Video

Video: Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew do the "Jacky Jacky"


We first saw this over on okayplayer, and instantly knew we had to re-post here on OKA, it was just too good. After rocking the okayafrica launch event in front of 15,000 screaming fans last evening, Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew unveiled a new website and launched their first official video in which they teach the villagers of Tokeh Village how to do the latest dance craze, the "Jacky Jacky." Watch the kids, elders, and fishermen of this tiny Sierra Leonean town get down with the Crew. This track, produced by Rashad "Tumbin' Dice" Smith (Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, + more), will have you doing the Jacky Jacky wherever you go. Warning: dancing along to this at work may attract unwanted attention from the opposite sex. Look for B-DEC's album out early this fall on One Haven Records.

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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