Category Archives: Current Events & Politics

Long Live Afropop!: Oliver Mtukudzi & the Black Spirits

Happy Sunday, EVERYONE! As the new year gets going, i am excited to share some great events with you. One of them is a concert and dance party with the Zimbabwean pop star, Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits who will be whose Philadelphia debute is  January 12, 2013! I have the honor of playing this show alongside DJs Lil’Dave and Junior of the Eavesdrop Radio crew!

As i begin preparing for this event, i’m listening to and channeling the vibe of some of my favorite Tuku tracks (see below), as well as many other great Zimbabwean artists, including Thomas Mapfumo, Netsayi, Audius, and Joseph Garakara & Mbama Express! If you’re in Philly, you will definitely want to attend this event! For now, please enjoy a few selections.

— Much Love

 

 

01-12-13 TUKU

Brotha Onaci’s Review of 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, i am re-thinking my goals and revising some plans. In order to help with that process, i reflected on this past year and realized that i had a pretty good year! Although i’m grateful for everything that i was able to achieve and experience (academically, health-wise, etc.), this post is focused on my musical aspirations, beginning with Sonic Diaspora.

Sonic Diaspora began as a party in Chicago in May 2011. Now it is a multi-city cultural force that We intend to make an institution in Chicago, DC, Philly, and elsewhere! Not only do We continue to host the Chicago and DC parties, but We now have a website, a radio program, and are helping sponsor artist performances, philanthropic & community building events, and more! We have big plans for 2013 that We can’t wait to share with you! Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with our developments.

Doing my DJ Ed-O thing with Scratch Events!

Personally, i’ve been fortunate enough to get acquainted with the Philly music scene and to continue working with old friends. In the process, i’ve met some great people with whom i will be delivering the highest quality events you can imagine. Among them are DJ DuiJi 13, Juanderful and Gregzinho of Tropicalismo, Poet AF Black and Ra Nubi (Nu=Bein Tranzsynchon), WorldTown, Kate Bomz (My Africa Is), La Beautiful Mess (DC), Funk Sect, DJ Aura, R.i.C (Chicago) Tapedeck Tunn, DJ Niko, Punchuashen, DJ Champé, Reggae Surge, Supa Tang, and my fellow People’s DJs Collective member, DJ Vanessa Beck. If that wasn’t enough, i also DJ with Scratch Music Group, a company co-founded by the late Jam Master Jay. Scratch began as a DJ academy, but also dispatches DJs for weddings and corporate events. Because of these connections, i was able to DJ at several weddings and retail stores, including Ann Taylor at Rockefeller Center during Fashion’s Night Out. I joined forces with Mr. Femstar of WorldTown and Juanderful to co-host DJ Zhao at the Odunde Festival. Sonic Diaspora and Tropicalismo brought Sorie Kondi & Ibrahim, Chief Boima, and Explosión Negra to West Philly during our “After Africa” weekend. I spun at places like Walnut Room and Elena’s Soul in Philadelphia, Patty Boom Boom in DC, The Shrine in Chicago, and Bembe in Brooklyn. Further, i was able to donate my DJ services to ten charity causes, fundraisers, and community building events in DC, Philly, and New York. I am truly thankful for these opportunities. Taking the time to reflect on all of this causes me to realize how blessed i have been, and gives me a positive outlook on this coming year!

Naptime Bass Screenshot

Aaliyah, “Are You That Somebody” [Brotha O’s Grimey Bass Remix]

Finally, i have taken the time to begin learning the fundamentals of music production. I’ve been passionate about music ever since i can remember, and i developed the desire to make songs when i was in elementary school. I am now (finally) dedicating some time and resources to making that happen! In 2013, i plan to devote more time to producing music that reflects the ideals i live by. In other words, it will be positive and uplifting, the sound quality to be superb (eventually — i’m still learning how to master my tracks, which is no simple task), and i hope to  successfully combine the various sounds that i appreciate from all over the world as i attempt to create something unique and beautiful. Keep a close eye on my SoundcloudFacebook, and Instagram pages for updates on these aspects of my journey.

