We’re back at Gallery Bar for the second edition of Made In Africa this Thursday – the night of birthday celebrations! It’s Boima’s birthday, so do come out and show him love. Birthday boy Chief Boima and yours truly will be deck, supplying you homegrown and international heat and oil as we say farewell to Winter in America, Harmattan in West Africa, etc. and greet (slightly) warmer/dizzy/better seasons!

Made In Africa // Facebook RSVP
Thursday, March 3rd, 2011
Gallery Bar
120 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
21+ // $5 Cover // $5 Well Drinks until midnight!

& now – Gaddafi’s epic meltdown, THE TRANCE REMIX:

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBY-0n4esNY[/youtube]

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aWN6NYbOzg[/youtube]

Heavy one from Dutty compadre Timeblind!

your cel phone and portable electronics probably have minerals mined in the Congo and illegally trafficked. watch the other related videos if you are unaware of this.

please support legislation to keep mining transparent and stop thugs in the congo from profiting from the misery of their fellow countrymen. DRC should be known for its amazing musicians, not for more misery like this.

If you follow Shadetek’s blog you know we have been thinking alot about digital marketing, how to monetize content, and keep making the music that we love. It has been a busy winter for DA, we linked with Leeor from Friends of Friends PR to help amplify and sharpen our message, Jace and I started to engineer Beyond Digital, a non-profit that funds international arts residencies and interventions, we joined forces with Emeka Alams from Gold Cost for a capsule line (and that’s just a taste of the plans that are not TOP SECRET, SECRET OR CONFIDENTIAL). Just to keep things hectic I moved to Kingston, AKA HUSTLE UNIVERSITY, where even the kid that opens the gate is just waiting to play you his newest riddims off a usbstick. MOVE QUICKLY AND GET WEIRD. Mine deep for the magic cambio strategy that converts cultural capital to liquid capital fast enough to keep us all eating.

With that in mind, I reached out in December to Stephanie Brown about an interview. She’s a Digital Marketing Manager for a major label in Canada. I wanted to know more about what exactly her job entailed- and what bets the people with the money and infrastructure are making on how to sell content. #realtalk bizness

T: As a Digital Marketing Manager for a major Label in Canada, what exactly are you responsible for?

S: I direct strategy for marketing our artists online in Canada. When we have an album coming out, marketing managers will meet with me to discuss what sort of promotional support we can give the release online, and where to best spend their ad dollars. The idea is to create awareness and hype about the artist by placing content on the entertainment and music sites that will get the greatest visibility in Canada. So, when the album finally drops, audiences will recognize the artist and hopefully be inclined to buy the album. I manage relationships with a number of partner sites who use our content from our artists (electronic press kits, interviews, etc) to support their editorial coverage, which is really a win-win situation. Additionally, I plan social media promos & contests, aid with online ad buys, and oversee our direct-to-consumer marketing channels.

T: Social media seems to be most powerful when an artist is directly communicating with fans- but obviously most big label social media is not being generated directly by the artist – who actually is sitting on the computer updating each artists facebook, myspace, etc- do you guys have back end access that streamlines all of this stuff?

S: We monitor our artist’s social media platforms in terms of numbers, just to see who’s gaining momentum. But aside from that, artist management is typically responsible for updating those properties. We offer suggestions, but the decision lies ultimately in the hands of management. For some of our domestic artists, we’ll post news and happenings on their Facebook and Twitter pages if we’re requested to do so. We’re always transparent about it, so we sign off on our posts as “Team” whoever. Many artists actually do post themselves, or work closely with their managers to establish their digital identity.

T: How is the balance understood between digital and more traditional marketing? Are marketing plans all done holistically or is digital and traditional really heavily divided?

S: The digital element of marketing plans is undoubtedly an important facet, but it is typically independent from television, print and radio. It’s always a point of reference, because we want to ensure that the messaging is cohesive across all mediums, but it’s still its own world. However, if we wanted to run an online promo on a large scale, we’d be sure to support it with traditional marketing. Those promos are typically those with a big budget and a kickass prize-like a meet and greet with an A-list artist in Australia, for example. The submissions would be collected and shared online, but we’d use print, radio, and TV to direct people to the contest website. Otherwise, a portion of the total marketing budget will simply be allotted to online, and then it’s up to me and the digital team to direct where to best spend it.

So this Thursday, January 27th, Chief Boima and yours truly, along some good friends from Garbon, Ivory Coast, and  Madgascar will kick off a new party in the southeastern part of Manhattan Island (a neighborhood commonly referred to as the Lower East Side of Manhattan borough) at Gallery Bar (art gallery by day, and lounge/party space when its dark.) We’ll be joined by very special guest, founder of Akwaaba Music and DJ, BBrave. Facebook RSVP.

Going Africa and Beyond. Though I won’t be popping champagne like my Ghanaian brothers Ruff-N-Smooth (they have all the money and the honeys!) I will be playing their music.

