We were very happy to welcome Marlon Bishop back to Studio 44 to produce another one of his awesome episodes for Afropop Worldwide August 19-20. The episode is called “An Island Divided”. Here's Marlon's description of the episode:
The island of Hispaniola, located in the western Caribbean, is divided in two by an invisible line that snakes down its central mountain range. On one side is Haiti, the other the Dominican Republic: one colonized by the French, the other by Spain. The island was the first place in the Americas colonized by Europeans, and was the place where trans-Atlantic slavery was first implemented. It was also home to the first–and only–successful slave revolt when Haiti rebelled against France in 1791. Yet there has frequently been a tremendous amount of tension between the two countries. For decades, Eurocentric elites in the Dominican Republic have painted Haitians as inferior and threatening. Today, there is an uproar around the issues of Haitian immigration to the D.R., and politicians who are lobbying to build a wall between the two countries.
Despite the conflicts, Dominicans and Haitians are linked by deeply interwoven histories, economies and cultures. In this episode of Afropop Worldwide, we tell the story of the relationship between Haiti and the Dominican Republic through music, from the Haitian Revolution to the 1937 massacre perpetrated by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo. We also visit a batey community in the sugarcane fields, where residents play Haitian-Dominican gagá music, explore the relationship between race and music on the island, and meet young people using music to bring the people of Hispaniola closer together.
Its an old-school Afropop family reunion here at Studio 44 this month! Sam Backer is back in the house to produce “Shake It Fo Ya Hood: Bounce—New Orleans Hip-Hop” August 24-25. This is a fascinating episode. Here is his description:
New Orleans, Louisiana is home to some of America’s greatest musical traditions, and plays an outsized influence on the evolution of everything from jazz through to r&b, rock and funk. Today, the city is still legendary for its second line brass bands and brightly costumed Mardi Gras Indians. But if you’ve rolled through New Orleans on pretty much any night in the last 30 years, you’ve probably heard another sound—the clattering, booming, hip-shaking, chant-heavy roll of bounce, a form of hip-hop music, dance and culture unique to the Crescent City. Pulling from the national mainstream but remaking it the way that only New Orleans can, bounce has become a sonic touchstone for an entire generation of residents. For this Hip Deep edition, Afropop digs into the close-knit scene, talking to dancers, producers, MCs, and managers from over 30 years of bounce, all to explore the beat that drives New Orleans—and to find out what it means to the people who bring it to life.