Style

The Sad Inevitable Result of the Anti-Trump Safety Pin Fad is This Inane Vogue Slideshow

This Vogue.com slideshow proves that this safety pin is far more about the vanity of the person wearing it than a symbol of solidarity.

Fashion-types often complain about being seen as vapid or frivolous. "It's unfair!," they whine from mouths barely visible amidst the mink pelts hanging from their shoulders.


Wearing a safety pin started as a post-Brexit symbol for Brits to show solidarity with victims of racism and xenophobia. It was adopted by American white liberals after Trump got elected. As a fad, it's taken one week to hit rock bottom.

It's hard to know if this Vogue article about designer safety pin ensembles proves the point about fashionistas or if it's a reflection of the vain nonsense that is the safety pin solidarity movement. Actually it's both. Get a load of this:

It’s also a quiet, personal way to support your fellow Americans, especially if you’re tired of cruel Facebook posts or scrolling through upsetting memes on Instagram. You can easily fasten any safety pin to your favorite T-shirt or jacket, but there are also dozens of ready-made, sequin-embellished pieces on the market right now, from punk-ish jewelry to pinned-together dresses. Shop them all in the slideshow above, then put your money where your mouth is and take real action against the forces of hate.

via Vogue.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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