Happy New Year! I hope that 2013 brings blessings in abundance to you and yours!

What is A Turntable Liberationist?

I’ve been asked on many occasions: “Brotha O, what do you mean you refer to yourself as a ‘Turntable Liberationist’?” The answer to this question is both easy and difficult. The easy answer is that i am a turntablist (one who uses turntables as an instrument) with a liberation-oriented agenda. This is where the answer become a lil more difficult. It requires that We break down the word liberation.

“Liberation,” according to several dictionaries, has something to do with doing away with oppression. I attempt to make this somewhat vague idea tangible in several ways. The first is through my music selection. As a self-styled turntable liberationist, i am careful to play music that i believe affirms people’s humanity and does not assault or insult them on the dance floor.  Therefore, you’re likely to hear me play music that celebrates life and living in ways that do not cause harm to others. In other words, it’s veeeery rare that you’ll hear tracks that refer to people in disrespectful ways because of their race, class, gender(s), sexual preference(s), etc. I would like to claim that i never play tracks that are oppressive, but sometimes i miss or misunderstand lyrics (esp. when some songs are in languages that i don’t understand). I do try my best to avoid such songs.

Part of being a turntable liberationist also include education. I am an educator and attempt to expose myself and others to a variety of ideas and cultures. That requires me to play music you probably don’t hear 50 times each day against your will. Here are two fantastic songs that you may hear in my mixes and feel deep in your soul at a party:

Exhibit A [click here for an explanation of the song’s meaning]

Exhibit B

– Much Love

Tránsito de Verano: It’s About To Be ON!

EQuatorial Funk (Tuesday, June 5)

This summer, tastemakers DJ DuiJi13, Juanderful Juan, and Brotha Onaci are conducting an audio journey celebrating music from around the world. They will intoxicate you with melodies and riddims from South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the various diasporas of culture emanating from those places. You will bust a move, luxuriate in the libations, enjoy the edible delights, and appreciate the ambiance of Llama Tooth’s beautiful outdoor space. What better way to celebrate the warmth of this season and enjoy the post Transit of Venus moment?!?

Be sure to check out our promo mix: http://www.mixcloud.com/MUMSM/equatorial-funk-promo-mix/

$5 (includes entrance and a drink ticket)
21+ Space is accessible!Brought to you by:
ø Sonic Diaspora
ø Tropicalismo Mundial
ø True Diversity Productions

RSVP on Facebook or Fusicology

Sonic Diaspora (Thursday, June 7)

Featuring:
∞ Juanderful of Tropicalismo Mundial

Juanderful is co-founder of Tropicalismo Mundial, a tropical sound aficionado, and connoisseur of fine global riddims. Growing up listening to the sounds from his Colombian background unquestionably laid down the main cadence to the soundtrack of his life. Being in Philly, with its soulful sounds and rich DJ legacy, has added another dimension to that score. Most recently, Juanderful has been pushing humidity soaked riddims at his TROPICALISMO events, which has seen the participation of guest DJs from around the globe. These experiences have helped to further expand his sonic range while encouraging him to dig deeper into the roots. Always pushing forward, not neatly defined, but global in mind.

TROPICALISMO (https://twitter.com/TROPICALISMOphl)
PulsoBeat (http://pulsobeat.com/)
Tropicalismo Mundial facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/252944392839/

≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Enjoy Dance cuts of Africa and the African Diaspora every 1st Thursday at Elena’s. This dance party will uplift your soul as you release your mind on the dance floor! Elena’s DJs Brotha Onaci (the People’s DJ Collective) and DJ Champé (Lion’s Den Productions) will take you on musical exploration of the African world that is so hot you’ll think Philly sits along the equator. During this high-energy dance party, We’ll be throwing down some Afrobeat, Coupe Decale, Cumbia, Kuduro, Reggae, House, Afro-Latin, Azonto, Dancehall, Soca, and more.

Elena’s Soul Showcase Lounge and Cafe is an authentic and original chill spot in West Philly. With two levels of great food and refreshing drinks, it provides an ambiance that is welcoming and comfortable for EVERYONE!

