Watch Madlib Meet His Sample Hero, Ethiopian Legend Ayaléw Mesfin

“You need to know your history so you know the future.”

In an epic turn of events to close out 2018, legendary producer Madlib meets legendary Ethiopian artist, Ayaléw Mesfin.

In the new special “Madlib’s Medicine Show,” Noisey documented the moment the iconic producer met the iconic artist he’s spent his career sampling and sourcing inspiration from.

Madlib has been instrumental in shifting the way sampling functions in hip-hop, while Mesfin has been heralded as a prominent figure in and outside of music.

In 1975, after the ousting of Emperor Haile Selassie, Mesfin was jailed during the Derg regime that ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987. In exchange for his release, he was forced to sign an agreement to cease making music. His songs were banned, and he went on to release music for free. As a former political prisoner, Mesfin addressed the controversies in his music.

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“You need to know your history so you know the future,” Madlib says in the documentary. “If you like my music, then you’re gonna have to go study what I sampled.”

Watch “Madlib’s Medicine Show” above.

Ivie Ani

Ivie is a Nigerian-American, native New Yorker, and journalist covering culture. Usually on-air, on deadline, and on point. @ivieani

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Ivie Ani

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