Do you know Tom’s Shoes, that company that kindly gives shoes to a person in Africa if you buy a pair for yourself? Now, look at that motherfucker on the album cover and tell me with a straight face that he wants your shoes. Answer? Fuuuck, no. That man’s fly as hell! Tom from Tom’s Shoes doesn’t exist. The real tom, aka Blake Mycoskie, former reality television star, sells “poverty porn” alongside his shoes (if you want to search this term, please use Wikipedia). The concept goes as such: go to the worst of the worst places, film the poor and starving there, then use that footage to help hustle your product and make serious bank off it. Wait, what? Is it just me or does that sound super evil, like that dude needs a swivel chair and a pissy white cat to pet? That’s cause it is fucking evil (here’s a clip further explaining all that nasty shit here). The solution? Dig deeper into cultures you may not know about. One way to do this is to listen and dance to West African funk-a-licious booty-flying hair-raising thick platform-wearing (yes, Africa had shoes even then) music made during 1964–1974.
This mix of artists and songs comes from the Analog Africa label. A decade ago they broke out with the first African Scream Contest, which has been popular ever since. And, why wouldn’t it be? How often to you get to listen to hot off the press vintage? How often does an oxymoron like that come to be reality? And who wouldn’t want “world music” that sounds like James Brown and his Famous Flames. These tracks are the result of digging into the depths of Benin and Togo, months of picking through awesome fucking tracks from dusty old records, and then tracking down each and every artist on that list for their permission to play this shit. It’s legit. It’s about board. And it’s not using pictures of poverty to swindle dollars out of people that think they’re doing something good. It uses funky beats, bumping bass, and screaming lyrics just like everyone else. It’s Afro-funk turned up to amazing and blended with a deep authenticity. It’s a piece of forgotten history come to reclaim its place in time. All you’ve got to do to hear these lost voices is pump up the jams and groove to that beat, you bad ass motherfucker.