful songs that are still danceable. The artist's effortless vocals float over rich production that flirts with dance music and Afro pop.

Themes explored on Isiphithiphithi include love, family, fear, parenthood and of course just living and having fun, among other themes.

Isiphithiphithi was one of the most anticipated South African albums of the year. Samthing Soweto's build-up to a debut album goes back years and includes a string of EPs, numerous guest appearances and a change of sound.

Stream Isiphithiphithi below:


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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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