Events

Okayafrica Presents Black Coffee, DJ Spoko & Electrafrique Free At SummerStage!

Okayafrica Presents Black Coffee, DJ Spoko & Electrafrique at the Central Park SummerStage on June 15! The show is free to attend.


We're excited to announce that Okayafrica will be presenting a special night in celebration of 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy in South Africa and the National Youth Month (June 2014) at this year's Central Park SummerStage concert series on June 15. The night, presented in collaboration with the South African Consulate General-NY, will feature performances from South Africa's biggest DJ/producer Black Coffee'bacardi house' creator and one of the leaders of the new wave of SA dance DJ Spoko, as well as our very own Electrafrique DJs Cortega & Underdog. Stream Cortega's Black Coffee (The African King of House) mixtape, crafted exclusively for the occasion, below. Electrafrique starts at 5pm, right at doors, get there EARLY!

Okayafrica's show with Black Coffee and DJ Spoko will be part of Okayplayer's 15th Anniversary SummerStage celebration, featuring 5 separate shows from us and our channel partners OkayplayerOkayfuture, Revive Music and LargeUp that will include performances by Blood Orange, Moses Sumney, BonoboGregory Porter &The Revive Big BandBonoboCibo MattoChronixx and more. See our schedule below and come celebrate Okayplayer's 15th year with us!

>>>See the full SummerStage schedules at Okayplayer

Sunday, June 15 | 5pm – 10pm

Okayafrica & ImageNation Presents

Black Coffee

DJ Spoko

Electrafrique (DJ Cortega & DJ Underdog)

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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