It was in 1960, after the Sharpeville massacre, that the South African jazzman was exiled to England for his studies. He flew to the US sometime later and reconnected with his long time friend Miriam Makeba (they had met during the musical King Kong in South Africa). Soon after they’d be married. Influenced by Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie or Harry Belafonte, Masekela released his first album, Trumpet Africaine, in 1962.
Brother “Hugh” rubbed shoulders with the Black Panthers and kept an eye on what was happening in Africa, where wars of liberation were still raging. He eventually went there with his producer Stuart Levine, with whom he organised the musical festival Zaire 74 preceding the epic fight “The Rumble in the Jungle” between Ali-Foreman in Kinshasa. But in his home country, the situation was worsening.
In 1976, the South African regime decided to make Afrikaans the official language of the country. Riots took place in Soweto, the black township of Johannesburg. The locals are suppressed with bloodshed. Masekela and Makeba, although divorced, had maintained a good relationship. He composes the piece “Soweto Blues” for her to play as a tribute to riots’ martyrs.
Banned from his country due to his activism, it’s with a Ghanaian passport that he goes—via South Africa—to Lesotho, a small landlocked kingdom that gained independence and escaped the Pretoria regime. At the border of South Africa, the concert draws a crowd of over 75,000 people to denounce the apartheid regime. “The concert tore a gaping hole in the insulation the apartheid overlords had tried to build,” wrote Masekela.
In 1983, he set up a mobile studio in Botswana, close to the northern border of South Africa. He reconnected with mbaqanga, the musical genre that was going mainstream in his native country.
Still an activist, he released “Bring ’Him Back Home” in 1987, a song that would become the anthem for all those who fought for the release of Mandela and participated in the concerts of the Graceland tour with Paul Simon, Myriam Makeba, or Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
He would return to Canada in 1990, continuing his career for a country from which he has been exiled for thirty years. In the light of this story, we better understand the significance of this Live in Lesotho album, in the history of the artist and in the liberation of South Africa, where music has always played a major role in life and culture.
Live in Lesotho includes previously unreleased photos and liner notes by Atiyyah Khan. Head here for more info in advance of its 2nd of December release.
“Entertainment Has Salvaged Nigeria From The Negative Status Quo. – Davido
A week ago, media platform and digital agency Melanin Unscripted along with Columbia University's African Students Association hosted none other than Nigerian megastar Davido for a talk entitled "Shaping the Image of Africa Through Music, which focused on the themes in his newly released sophomore album A Good Time as well as "the next frontier of afrobeats."
There was a feeling of pride and excitement as attendees—mostly African students from Columbia, gathered at Columbia University's campus in NYC. The night's two hosts quizzed the audience on Davido trivia, and ran through other Afrobeats-related questions to keep the audience entertained as we awaited the artist's arrival.
Once Davido finally came through—about an hour and a half later—the excitement still hadn't waned. Moderator, Amarachi Nwosu, the founder of Melanin Unscripted, asked the artist a range of questions that touched on the role of social media in helping spread African pop music, using his platform and influence to address social issues in his country—"music has saved Nigeria," the artist remarked—as well as the making of A Good Time. "I just got tired of Americans singing 'If' and 'Fall," the artist joked.
In line with the night's theme, the event was an overall "good time," complete with a fun conversation between Davido and Nwosu that highlighted the artist's humorous side and energetic personality. You can check out the 45-minute conversation in full below courtesy of Melanin Unscripted.
Cassper Nyovest, AKA, 24 Other Pioneers Inducted Into The South African Hip Hop Museum’s Wall of Fame. – (PHOTOS)
On Thursday night, the South African hip-hop community gathered for a night of celebrating the culture and artform's pioneers and icons. The Hennessy Wall of Fame is the first phase of the South African Hip Hop Museum, which is still under construction.
The Wall of Fame consists of 26 names who have been instrumental in the growth of hip-hop in South Africa, from the likes of Prophets of da City, Godessa and Lance Sterh to younger artists like Cassper Nyovest, Da L.E.S and AKA.
Osmic Menoe, the founder of Ritual Media Group, the company behind the museum, the festival Back To The City and the South African Hip Hop Awards, shared that he felt hip-hop was running the risk of its story not being preserved and told by itself.
"It just scared me when meeting the younger generation and when you reference a POC, they were confused," he said in his opening speech during the event at Museum Africa in Newtown, Joburg. "When you tell them that we used to go a place in town called Le Club that opens at 12 when the sun's out and then Le Club closes at six in the afternoon, it sounded very weird because Taboo opens at six and closes the next day at six."
"So, to me, it made the most sense to say, why don't we preserve the same one's having a good one because it's changed a lot in our lives. It's changed my life. I know it's changed Bionic's life. I know it's changed Kenzhero's life. I can tell you for a fact it changed Vouks' life, [he] even has his own watch nowadays. When you look at people such as, like I say, Cassper, who's extending culture from where people like POC took it in the world tour."
Khomotso Ledwaba, brand manager of Hennessy SA, said during the event:
"Our brand has become synonymous with hip hop culture around the world. Ever since first being uttered on a verse, Hennessy has featured in some 2500 songs and has made an indelible mark on the genre. To date, it's the most mentioned spirit not just in hip hop but in the broader music industry. From collaborations with Rakim, Nas, KAWs, Vhils and Shepard Fairey, to campaigns like the ever-popular Hennessy Artistry, we're deeply committed to hip hop culture. Our Wall of Fame is another way to champion the creatives making waves in the industry."
