This week on Artist Spotlight we switch up the language and take you all on a journey with Teddy Yo in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Around 2009 Teddy Yo made a name for himself by creating a new sound no one had tried before. He had created a local Hip-Hop genre called “Guraggetone”, a Hip-Hop style of music that embodied a Gurage (an Ethnic group in Southern Ethiopia) style beat with witty Amharic rhymes and modern dance moves.
Teddy Yo is currently finishing his forthcoming sophomore album Prisoner. We are pretty ecstatic as it’s not that common to have an artist in Ethiopia following up with a sophomore album in the hip-hop genre—a genre that’s pretty much nonexistent in Ethiopia!
Every time the team travels abroad, we always look for unique artists to collaborate with. On our last visit to Ethiopia, we were keen to seek the ideal artist to work with, an artist that challenges the status quo. Sirak (Co-Founder Africology) met up with Teddy Yo and Joe Lox a talented producer, that’s when he first heard the song Alegntaye.
Alegntaye is a very patriotic song that breaks down the term “Ethiopianizm” to its simplest compound in both Amharic (Ethiopia’s national language) and English. Alegntaye sounds like a Pete Rock track (with smooth horn samples of Dr. Tilahun Gessesse’s song Alegntaye) and Teddy Yo comes off delivering a SmooveDa Hustler like 90’s “Broken Language flow. The second verse features Joe Lox, a well-versed expat producer and MC that summed up the track in English, giving it the globalized sound.
After replaying Alegntaye about 10 times we decided to shoot a music video for the song. The next day we had set to meet by noon, thinking the afternoon sun, lunchtime and Khat chewing sessions might slow down the Merkato (Africa’s largest open air market) pace. By the time we got to Central Merkato, Teddy already had about 30 fans surrounding him and his crew. As we moved around to scout for shooting locations, the more the crowd grew. At this point, given people’s reception and love for Teddy Yo, we decided to shoot the entire video in Merkato. From Shekla Terra (Clay Zone) to Beg Terra (Sheep Zone) and from Berbere Terra (Spice Zone) to Worq Terra (Gold Zone), we at Africology are proud to present our 1st music video production “Alegntaye” featuring Teddy Yo and Joe Lox, Enjoy!!