World Music Corner
Bole 2 Harlem - 'Bole 2 Harlem' (2006)
I sport my hair swept up and over in a quiff, I'm thinking David Beckham but unfortunately it's probably more David Brent. What does this have to do with anything? Well I was flabbergasted by a comment a work colleague directed at me this week. She's an Ethiopian girl and we got talking about music, as you do, mentioning that I knew of a couple of bands from her country, Bole 2 Harlem being one. She was surprised by this and says,
"wow, I didn't know you were into to this kind of music!"
I reply "don't judge a book by it's cover eh? Why not by the way?"
And she ponders for awhile and knocks me down dead by saying, "I don't know, I think it's your hair and glasses..."
And while I'm on the subject of small talk....another colleague of mine knew I liked Hip Hop, (and was equally surprised by this too) so one day I was on the bus going into work, reading and minding my own business, when he gets on and notices me. Bemused, he looks at me and says,
"Oh, you read books? I thought you were more gangster than that?"
Bole 2 Harlem (Bole being a suburb of Addis Ababa), were a collective based out of New York between 2005-2006 incorporating Hip Hop with traditional forms of Ethiopian music. They only made one album, Bole 2 Harlem vol.1 and disbanded soon after, caused by disputes over royalties and one band member tragically dying. Despite this, Songlines Magazine regarded the album as one of top 75, most influential, 'World Music' albums and even though I look like Clark Kent, Bole 2 Harlem was one of my favourite songs of 2006.
Bole 2 Harlem's official website...