Grab Gualou Hasni Met ("They Say Hasni Is Dead") here. [Originally posted in 2010; reupped at 320kbps with cover embedded.] Algerian rai superstar Cheb Hasni was born in Oran to working class parents in 1968 and assassinated 26-1/2 years later in 1994. Read more about him and grab another album here. I found this CD--my favorite of Hasni's--in an Algerian bodega on Steinway Street in Queens years before I moved to this neighborhood. "Do you have any Cheb Hasni?" I asked the guy behind the counter. "You are Algerian?" he countered. It wasn't really a question. "No, why?" "Ah, you are French!" he spat triumphantly, as he dug through the piles of CDs behind him, pulling out the one you see above and setting it down on the counter. "If I'm French, why are you speaking to me in English?" I asked. He looked momentarily confused, then a sort of sly "gestalt of recognition" passed over his face. He smiled widely. "For you? Four dollars." "How much are CDs normally?" I asked. He waited a bit before answering. "Four dollars."
Soon after I moved to New York City in 1997 I began to notice that bodegas run by people from around the world sometimes stocked CDs and DVDs of music and film from the countries they had come from.
The music I've collected from these bodegas can almost never be found in the "World Music" sections of the few remaining places to buy CDs in the U.S.; nor, for that matter on iTunes (or cheapo MP3 sites like Soundike).
If you are an artist or publisher and do not want your music here, just let me know and I'll remove it.