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Video: Hip Hop Artist Guides Viewers Through the Lives of African Migrants in Europe

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The story goes that Napoleon built the boulevards in Paris wide so that masses of people could not easily form a revolt. Since Napoleon's time, governments from wealthy nations all over the world have employed additional institutionalized methods of keeping the masses at bay. Intense anti-immigration laws have been put into effect across Europe in tandem with a rising hostility between "citizens" and "non-citizens."

In this highly recommended episode of "Surprising Europe" from Aljazeera, hip hop artist K-Nel gives viewers an inside look at the less than desirable living and work conditions that African migrants deal with daily in London, France, and Italy. Most interesting about this documentary are the various ways in which communities of migrants are fighting back against these conditions. In France, the boulevards may be wide, but they have not prevented the people from banding together in hard times.

Take a look at the full episode above. Check out Aljazeera online for broadcast times.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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