Discovering Ethiopian Rap Music: Cypher Abyssinia 2016

Here’s a quick post that some of you may be interested in.

I haven’t spotlighted many musicians outside of ZAP Records (the label I’m affiliated with), but I thought I would branch out by discovering some music off the beaten path. You’ve all noticed that I’ve been talking a bunch about Africa lately with some various news sources going on there, but I thought I would change it up with their music scene. I’ve been listening to some pop music in Africa mainly in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, and Togo recently, but I randomly discovered this series of music. It’s called Cypher Abyssinia which is a yearly rap tradition in Ethiopia where their rappers spit some verses together. However, they aren’t rapping in English. It’s all in Amharic, one of the major languages in that country. For those of you that don’t know, that’s the same language that The Weeknd used in the outro to his song “The Hills” (he’s Ethiopian-Canadian, for those that didn’t know), and the alphabet used in that language (Ge’ez script) is one of the inspirations of the Wakandan alphabet in Black Panther. It sounds really cool hearing rap music in an African language. Bonus points for incorporating traditional rhythms and melodies while mixing it with a hip-hop beat. Feel free to check it out!

Video courtesy of AND Tunes

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Thanks, Terrance! My Fandom Hypocrisy Article Got Some Attention!

This was certainly unexpected.

Some of you may have read my Fandom Hypocrisy rant not too long ago. For those of you who haven’t, then you can check it out right here.

There’s a blogger named Terrance the Crow who saw this article and cross-promoted it on his page and Twitter account. Thanks for showing this article and thanks for the kind words. He’s also been great at highlighting so many people in the blogging community.

Personally, I wasn’t too sure about making that rant at first. I don’t do that many rant posts on my blogs, but there was so much internalized pressure stemming from years of being bullied for what I liked in the past and some stupidity I’ve been seeing online, that I just had to talk about it. I thought I would get bashed a lot, so I was surprised that people actually liked and respected my views on the situation at hand.

Check out Terrance the Crow, everyone!

Justin Yates’s new music and new music video!

It’s time!

My friend Justin Yates released his newest EP called “Friend”. He even released a new music video for his song “Burn”. Justin Yates is someone I’ve known for years when I got into the local music scene and he’s one of the few people from that area who I still talk to and never lost respect for. He works harder than so many other musicians I know. Feel free to check out the music video and to buy his EP.

It Was Only a Matter Of Time (A vlog from my friend Korisa)

This is something that needs to be discussed.

Some of you may have seen the work from my friend Korisa sometime last year when I promoted her video projects. This recent vlog is something very important and I agree 100% of what she said.

If you know me, you should know that I can’t stand racism AT ALL! This isn’t just because I’m an ethnic minority myself, but it’s because I believe humans should be treated with dignity in general. Some students (2 Black and 1 Mexican) from the Take 2 program were racially harassed by some stranger outside the building where they were waiting for their parents. These students were 13, 14, and 15 respectively and this excuse of an adult cussed them out and profiled them. After I heard this story from her in person a day after it happened, I was furious. No one should EVER have to deal with that. Her point about being racially attacked is something that is a matter of when instead of if is dead on if you aren’t Caucasian. I’ve been profiled before, been called racist slurs, been underestimated, heard dog whistle terms, and I’ve even been offended by certain characters in mainstream media who portray various stereotypes. This is something that gave me a bunch of self-hate and I never realized how much it affected me until recently.

Seriously, if you are being discriminated against, you better call that person out. If you hear someone being racist against another even when you aren’t the target, then call them out and be an ally to those who are oppressed.

[END RANT]

What a way to break stereotypes! Ashenda Festival Crowdfunding

https://www.youcaring.com/advisemedianetwork-1167178

I know I’ve been posting irregularly, but I want to bring light on this cause which I find to be quite fascinating.

This crowdfunding campaign involves independent media organization Advise Show Media as they try to cover the Ashenda Festival in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Here’s a video of what said festival is about…

I think this is so fantastic on several levels. It’s awesome showing all the different cultures with how they celebrate. For those of you that know about me here or my other blogs, you should know that I can’t stand the stereotypes of Africa being poor, crime-ridden, diseased, and having no culture. This is a way to break through those lies that the mainstream media perpetuates on Africa. The Ashenda Festival crowdfunding is a great cause for Advise Show to cover this year’s festival, document the event, and to show various aspects of Ethiopia that they never show anyone.

