Open Gym: Toronto Raptors (Video)

For those of you that don’t know, Open Gym is a series on NBA TV Canada that gives you a behind the scenes look on the Toronto Raptors and the happenings of the team on a daily basis (kinda like Hard Knocks but for basketball). This particular episode chronicles the reaction inside the locker room upon hearing the news of Rudy Gay being traded to the Sacramento Kings. Without word from team officials, Raptors players were left to scramble for the details of the deal. Tune in to the ten-minute mark for a real interesting look into the impact that the trade has on the team.

Oddisee x Maryam Saleh – Nouh Al Hamam

Here I am sitting at home watching the National Championship game (which was an insanely good game) and there’s actually some real things going on in the world. This track is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

Some time ago I worked for a Berlin based NGO called MICT while running Jakarta Records. During this time I helped organize a recording session in Tunisia with 9 female singers and musicians from Tunisia, Libya & Egypt together with Oddisee and Olof Dreijer of The Knife. “Nouh Al Hamam” by egyptian singer Maryam Saleh is the first leak of the project.

A little less then three years ago the political situation in many countries of the Arab world changed dramatically. Uprisings started in rural areas of Tunisia and from there spread to various countries in the region. Millions gathered in the streets united by their demand for more democracy, rights and participation in the political process. In most cases the reaction of the governing dictators were relentless and severe towards every form of protests. Violence in the streets of Cairo, Tunis and Bengasi escalated and resulted in the overthrow of the governments in Tunisia, Egypt and Lybia.

A year later a group of female singers and musicians from Tunisia (Nawel Ben Kraiem, Badiaa Bouhrizi, Medusa, Houwaida), Libya (Nada) and Egypt (Donia Massoud, Maryam Saleh, Youssra El Hawary) met in Mohsen Matri Studio in Tunis to sing- against corruption, despotism, patronization and narrow-mindedness. The song with Syrian artist Rasha Rizk was recorded some months later in her political asylum in Cairo. Sudanese/American producer Oddisee and Olof Dreijer of the Swedish pop duo The Knife joined the session, participating in the creation of the musical backdrop as well as the often multi-instrumentalist female singers. For the vinyl edition producers such as Brenk, Blackjoy and Blundetto contributed remix versions of the project.

At the time and still today especially musicians and especially women were and are trapped in a spiral of repression, discrimination and violence. “Sawtuha” (Arabic for “her voice”), the album that is the product of the 2-week session, is a vital encouraging testament of rebellion against the repression of democratic rights, gender inequality, and lack of inclusion. The music is an organic mixture of traditional Arabic music, regional influences and various forms of contemporary Western musical genres. A mixture that may sound contradicting at first but makes total sense once you listen to the music.

Mick Jenkins – Martyrs (Video)

We are not on the same plateau, Chateau de Chenonceau
You just throwing shade in my shadow, Ginger ale in my Chalice I never been champagne shallow, I’d never run from a battle, I’d rather hang from the gallows, For I let a stray bullet catch a n*gga on the nine, Trey 8 pullin 0-9, Kwame Brown if a n*gga act foul then we put em on the line