By Oral Ofori
|Rocky Dawuni & Dr. Dre|
In mid January of 2013, famed hip hop superstar Dr. Dre hanged out with Ghanaian reggae sensation Rocky Dawuni at Afro Funke’ in Santa Monica, California. The visit which happened on January 17th of this year was the hip hop superstar’s first visit to Afro Funke’.
Afro Funke’ is the longest running African inspired event in Los Angeles that brings live music, DJs, fashion, art, film, crafts and much more to display and celebration on Thursday nights at Zanzibar in Santa Monica for over 9 years. It is hosted by Rocky Dawuni with resident DJs Jeremy Sole & Glenn Red, along with Cary Sullivan who is a talent booker, producer and photographer as well as special guest DJs and live bands.
According to the producer of Afro Funke’, Cary Sullivan, Dr. Dre’s visit was not really scheduled and he actually walked in on the show of that day in the company of friends like Les Twins from Paris and his security. The irony of the visit is that Dre had been invited in the past but failed to show and Cary says “I believe this was the first time he came to Afro Funke’.”
During his visit, Dre hung out with Rocky Dawuni, co-founder of Afro Funke’ as they listened to some good music and spent some fun time together. This was not the first encounter between Rocky (musician and activist) and Dre, as disclosed by Cary Sullivan: “Rocky has met Dre in the past in various situations with the most memorable meetings happening between them and U2 as well as another encounter between the two with OutKast.”
Cary Sullivan is very excited about the visit of Dre to Afro Funke’ and when asked about the likelihood of a future collaboration between Rocky and Dre in the future, she said it will be a great thing if this happens and nothing was impossible, for now inception has begun and even though the future is unknown, it has tons of promises for fans of both artists.
Resident DJ of Afro Funke’, Jeremy Sole of KCRW also says management is working hard on preparations towards the 10th year anniversary celebrations of the popular event in late May through early June of 2013. This promises to be an exciting one that will celebrate good music and artists from not only Africa but from all over the Diaspora.
Some of these great stars and artistes that have walked through the doors of Afro Funke’ over the years include Stevie Wonder, Prince, India Arie, Seun Kuti (son of the great Fela Kuti), Queen Latifah, Djimon Hounssou, Sean Penn, Edward Norton, Gary Dourdan, and many others. The plan is to invite as many of them as possible to join hands with Rocky Dawuni to celebrate a decade in the life of Afro Funke’.
Dre really loved the music during his visit as he kept asking what was playing and was seen putting the names of the songs into his phone. ‘He really had a great time hanging out with Rocky Dawuni as well as the special guest DJ on the night of his visit’ Cary said. Fans of Rocky across Africa, especially those from his home country Ghana are waiting with excitement to hear what a Reggae-Rap-collaboration between these two great stars will sound like. Only the future holds the answer to this possibility.
For now, the future is wide open for Afro Funke’ as the show organizers plan to branch out to other venues in Los Angeles as well as around the world. There have already been an Afro Funke’ Presents events at the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena, California, the UCLA Fowler Museum, as well as international events including Afrodicia night club in Accra, Ghana.