9:00p-2:00a
Free before 11:00 ($5 after).
2nd Floor, 21+

RSVP on Facebook or Fusicology

Odunde Festival (Sunday June 10)

As a part of this year’s Odunde Festival, Sonic Diaspora, Tropicalismo Mundial, and World Town have teamed up to bring connoisseur of fine global music, DJ Zhao of Ngoma Sound, to Philadelphia for this incredible event!

DJ Zhao brings the best contemporary and classic dance music together from wildly different times and places, with focus on Africa. Informed of up-to-the-minute global street styles such as Afro-Electro, Angolan-House, Kuduro, Coupe Decale, Naija, Rai, and Cumbia, as well as drawing upon the wealth of sonic traditions worldwide such as Juju, Gwo Ka, Rumba, Taraab, and Persian Classical, Dj Zhao fuses ancestral rhythms and urban bass pressure. With Mashup and Re-Edit work directly connecting “East” and “West”, acoustic and electronic, traditional and hyper-modern, Dj Zhao creates hybrid genres such as Gamelan-Step, Sufi-Bass, or Acid-Zouk, making “Ancient-Futurist” musical collages at once mind expanding and floor smashing. Amateur ethno-musicologist and professional booty shaker, Dj Zhao is an International Sound Ambassador not only talking about, but demonstrating through raw sound experience, the underlying unity of all earth cultures.

Performing solo and with NGOMA Soundsystem which includes German Percussionist Marcel, Multi-Instrumentalist Matchume from Mozambique, Cuban Trumpeter El Congo, and various other musicians, DJ Zhao brings unique vision and energy to every event, and has performed or shared bills with artists such as Shangaan Electro (South Africa), Konono No. 1 (Congo), Rhythm and Sound (DE), Cooly G (UK), Appietus (Ghana), Shackleton (UK), Pan Sonic (Finland).

INFO……………………http://listn.to/djzhao
TUNES………………..http://soundcloud.com/djzhao
MIXES…………………http://www.mixcloud.com/djzhao/
BLOG………………….http://ngomasound.wordpress.com/

« « « « « « « « « « « « « « « « «

Odunde is a festival that celebrates and educates the Tri-State area on the diversified African and African-American cultures. Running since 1975, the festival boasts as being the longest running and largest African American cultural festival on the East Coast.

For more information, visit the Odunde Festival website and Facebook page:
www.odundefestival.org

and

http://www.facebook.com/pages/THE-OFFICIAL-ODUNDE-FESTIVAL/292365354049

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

About the hosts

SONIC DIASPORA:
https://soularadiance.wordpress.com/sonic-diaspora/dance-party-philly/

TROPICALISMO MUNDIAL Facebook group:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/252944392839/

WORLD TOWN:
http://www.facebook.com/WorldTownParty


Mixtape Monday: Diasporic Movement

In May, Sonic Diaspora celebrates its one-year anniversary!!! In that year, We’ve laid a strong foundation for what We hope becomes a powerful force for uniting positive people around the music and struggles of African people throughout the world. Being rooted in social justice communities and ideals, We want to make sure that Sonic Diaspora maintains its relevance. If you don’t know the purpose behind Sonic Diaspora, you can view it here. [It’s all about MOVEMENT… movement of peoples across geographic terrains; movement on the dance floor, and movement against oppression.] As you consider what’s written, please enjoy the most recent Sonic Diaspora mix. Then let us know what you think!

Artwork by People’s DJs member, Itzi Nallah

I, personally, would like to know what Y.O.U. think of the event, the mixes, and the developing social-political purpose. With whom should Sonic Diaspora build solidarity (other African & Diasporic music parties, artists, political struggles and organizations, African culture organizers, etc)? How can We make the social-political aspect more visible within the dance parties? Do you think the music (in the mixes and dance parties) is reflective of the larger purpose?

We greatly appreciate your input!