I support this cause, and I hope you give it a little glimpse. Thank you.

P. S. Major thumbs up for Ethiopia and Eritrea finally reaching peace with each other after decades of fighting. Seeing both countries’ leaders hugging each other just hit me in the feels.

Dystopian Futures: Low Arts EP

Last Monday, Dystopian Futures released their brand new EP Low Arts!

This EP is great for those who like creative and innovative music with better musicality or depth than whatever is on Top 40 radio. Dystopian Futures are also releasing this album for free or pay-what-you-want. If you want get some tunes, then feel free to download this album. Please chip in some money to them if you feel so inclined, so they can continue making some quality experimental punk rock. If you download this EP, you’ll also get the music video of the title track as a bonus! Here’s the video for those who haven’t seen it: https://vimeo.com/268278856.

Dystopian Futures Interview from The Antidote

http://www.theantidoteradio.com/interview/interview-with-dystopian-futures

Very recently, Dave Emmerson from Dystopian Futures was interviewed by The Antidote. He had some great insight for his current band. Dave also talks about the weaknesses of social media, rampant narcissism, and sci-fi. Shoot, I didn’t even know he was a fan of Dr. Strangelove. Hahaha! I thought this was a great interview and you should check it out.

Don’t forget that Dystopian Futures’s Low Arts EP comes out on 6/11/18 on http://zaprecords.bandcamp.com.

Check out the Fear EP: https://zaprecords.bandcamp.com/album/zap-033-fear-cs

Don’t forget, Dystopian Futures has a new music video for their Low Arts song. Yes, I worked on it and I threw in some stealth puns. Hee hee hee…

My Reasons Why

My Reasons Why

This was a huge delay, but I need to make this post.

The wonderful Kimchisama created this award tag called My Reasons Why. This was innovative and something that can spread positivity around. I can certainly use some more substantive positivity, to be honest. Thanks, Kimchisama! I was honored when you nominated me and when you specifically mentioned how we had great conversations about different things on her blog.

Here are the rules for My Reasons Why:

1. Mention the person who nominated you

2. List 13 reasons why you keep going/living (This is borrowed from the book but I’m taking it the opposite direction).

3. Nominate 10 or more people to give their reasons why.

4. Use the picture that Kimchisama created as seen in this article.

Here we go!

1. My literary projects: When I got into writing stories 4 years ago, I realized that I had so much untapped creative potential. I finally got to release some of my books.

2. The Ospreyshire Project: This current spoken word/avant-garde music project I’ve been working on for 2 years has been a great creative progression.

3. My family: I’m glad that they support me and have helped me out.

4. My friends I still talk with: I’m glad to have some good friends who still want to reach out. Since I don’t have social media, this is huge and it lets me know who my real pals are.

5. Independent and foreign cinema: I’m glad there’s quality movies outside of Hollywood. That and I get to review them. Hee hee hee…

6. Books: I’m able to read things even if it’s mainly non-fiction.

7. Learning: Despite having a degree, I had to know that learning doesn’t end. That and I want to teach others about what I know.

8. Open-minded people: It’s amazing seeing people who actually care about others.

9. Miso soup: Okay, this is a superficial one, but I can’t say no to that soup especially on the rare occasions where I have Japanese food. Hahaha!

10. Being certified to teach adults: This was very unexpected, but I was able to get certified last December.

11. Geography: I enjoy learning about other countries and cultures.

12: The blogging community: I tackle tons of topics with all of my pages. It’s a miracle there are people actually interested in what I have to say.

13: My newfound assertiveness: I was always an internalizer, but blogging helped me express my feelings with people online and real life more often.

I hereby nominate the following:

The Zone of Nerders
Jenn
Xena
AfroSapiophile
Brandon Knoll
Elleguyence
Joshua Stamper
Madekesiworld
Mechanical Anime Reviews
Joshua Hedlund

ZAP Records Spotlight: Skree Alleen

Hello, everyone!

I’d like to introduce you to South African artist Willem Samuel AKA Skree Alleen. He just dropped a new EP earlier this week called “Artefak” and it’s quite good. It’s certainly no sophomore slump from this artist. Much like Metode en Tegniek, the lyrics are actually in Afrikaans of all things.

Fee free to check it out. It’s only $2 to buy!