Music

Watch the Music Video for Zakwe’s Single ‘Blood’ Featuring AB Crazy and MPK

Zakwe shares new visuals for his single 'Blood.'

For his latest single's video, Zakwe is in Cape Town with his collaborators AB Crazy and MPK. In the video, the Durban-born emcee raps his first verse as if he's doing a TV interview. The interviewer is played by budding Cape Town singer Liso The Musician. A majority of the video's scenes are shot in a church.


"Blood" is a motivational song in which the artists speak on persevering through all the challenges we face in our lives. Zakwe thanks his fans for the role they have played in his career, and dedicates his second verse to women.

The song boasts an expensive hook from AB Crazy and a show-stealing verse from the rapper MPK. His flow is an oxymoron in that it's smooth but it's still delivered with conviction—the true meaning of not trying too hard.

"Blood" is the last single from Zakwe's 2018 album Cebisa. The song's video was directed by Motion Billy, who directed the rapper's previous single "Roots," featuring Stogie T. You'll spot a few cameos from the likes of Psyko Beats and Rashid Kay.

Watch the music video for "Blood" below and stream the song underneath.

Zakwe - Blood ft. AB Crazy, MPK youtu.be




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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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