Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Music Monday: Baraka Som Sistema- Sound of Kaduro

In Africa, Music, Music Monday on August 9, 2010 at 6:18 pm

soooo i heard this song while i was watching a show, of course i cant remember which, on Al Jazeera while i was in Ethiopia. they were doing a profile about a genre of music called kaduro originally from angola but popularized in portugal…or maybe its the other way around. anyway, i thought it was pretty hot and of all the different kaduro bands and songs they featured, this one is the only one i remembered. +it reminds me why i ever liked m.i.a. so many years ago.




Dear Naomi Campbell, please stop LLLYYYYYIIINNNGGG [Al Jazeera]

In Africa, World News on August 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm

if your not gonna respect yourself, at the very least respect the Hague, which is TRYING to serve as a serious and legitimate international criminal court. like i said on twitter earlier today this is nnnoooottt like that one time in local court when you got sued for being a disrespectful inhumane monster and throwing a phone at your maid’s head. also, please note ms. campbell that donning an ugly hairdo for your day in court does not make you any more believable or reputable.

Farrow Rejects Campbell’s Gem Claim

A US actress has challenged testimony from Naomi Campbell, the British model, over an alleged gift of diamonds from Charles Taylor, the former Liberian president, who is on trial for war crimes in The Hague.

Contradicting Campbell’s evidence that she had not known where the diamonds had come from, Mia Farrow said the model had told her that Taylor had sent them to her.

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Bullet-ridden Building in Liberia Turns into Fair-trade Haven [CNN]

In Africa, World News on August 9, 2010 at 5:55 pm

*side note, click here to watch the corresponding video. tell me Chid Liberty doesn’t remind you of some Liberian-American version of that guy that owns American Apparel.

Monrovia, Liberia (CNN) — Chid Liberty’s family business high-rise was corrupted into a site of conflict, mass graves and executions during Liberia’s fourteen-year civil war.A prominent building on Monrovia’s cityscape, it was occupied by warring factions – including Charles Taylor. The family investment was pillaged, with even the metal electric wiring from the building stolen.

“There was talk that if you crossed the street and looked over, they would pull you in and execute you,” Chid explained of his family building’s role in the war.

“They didn’t want anyone looking at what was going on in here.”

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J.Period Presents K’naan with Fela Kuti, Bob Marley & Bob Dylan: The Messengers

In Music on August 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

okay soooooo before i left for Ethiopia about a month and a half ago, i found myself downloading (legally, oooooof course) a whole ton and half of new music. well, new to me. i realized when i got on the plane that i had somehow downloaded three albums from a dewd named j.period. (one of which i profiled here before i left). albums i’d never heard from a cat i’d heard minimally of (tho i must say of the few times his name was mentioned to me, they were always glowing reports). aaaaaaaaaaanyway long story short the first thing i decided to listen to on the plane was his k’naan mixtape after which it was pretty much a wrap. listened to it three times during the flight alone and played almost nothing else during my entire trip. i guarantee you nothing else k’naan has ever created can touch this and j.period, clearly, is muical genius. im itching to download his lauryn hill mixtape…i dont know if im ready…

Click here to download this and other j.period mixtapes (including q.tip, biggie, lauryn hill, nas, the roots and mary j. blidge).



Ghariokwu Lemi Talks Fela Kuti Album Art [FADER]

In Music, Music Monday on August 7, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

“Fela Kuti recorded and released dozens of albums, each with a specifically agitprop cover meant to elicit the same rebellious feelings as the songs between them. Lagos native and friend of Fela, Ghariokwu Lemi, is responsible for each and every one and recently sat down to go through a few of his favorites in commemoration of Knitting Factory Records’ digital reissue of a huge chunk of Fela’s catalog. One Lemi’s favorites, Yellow Fever, is now available in a limited run poster (only 80) that comes with a digital download of the album (Johnny Just Drop is also available). On a side note, we would like Lemi to design the next everything for our everything.”

Wyclef Jean to Run for President of Haiti [TIME]

In Americas (South & Central), World News on August 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Wyclef Jean, in New York City on Aug. 2, 2010 Peter Hapak for TIME

Hip-hop music, more than most pop genres, is something of a pulpit, urban fire and brimstone garbed in baggy pants and backward caps. So it’s little wonder that one of the form’s icons, Haitian-American superstar Wyclef Jean, is the son of a Nazarene preacher — or that he likens himself, as a child of the Haitian diaspora, to a modern-day Moses, destined to return and lead his people out of bondage. Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people, was the biblical event that sealed his calling. After days of helping ferry mangled Haitian corpses to morgues, Jean felt as if he’d “finished the journey from my basket in the bulrushes to standing in front of the burning bush,” he told me this week. “I knew I’d have to take the next step.”

