News Brief

Wyclef Jean Detained By the LAPD for Being Black

Wyclef Jean was handcuffed and detained this morning in L.A., after being mistaken for a suspect in an armed robbery.

Wyclef Jean was detained earlier this morning in Los Angeles after he was mistaken for a suspect in an armed robbery. The singer says he was handcuffed by police officers at a gas station, without being told why.

“LAPD, another case of mistaken identity. Black man with red bandana robbed a gas station as I was in the studio working, but I'm in handcuffs?” said Wyclef.

He was eventually released after police officers figured out that they had the wrong person.

Wyclef documented the events on Instagram and Twitter and even shared a video of the incident.

First of all, why don't they know who Wyclef Jean is?

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, why is this still happening?

Remember that very expressive song that N.W.A. wrote all those years ago about the mistreatment of young black men by the police? Or the riots that occurred in L.A. following the acquittal of the cops who mercilessly beat Rodney King? These things happened decades ago, but even after all this time, it appears that the LAPD's track record is still trash. Let this be yet another reminder to them that BLACKNESS IS NOT A CRIME.


7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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