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etFHI594-rE&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27fQcatpWUg[/youtube]
Recent news report on Al Jazeera

It has been quite disheartening watching the post-election crisis in Cote d’Ivoire turn from yet another power struggle among African politicians to very dangerous and explosive situation. I’m watching this from a room in Brooklyn, a couch in Northern Virginia; seeing yet another African country on the brink of civil war after its leader refuses to step down gracefully following an election. Mind you, Ivory Coast is still healing and rebuilding from a recent civil war.

In late November, President Laurent Gbagbo, who has ruled the Ivory Coast for the past ten years, lost to opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara in the presidential elections, elections which Gbagbo has already postponed five times in the last six years, meaning polls taking place in 2010 should have happened in 2005! Gbagbo, backed by the national army and security forces/hired youths – “young patriots”/militias refuses to concede and hand over power to Alassane Ouattara, who is recognized as the clear winner by regional body ECOWAS, the African Union, the United Nations and most countries. Ouattara also has the support of former rebel forces (fighters from the civil war still armed and active!)

At the moment, tensions are high. The situation gets awful, more dire with each news report. With more than 170 people reported killed in the post election violence, thousands are fleeing into neighboring countries – with most people seeking refuge in Liberia and Guinea. ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) initially talked about armed intervention using its military wing ECOMOG (which was instrumental in bringing peace to Liberia and Sierra Leone albeit criticisms of abuse and property theft during the civil wars in those countries) but later open the door for more discussions with Gbagbo. In the Ivorien capital, Abidjan, Gbagbo’s security forces/militias are conducting raids, and killing dozens of Ouattara’s supporters, and also threatening to invade the UN-protected hotel in which Ouattara and his ministers are staying/trying to conduct a state business.

International pressure on Gbagbo is failing and the mediation/action from ECOWAS is providing immediate results. We hope for a peaceful settlement, but some sort of resolution must be reached soon so the situation doesn’t escalate. Something radical has to happen to turn this situation around.


[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMjuzMcDeYI&feature=player_embedded#![/youtube]
Streets of Abijan – CIAfrica’s Greendog “Afristepdub

I’ve never been to Ivory Coast (not completely true, because my mother went to Abidjan several times when she was pregnant with me) and I don’t speak or understand french (well, I resisted learning another Euporean language through my high school and college years.) I mentioned these things because I want to say I don’t completely understand CIAfrica’s lyrics and the topics raised in their songs. If you don’t know, CIAfrica is a militant, pan-Africanist rap/reggae/bass music collective based in Abidjan. The collective came of age during the turbulent years of the Gbagbo administration, marked by civil and military unrest. According to the song descriptions/summaries of the tracks on their album on Dutty Artz, CIAfrica makes defiant music, speaks out against fraudulent, hoggish leaders who are determined to stay in power no matter how much blood is spilled, against corruption and brutalization. They are making music in this currently political chaos, and are hustling and trying to visit Europe and North America in 2011. Listen to the track “Negro Politicien” –

Barboza “Negro Politicien” (DJ rupture Presents CIAfrica) by Dutty Artz

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5scYXIvAr7w[/youtube]

…I catch a fever around the disbelievers
In a world of silhouettes, non can see your eyes.

Can’t find the meaning in all this late night scheming

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js-PAD2ECDQ[/youtube]

My regular 9 to 5 – Dubspot put together an interesting mini-doc featuring dub pioneer Scientist, who recently dropped an album on Pinch’s Tectonic imprint, talking about the origin and meaning of Jamaican dub and the role dub engineer in sound system culture and 1970s/80s Jamaican recording industry. The video also featured our very own DJ /rupture, composer/electronic musician Badawi, Deadly Dragon Sound System’s Ticklah, and music supervisor Barry Cole. If you’re  interested in the topic, and why it’s way much more than an “happy accident” I highly recommend Michael Veal’s Dub: Soundscapes & Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae. Check out wayne&wax’s analysis and review of the book + pertinent excerpt below, a little more context –

All the talk of circuits, knobs, and switches can distract one from the fundamental reality that what these musicians were doing was synthesizing a new popular art form, creating a space where people could come together joyously despite the harshness that surrounded them. They created a music as roughly textured as the physical reality of the place, but with the power to transport their listeners to dancefloor nirvana as well as far reaches of the cultural and political imagination: Africa, outer space, inner space, nature, and political/economic liberation. Nevertheless, this book will focus on those knobs and the people who operated them, in order to develop an understanding of the role of sound technology, sound technicians, and sound aesthetics within the larger cultural and political realities of Jamaica in the 1970s. (13-14)

Chip Tha Ripper, “Ain’t No Love Here,” from From Me, To You (Prelude To Gift Raps) EP

Cleveland rapper Chip Tha Ripper is part of the newer generation of rappers coming out of Midwestern U.S. cities, and making interesting, street hip hop, and sometimes just sinister mid-90s-style throwback rap jams. Look beyond the cartoonish artist package, and you’ll find some solid rap music. “Ain’t No Love Here” is one the best tracks I’ve heard from Chip since “Get It Gurl.” Also check his verse on Freddie Gibb’s “Oil Money” –