Okayafrica Exclusive: Ras G & Open Mike Eagle in Uganda

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L.A. emcee Open Mike Eagle and Brainfeeder producer Ras G (in partnership with non-profit J.U.I.C.E.) recently embarked on a trip to Uganda to record with local artists and work with a youth program to teach Uganda kids about hip-hop. We spoke with Eagle about his experience in the East African nation--and he also gave us an exclusive on a track they recorded alongside the Afrikan Space Program and Mon MC. Read an excerpt below and hit the link at bottom to get the full story--and stream or download the exclusive track "Constant & Hopeful."

You taught a youth program on hip-hop in Uganda, how receptive where the kids?

We went there expecting to have young students but ended up working with young adults that were already well-versed in the art of rapping. They also rapped in their native tongue in a style called "Luga Flow" which is a term they use interchangeably with "hip-hop". More than anything we helped them to understand the music business a little better.

How was recording and relating ideas with Ugandan artists?

That was easy and we surprised ourselves with how quickly we completed the project. Nearly everyone speaks English over there so it wasn't at all difficult to build on song concepts and execute them. And coincidentally enough we were recording on some of the same equipment I have in my home studio but better. So aside from me having to quickly get used to rapping in a professional studio instead of my closet, it was easy.

Tell us about this particular track "Constant and Hopeful."

Ras G made a beat with a sample that says Constantinople in it, and I instantly associated it with Turkey since thats where my connection flight into Uganda originated. So in a sense, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople [shout out to TMBG]) was the gateway to my African experience. So I conceptualized the song as sort of a declaration of the impact I'd like to have in the international arena. And the Ugandan rappers did the same.

>>> Read More + Download "Constant & Hopeful" (via Okayafrica)