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Why Broadband Not Roads Will Transform Africa [CNN]

In Africa, World News on August 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Click here to watch the three minute video clip.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (CNN) — African countries should invest in broadband infrastructure to improve the welfare of their people, according to Ajai Chowdhry, co-founder and CEO of HCL Infosystems, the global IT services provider.

The Indian entrepreneur, who is often described as India’s equivalent to Bill Gates, said access to information will be critical in solving many of the continent’s problems.

“I’ve a very strong belief that Africa should take a leadership position in putting up broadband right down to every village and you’ll see the change,” he said. “If you give people information you can actually transform Africa.”

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Islamophobia and the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Debate [TIME]

In Americas (North), World News on August 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Muslims pray during the 'Islam on Capitol Hill 2009' event at the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on September 25, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Alex Wong / Getty Images

Opposition to a proposed mosque near Ground Zero swelled into a furor this week after its planners on Aug. 3 passed the last municipal hurdle barring them from building it. New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg spoke passionately in defense of the project. “Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11 and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans,” Bloomberg said in a speech that day. “We would betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else.”

Bloomberg’s predecessor didn’t agree. The former mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, claimed that the project, which is partially intended to be an interfaith community center, would be a “desecration,” adding that “decent” Muslims ought not object to his opinion. Other GOP politicians and talking heads who have far less to do with the events of 9/11 — or, for that matter, New York — have joined the chorus, arguing in some instances that a mosque near Ground Zero would be a monument to terrorists.(See the moderate imam behind the “Ground Zero mosque.”)

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Some People Are Just Really Good at Stuff [Wooster Collective]

In Artsy Fartsy on August 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Bolivia’s Eco-President: How Green Is Evo Morales? [TIME]

In Americas (South & Central), World News on August 7, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Bolivia's President Evo Morales speaks during a ceremony at the government palace in La Paz, July 19, 2010 Bolivian Presidency / Reuters

Bolivian President Evo Morales’ favorite cause-célèbre has always been coca — the small leaf that is a key element of Andean culture and is central to cocaine production. But recently, he’s seemed more keen to stump on behalf of Mother Earth, chastising the developed world’s lamentable environmental track record and vowing to lead the planet toward a more sustainable future. Last week, his government made history when the U.N. voted unanimously to accept Bolivia’s proposal to make water a human right. “In the hands of capitalism everything becomes a commodity: the water, the soil, the ancestral cultures and life itself,” Morales wrote in a 2008 open letter on climate change. “Humankind is capable of saving the earth if we recover the principles of solidarity, complementarity and harmony with nature.”

Yet in his own backyard, Morales isn’t looking so eco-valiant. Indeed, a series of environmentally disruptive development projects have many critics claiming that the leader of South America’s poorest nation is more talk than walk when it comes to the fragile planet earth. “Morales’ environmental crusade feels like just a show,” says Adolfo Moya, president of TIPNIS, an indigenous community located within Bolivia’s Isiboro-Sécure National Park, where construction is about to begin on a highway that will cut through the heart of protected area.(See the world’s worst-dressed leaders.)

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For American Students, Life Lessons in the Mideast [NY Times]

In Americas (North), Middle East, World News on August 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

William Zeman (shown in May), an American student studying in Cairo, also worked at the Daily News Egypt, an English-language newspaper.


AT first glance, they seem like typical American college students on their junior year abroad, swapping stories of language mishaps and cultural clashes, sharing sightseeing tips and travel deals. But these students are not studying at Oxford, the Sorbonne or an art institute in Florence.

Instead, they are attending theAmerican University in Cairo, studying Arabic, not French, and dealing with cultural, social and religious matters far more complex than those in Spain or Italy. And while their European counterparts might head to Heidelberg, Germany, for a weekend of beer drinking, these students visit places most Americans know only through news reports — the West Bank, Ethiopia and even northern Iraq. No “Sex and the City” jaunts to Abu Dhabi for this group.

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Trailer: Favela on Blast [Fader]

In Americas (South & Central), Movies on August 7, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Click here to read the fader’s interview with Diplo about the making of the film, out now on dvd btw.