– Much Love

Liberation Culture: Fashioning A Comprehensive Approach

Sometimes incidents like the recent Trayvon Martin killing become opportunities for social justice and civil rights groups to mobilize mass meetings and demonstrations that challenge the continued pervasiveness of racialized violence. It saddens me that We live in such a violent society that it takes massive amounts of angry people to prompt investigations around such injustices. My sadness is compounded by the frustration i experience when conversations and demands stimulated by the violence against Black youth and adults are framed narrowly due to (hetero)sexism [click HERE for an explanation of heterosexism], regionalism, class, and many other oppressive “common sense” ideologies that guide our daily thinking.

Recently, filmmaker and cultural worker, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, published a series of articles challenging the narrowly constructed framework for understanding and reacting to violence perpetuated against Black bodies. Her series questions why We (social justice oriented people of all backgrounds) tend to react with righteous indignation in the wake of the assaults, incarcerations, and murders of assumed heterosexual Black men, but do not place the same energy in addressing assaults, incarcerations, and murders of Black women and girls, trans folk, and queer Black (wo)men.

I must point out that she seemed to hesitate even raise to the question, because it might not be “the right time” (during Sexual Assault Awareness Month) and because by suggesting that We should equally regard all violence against innocent people, she might experience some backlash. BACKLASH. Why? Well, because seemingly heterosexual men have a value in this society, even amongst justice seeking and peace loving people. There is much more to her articles, and i strongly encourage everyone to read and discuss them.

I want to use this space to briefly reflect on Simmons’ suggestion that We rethink the idea that We can only focus on one (i.e. the most important) issue at a time as We try to create a more humane world. As i read the articles, i began to think about my own perception of who/what is “worthy” of my active participation. With whom do i speak in solidarity? Why? I quickly realized that i perpetuate some of the problems Simmons writes about in her articles. For example, i used to participate in workshops dedicated to encouraging men and boys to become active agents in the struggle against gendered violence. However, even in those spaces (some for which i was facilitator), it was almost impossible for me to understand (and even care about) how sexual assault against women and girls (or rape culture more broadly) is connected at the roots with homophobia and transphobia. When i finally accepted that and became an open ally to queer and trans folks, i noticed more connections and silences.

The most recent one with which i’ve struggled and am thinking through deals with region: of the recent incidents that gained significant attention, where did these incidents take place? How did the location factor into the response? Interestingly, the incidents that generated the most widespread and thorough responses (from what i could tell) took place in the south. For example, on the March 21, 2012 an off-duty police officer, Dante Servin, shot and killed Rekia Boyd in Chicago. Less than 2,000 people have signed the petition to prosecute Servin for murdering Boyd, a situation that is frigteningly similar to the petition on behalf of Ms. Nafissatou Diallo (New York)[see “Who Will Revere US” part 2].

I am not suggesting that region alone determines the reaction. Instead, region, gender, sexuality, age, and a whole list of other factors work together to produce certain responses in each of us. Those responses are engineered by a misguided, but pervasive, framework that creates a hierarchy of worth and determines whose oppression is more important. Because of that, We’re likely to see a greater response to injustices against Black men and boys than Black women and girls, regardless of what region they are located (Think Howard Morgan [Chicago] and Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. [White Plains, NY]).

It is time (really, it’s way past time) that We (social justice oriented people of all backgrounds) understand oppression as web of injustices that depend on each other for their survival. Therefore, when We address racial profiling (for example), We should understand how it affects people disproportionately depending on what their presumed class position, apparent gender and sexuality, locale, and more. The problems are multidimensional and our approach to addressing them should be as comprehensive as possible.

– Much Love

SOUL Powered (Chicago)

Taste Makers, DJ Tiff-NY, Jaytoo (thedjyomamaluv), and Brotha Onaci (The People’s DJ Collective) will energize the dance floor on 4/12 at the Beauty Bar (1444 W. Chicago). They promise a musical experience that will have you groovin’ to old school soul & funk classics and mashing up the dance floor under the influence of now school bangers from all over the world. Be prepared to get re-acquainted with your natural movement as the music speaks to your body intelligence.

FREE Until 11:00PM $3 from 11:01 until…
Drink specials all night!
21+