News Brief

Stormzy, Wizkid, Davido and More Win Big at the 2017 MOBO Awards

Stormzy was the most awarded artist at this year's MOBO Awards.

The 2017 MOBO Awards went down on Wednesday in the UK, and some of our favorite artists snagged major awards.

British-Ghanian grime star, Stormzy was the night's biggest winner, taking home three awards for Best Male Artist, Best Grime Act, and Best Album for his critically-acclaimed debut Gang Signs & Prayer.

Davido performed at the show, and took home the award for Best African Act, beating out the likes of Mr Eazi, Sardokie.

Wizkid beat out Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Solange, SZA and others to snag the Best International Act Award. According to Twitter page, Africa Facts Zone, this makes him the first African artist to have won the award along with the Best Worldwide act at the MTV EMAs, Best African Artist at both the BET Awards, and the MOBOs.

Gambian-British MC, J Hus kicked off the night by winning Best Song of the Year for his summer smash "Did You See."

See the full list of 2017 winners below:

Best male act: Stormzy

Best female act: Stefflon Don

Best album: Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer

Best newcomer: Dave

Best song: J Hus – Did You See

Best video: Mist – Hot Property

Best hip-hop act: Giggs

Best grime act: Stormzy

Best R&B/soul act: Craig David

Best international act: Wizkid

Best African act: Davido

Best reggae act: Damian Marley

Best jazz act: Moses Boyd

Best gospel act: Volney Morgan & New-Ye

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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