Mulatu Astatke is a musical titan, in the same league as the likes of Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, yet he was first recognized to most people when The Paris-based world music record label, Buda Musique devoted the entire 4th installment of their respected series, Ethiopiques, to his compositions in 1998.
Astatke was born in 1943 in a town called Jimma in Ethiopia. His family sent him abroad to Wales to study chemical engineering, and instead, he came home with a degree in Music and a whole new sound brewing in his head. After Wales, he proceeded to the prestigious Berklee College of Music becoming the first African student to attend, studying the Vibraphone and percussion.
Read more, grab a few downloads, samples and more Ethiopian-influenced hip-hop after the jump.