House Rules

House Rules ft Kobby Ankomah-Graham

Lecturer by day and super dope DJ for the rest of the time, Kobby lays down the of the dopest alternative beats in this 160mpH mix. Enjoy this select palette of music from around the world in this one of a kind of mix.

Find out who Kobby is partying with from the 2000’s, and which author he’s sharing a self-made honey and spice infused cocktail with, as you listen to him flip through the decks on House Rules:

Where are you right now? Describe your surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? What can you smell?

I’m sitting in Café Kwae opposite the homie, EDWVN. I can see Worlasi in here too. He’s got his headphones on, and I reckon he’s listening to the final edits of his upcoming Outerlane EP. Maybe. I have my earphones in, listening to my Soundcloud feed.

And I smell really good coffee.

 

What do you imagine people doing as they listen to this mix?

I imagine people listening at work while sincerely regretting that they are at work, because the music makes them want to do things that might get them suspended.

 

If this mix were a cocktail, what would it be made of?

I tend to mix many genres, so if this were a cocktail, it would sound weird on paper – think atemuda mixed with milk, honey, crazy spices and mango or something – but it would go down surprisingly well.

 

What is your first DJ memory? Where did you first DJ? Tell us your experience.

My first DJ memory is from back when I used to bug my DJ friends in London with so many (great) music suggestions that one day, one of them stopped me and told me he’d teach me how to DJ just to shut me up.

 

You get to go back in time and be a DJ for one 90s – early 2000s musician, who would it be?

Funny that. I’m old (and lucky) enough to have actually DJed for a bunch of early 2000s musicians. My crew – Amplified – were the first to really push neo-soul in London back when it was new, so we got to DJ for everyone from Erykah Badu to The Roots. That said, I would have loved to DJ for Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest. He approaches music with the same breadth that I do: it’s probably an attitude I picked up from listening to Tribe back in the day.

 

Describe your life with three songs

Dang. John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ captures much of my politics. On the other hand, The Pharcyde’s ‘Passin’ Me Byand Marvin Gaye’s ‘Got to Give It Up pt. II’ capture my inner geek pretty perfectly. A lot of people see the hat or whatever and think I’m cool, but I still see myself as the geek that I was in secondary school. I was shy AF back then and one with all the freaks, geeks, oddballs and weirdos. I don’t think I’ve changed, really. But the world has. And you know how it is: geeks always get the last laugh. Ask Bill Gates.

 

Name 2 musicians people should look out for (In Africa)

I’ll give you one: EDWVN has very much got next. Very much so. As Fela put it, “He who no know go know”. EDWVN is actually out here creating new sub-genres of highlife, while everyone else scrambles for that second spot.

 

You meet 3 African Writers and they want to have a party. Who are they, what’s your favourite book by them and what are you playing them first?

Akwaeke Emezi for damn sure. Life of the party. Life of life, really. Her debut novel Freshwater will drop in February. I’d play her Darkovibes and Kiddblack’s Placebo because – as misogynistic as the music is – she once told me that all our music sounds like church music, and I wonder if she’d be interested in worshipping at the Church of Meme. I suspect she wouldn’t, but that beat bangs regardless.

Aunt Ama Ata Aidoo’s Dilemma of a Ghost affected me as a kid and I would play her Beyonce’s Flawless, simply because Aunt Ama is fun and has the most interesting opinions, and we would dance as much as we would talk. And God knows there is a lot to dissect in that song.

Rafeeat Aliyu wrote this brilliant short story called Rules to Ensure Your Husband Loves You Forever about an African woman desperately doing everything to keep her marriage to her zombie husband alive. It would be tempting to play her ‘Zombie’ by Fela, but I’d play her N*E*R*D & Rihanna’s Lemon instead because it’s as quirky as her writing.

                                     

Describe the colour black.

The darkest of colours against which no other can fight because it absorbs, overwhelms and erases all others, and beautifully so.

 

Name 3 things every DJ needs (Physical or otherwise)

  • The ear to hear when a song is good before being told that it’s good.
  • The trust of the audience to both lead and be led by them.
  • The bravery to push the fader’s last frontiers into new musical territory.
Track list:
1. Yasmeen Helwani – Paddy (Richy Pitch Remix)
2. Ibeyi – River
3. Josh Pan & Medasin – Hopes Up
4. Drake feat. The Weeknd – Crew Love (Melo X Live Mix)
5. Fun – We are Young (Kyle Edwards & DJ Smallz 732 Jersey Club Remix)
6. Jessy Lanza – It Means I Love You
7. Machinedrum – Don’t 1 2 Lose You (Moresounds Remix)
8. Adomaa feat. Robin Huws – Shii the Song
9. Chris Brown – Look at Me Now (instrumental)
10. Khalid – Location
11. Schoolboy Q feat. Kendrick Lamar – Collard Greens
12. Lido – Murder
13. Rae Srummerd – Black Beatles (instrumental)
14. Drake vs. Sade – Can’t Cherish Everything (Vacations More Love Mash Up)
15. Muhsinah – How Great
16. Busta Rhymes – Twerk It
17. Sarkodie feat. Samini – Love Rocks
18. Beyonce – Ego (instrumental)
19. John Legend – Green Light (Annie Starlight Remix)
20. Everything But the Girl – Walking Wounded
21. Pharrell Williams – Happy (!llmind Edit Rose Tint Boom Trap Remix)
22. Dead Prez – Hip Hop
23. Captain Cream – Karat Top
24. Little Dragon – Klapp Klapp
25. Wanlov the Kubolor feat. Illa Shaz – Horogozov (Ananse’s What Did He Say Remix)
26. Odunsi – Evening Nap

Benewaah is the lead curator and editor at Harmattan Rain. Her love for music is closely rivaled by her love for plantain.

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