Staying #GlobalFromHome: Music Edition

by Stranger’s Guide

This week, we’re staying #GlobalFromHome by looking at music around the world, from Jamaican dancehall to Nigerian Afrobeat. Here are three things you should listen to, watch and play this week.

1. Listen

Try streaming Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970s Funky Lagos. This 22-track compilation album features various artists from the heyday of Nigerian Afrobeat. It also happens to be the perfect accompaniment to our Lagos guidebook, devoted to Africa’s most populous country.



2. Watch

Missing live music? The website Bands in Town has become the go-to repository of livestreamed concerts—sometimes direct from the artist’s home.



3. Play

Check out this very cool quiz on indigenous music. Listen to different songs and guess if they’re used to express love, heal the sick, calm a baby or dance. Once you guess, you’ll learn about the song and the culture where it’s performed—a healing song from Mexico, for example, or a lullaby of the Marathi people.





“I’m a soldier,” Yellowman declares early in my visit, and repeats shortly before I leave, as if to bookend our conversation with an image he wants to inscribe in my memory. But he need not insist: it was his perseverance, his dogged resistance against obstacle after another, that brought me to his home. In 1984, as he jumped on the global stage, he was diagnosed with cancer and given a few years to live. Corrective surgery took away the tumor and a significant portion of his face, but seemingly none of his wit or fight. He’s still here. Still here: that phrase, said to me with gumption and gratitude, had the ring of a mantra. “I can’t stop. I cannot stop. I don’t see myself stopping because I grow with this in me, music. This talent is not influenced by anybody, this talent handed down to me by the Almighty.” That’s him, assuring me that he’ll never stop performing, reinforcing his belief that music is bound up in his DNA, as if by divine fiat.

—Garnette Cadogan, “King Yellowman,” Stranger’s Guide: The Caribbean


The hip-hop revolution in Japan can be traced to a pivotal event in 1996 known as Thumpin’ Camp. Over 30 artists performed at the invitation of rapper-activist ECD. As the festival kicked off, ECD declared: “I killed J-Rap”—ending the era of pop melodies and bringing in a new harder, “purer” version of hip-hop.


See more Features from around the world




Where same-sex relationships are forbidden

According to Amnesty International, at least 76 countries, which account for almost half the world’s population, continue to criminalize same-sex relationships. “Six countries (Mauritania, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iraq) implement the death penalty for same-sex relations, as do some provinces in Nigeria and Somalia,” Amnesty says. Meanwhile, in the US, Human Rights Watch says 11 states still have unenforceable laws on their books prohibiting consensual same-sex conduct, despite a 2003 Supreme Court ruing that found such laws unconstitutional.