News

Twitter Reacts To the News of O.J. Simpson's Parole

DIASPORA—O.J. Simpson has been granted parole and will be released from prison as early as October,


The former NFL player—who was infamously acquitted of a double homicide in 1995—will be granted freedom after serving 9 years in prison for a Las Vegas robbery in which Simpson and a group of men attempted to steal back sports memorabilia that he believed was taken from him a decade earlier.

His parole hearing took place earlier today, and was broadcast live on ESPN. "I was always a good guy, but could have been a better Christian, and my commitment to change is to be a better Christian," said Simpson while pleading his case.  had some problems with fidelity in my life, but I've always been a guy that pretty much got along with everybody,"

Okay.

According to ABC news, the 70-year-old was granted parole by the board for the following reasons:

Simpson has no or minimal prior conviction history, he has stable release plans, he has community and/or family support, he has a positive institutional record, he participated in programs specific to addressing behavior that led to incarceration, and his victim is in support of his parole.

The news Simpson being released after serving only a quarter of his 33-year sentence is shocking, yet somehow completely unsurprising given how weird 2017 is.

Folks on Twitter have been reacting to the news since it broke.

 

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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