The Wall of Fame consists of multimedia information about each inductee. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.
The Wall of Fame will be updated every year, with new names being added. This year's inductees shared heartfelt speeches, with some sharing parts of their backstories in hip-hop. The producer, Thaso told the audience being inducted was "the biggest award of my whole career."
Below are the names of this year's inductees:
1. HHP (Rapper)
2. Pro Kid (Rapper)
3. P.O.C (hip-hop group)
4. Amu (Rapper and producer)
5. Ready D (DJ)
6. Skwatta Kamp (Rap group)
7. Gogga (Graffiti writer)
8. Falco (Graffiti writer)
9. Bionic (DJ and promoter)
10. Battlekat (Producer)
11. Cassper Nyovest (Rapper and promoter)
12. Godessa (Rappers)
13. Tumi (Rapper and record label owner)
14. Watkin Jones (Rapper)
15. Lee Kasumba (Radio hot)
16. Hymphatic Thabs (Rapper)
17. Osmic Menoe (Promoter)
18. Kenzhero (Promoter and DJ)
19. Lance Stehr (Record label owner)
20. AKA (Rapper)
21. Slikour (Rapper)
22.Da Les (Rapper)
25.Emile YX? (Pioneer)
The South African Hip Hop Museum is still under construction and will be opened in 2020.
Wizkid Secure Verses From Chronixx, DJ Tunez On His New EP.
Wizkid treats fans to new songs featuring Chronixx, DJ Tunez and more—just ahead of 2020. The Nigerian pop star surprised listeners early this morning with the unannounced release of a new EP, Soundman Vol. 1.
Though Wizkid has released a couple of singles this year, fans had been awaiting a new drop and more extensive project from the artist. With it being so close to the end of the year, it didn't look like we'd get a new body of work from the artist till 2020, but he proved otherwise when he took to Twitter at the wee hours of the morning to quietly share streaming links for the new project.
He also announced that a second EP, Soundman Vol. 2, would drop sometime before his highly-anticipated upcoming album Made In Lagos (MIL).
The new release features Jamaican artist Chronixx, on the opening track 'Jam,' and others including DJ Tunez, Blaq Jerzee and Kel P. It sees the artist delivering a jazzy, highlife-inspired sound with tracks that feature heavy horns and smooth, mid-tempo production.
He released the tracks "Joro" and "Ghetto Love" in October, and that same month he became the first African artist to sell out London's O2 Arena twice.
He's also appeared in several memorable collaborations throughout the year, including "Gbese" with DJ Tunez, "Dis Love" with DJ Spinall and Tiwa Savage, and with Beyoncé, on the hit song "Brown Skin Girl," which earned him a Soul Train award.
Stream album here - Wizkid Soundman Vol 1
THE AFRICAN GOSPEL REVOLUTION: Who Has Control, The Secular Or The Chosen Generation?
Historians say Christianity is revolutionary or oppressive depending on who is teaching it. There are about 390m Christians in Africa and it is estimated by 2025 that will increase to 600m. Like any religion, music plays an essential part of Christianity. Christians use music to escape the harsh realities of the world, and to glorify the Most High God. Before, gospel musicians in Africa were archaic, but now they are trendy, which is good news. However, there is new threat. Secular artistes tap into the gospel industry strategically to boost sales and popularity.
“E no easy”, from former Nigerian duo, P-square is a classic example. There’s also Timaya’s “Bow Down”, “If E No Be God” by Chidinma, Korede Bello’s “God Win”, “Koko” by Ghanaian rapper EL, “Fada Fada” from Phyno and Shatta Wale’s “My Level”, Kofi Kinaata's "Things Fall Apart". Now, why does the secular rule? The secular artistes have no limitations particularly in terms of lyrical content and music video concepts. A secular artiste can flaunt women, luxury cars, money, and extravagant lifestyle in a concept and just add the phrase associated with God like “Baba God Bless me” then it becomes inspirational.
However, few ones like Darey’s “Pray For Me” are deep and thought provoking, but majority follow a similar trend of celebrating worldly possessions. Most secular artistes simply speak a language the world understands, and since the position of God as Supreme Ruler reflects in other religions, the secular can further expand their territory. Some gospel musicians have attempted to blend both worlds, but unfortunately, they failed to get recognition and in no time, they fade into extinction. All the same Gospel singers such as Soweto Gospel Choir in South Africa, The Joyful Way Incorporated from Ghana, Joe mettle, Nigeria’s Ty Bello, Sinach and a host of others, still hold on to the reins of the Gospel Truth. (Flash Africa)
“DJs Are Guardian Angels, Don’t Disrespect Them. – Merqury Quaye To Musicians.
‘BABYLON’: The Film Banned In America For Being Too Honest.
Doreen Avio Chalks “Best Female Television Personality” At NELAS Awards.
ATTWF’19: Dr. Louisa, T.L.F. Examine Thousands Of Ghanaians. – (PHOTOS)
RECORD BREAKING: Over 100,000 Ghanaians Storm Stonebwoy’s “Ashaiman Festival”.
Tesla Pickup Truck To Be Priced Below $50,000
Collections4 days ago
WONDER BOY: How The King Of The Streets Became Ghana’s Fashion Alchemist.
Music Videos5 days ago
Sister Deborah Teams Up With Yaa Pono For Her Latest Jam.
Music4 days ago
Reggie ‘n’ Bollie Set To Drop New Banger Featuring All Stars.
Entertainment3 days ago
THE SHATTA MOVEMENT: True Definition Of Loyalty.