Mike Ellison On World Cafe : World Cafe In this installment of Sense of Place: Detroit, the hip-hop artist discusses his family's roots. Fellow Detroiter and hit-making producer Don Was, a fan of Ellison, was inspired to record and mix today's session.

Mike Ellison On World Cafe

Mike Ellison On World Cafe

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Mike Ellison. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Set List

  • "Revive/Surrender"
  • "Get Into This"
  • "Stepping Into Destiny"

A special session for our Sense of Place: Detroit series features hip-hop artist Mike Ellison. The musician is known in the city for his strong performances and his social activism at Detroit's annual Concert Of Colors, which showcases international performers alongside local musicians. Fellow Detroiter and producer Don Was first heard Ellison at the music festival and became a fan, which inspired Was to record and mix this session.

Was is the president of Blue Note Records, a member of Was (Not Was) and has produced a multitude of hits for The Rolling Stones, The B-52's, Bonnie Raitt, Iggy Pop and many others.

In this installment of Sense of Place, Ellison tells the story of being born to expatriate Americans in Ethiopia and going back to the country to search for his "second mother" — the woman who was his nanny. In addition to discussing his family's roots, Ellison performs songs from his upcoming album, Flytanium, live for the World Cafe.

Watch Mike Ellison Perform 'Stepping Into Destiny'

World Cafe Playlist for October 24, 2013