Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Bole 2 Harlem - 'Bole 2 Harlem'

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...

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Bole 2 Harlem - 'Bole 2 Harlem'
4/ 5


12 December 2013 at 10:21

You do look like a fat matt damon. (I'd gladly take that)

12 December 2013 at 20:21

I like it.

I also like the assumptions! So funny. It just goes to show how people can't help pigeon-holing; I suppose we all do to a point. I can't believe you actually read books, flycasual ;-)

15 December 2013 at 11:40

Strange is'nt it! I talked to a couple yesterday who came from Aberdeen. They could not believe I came from Inverness, they assumed I was a Londoner and English. Interesting one....great tunes too!

18 January 2014 at 20:12

I like it a lot, it may not be reggae but it seems to be the aggressive ragga that is big in Jamaica when we went. That sort of girl voice and constant beat...bring it on, hear me no'!