Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pitchfork and West Africa

Pitchfork recently published an article titled "Killin' the Game: New Music From West Africa," which discusses some of the music that has been coming out of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria. It's not the greatest article I've seen, but it's still worth checking out. There are a few technical problems with it: some of the songs don't seem to work, and at least one of the songs is mixed up (the song titled "Chupa Chups" by Ofori Amponsah is really just another copy of Praye's "Angelina"). Also, a couple of the songs are likely played out by now (for example, the song "Zies Dedjas" by Nash and the group P-Square were popular in Cameroon when I was there a year ago, I highly doubt you would hear them being played in bars and clubs today). Minor criticisms aside, it's a solid article and it's good to see some contemporary West African pop getting attention on a popular American music site like Pitchfork. Not to mention there are some pretty good songs on there (I really like "Zies Dedjas," "Yahooze," and the production on the song "Kosoaa" is ridiculously catchy).

Killin' the Game: New Music From West Africa

***Edit: Pretty much immediately after posting this article, I came across another article on Pitchfork. This one, titled "Africa 100: The Indestructible Beat," is simply outstanding. It acts as a sort of introduction to Afropop of all kinds from the 60s and 70s. In addition to giving you a brief history behind much of the music, the author directs readers to some of the best record labels and blogs to seek out if you want to find more music.

Africa 100: The Indestructible Beat

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good luck, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan

Nigeria's president, Umaru Yar'adua (top), has been in Saudi Arabia for over 3 months now, where he is being treated for a heart condition. So Nigeria has effectively been without a president for at least 79 days. Then on Tuesday, the National Assembly finally passed a resolution that put the country's vice president, Goodluck Jonathan (bottom), in charge as acting president. It's about time! Full story here: