An African Minute: Botswana's New Podtape

Nothing gets us ticking more than seeing young Africans sharing their dopeness with the rest of the world. We recently spent "An African Minute" with James Kebu - a young dude based in Gaborone who started a podcast called Podtape showcasing urban music from Botswana’s up and coming artists.

1. What inspired you to start Podtape?

Back in the year when I was younger, can’t recall the exact timeframe, there was a rap show on Radio Botswana’s RB2 called "Strictly Hip Hop Live" hosted by Salim and Draztik of Cashless Society. The radio show came on once a week for I think 2 hours, lasted a few months then disappeared. Nothing similar ever came back on any local radio station, rather nothing that grasped me as that show did. Along with that, I happen to move in circles of people that make really good music, being producers, rappers, poets and singers. Not to say I chose these friends, but destiny just had it that I happen to find myself in the midst of such alike. I then reached a point when I couldn’t stand not hearing my peoples’ good music on radio, yet every station I tuned into was preaching the same rant of ‘local support’. I was never satisfied, went around production houses to collect music that appeased my taste, and then there was Podtape.

2. You must surely be getting quite a lot of music submissions/request from artists. What’s the criteria for the music that goes on Podtape?

When it comes to music, I feel you have so-called artists who solely try to make it onto radio countdowns, following a formula that seems to work for those who make it onto the billboard charts. You also have artists who just want to be heard, making music as an art form and not a gimmick. The thin line between these types is where my inner ear plays a role, I just listen out for what sounds good to me first. If I don’t like it then I don’t like it, doesn’t mean that I hate, but rest assured you will not hear it on Podtape. To date, 2 years since inception, I still receive music links via social networks to check out. I have no certified description of what it is I seek in the type of music, it just has to be dope to me. One rule of engagement that I find important is that the music needs to be made in Botswana, or have a citizen involved in its production.

3. What are your future plans for Podtape?

Seeing as my taste in music has acquired a wide-reaching following, I would love to see Podtape introduce nonexistent royalties to local musicians, turn it from a hobby to a business, and create employment. Future plans are to get this below radar music acknowledged by broadcast masters. I’m yet to have a solid blueprint on how to go about it, but the plan is to get it all into motion and realise this dream I’ve been having.

Stream an episode of Podtape:

4. Podtape seems to be an independent passion project. Do you fear that corporate involvement or market pressures might take it on an undesirable path?

Since Podtape, on plenty an occasion I’ve been told that no one does what they really want to do. It's human nature to reach a compromise and blame it on responsibility, or whatever. I’ve already had my share of fallouts with a select few people I’ve been building Podtape with, of which I take as lessons on my people skills and knowing when to say ‘no’ and standing by my word. One other thing I’ve been told is how I’m too innocent regarding my approach in the music industry, whatever. Still, I look forward to the challenges of corporate involvement.

Previously on An African Minute: Congolese superstar rapper Hugo Million, South African fashion designer Gareth Cowden, Nigerian songstress Zara Gretti, Zimbabwean celebrity hair and make up stylist Jackie Mgido, Kenyan comic artist Chief Nyamweya, and Tunde Kehinde co-founder of an online dating community for Africans.

Yes, Shaquille O'Neal Dropped A Diss Remix of 'Mans Not Hot'

"The real" Shaq responds to British comedian Big Shaq's viral grime hit. The ting goes skrrraaa.

Today, in things you didn't know you would ever hear (or needed to), NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal has dropped a diss remix to British comedian Michael Dapaah aka Big Shaq aka Roadman Shaq aka MC Quakez's "Mans Not Hot."

The track's a response to Big Shaq's ultra viral freestyle on BBC Radio 1's "Fire in the Booth" segment, where the comedian first dropped his now timeless "the ting goes skrrraaa" lines. Since its release back in August, the clip's gone beyond viral—Michael Dapaah aka Big Shaq's even released an official version of the track.

Fast forward to last week, the NBA's Shaq went on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, in which The Roots played "Mans Not Hot" as his walk-on music.

Well, with all the attention on the track, it seems the OG Shaq's taken notice and, in his own tongue-in-cheek way, has fired off some bars at the comedian taking his name.

To make things even more confusing, he's also joined by Toronto rapper ShaqisDope on the comedic diss track.

"There's only one Big Shaq," the NBA star rhymes.

Check out Shaq's diss and the original video below. skrrraaa pap bap bap.

A Nasty Boy Magazine's 'Creative Class of 2018' Highlights 40 African Creatives Who Are Disrupting the Status Quo

For its inaugural list, the trailblazing Nigerian publication highlights 40 creatives who are disrupting the norm through art, photography, writing and more.

With it's emphasis on unapologetically interrupting the status quo and championing all things striking, artistic and unconventional, A Nasty Boy is the rare and severely necessary publication shaking up Nigeria's conservative media landscape.

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Erykah Badu Curated A New Fela Kuti Box Set

Badu: "Fela Kuti is a Fucking Genius. Please listen to these tracks, preferably with a nice blunt.. with a nice slow burn."

To celebrate Fela Kuti's birthday and the many Felabrations going down across the globe, Knitting Factory Records has announced the upcoming arrival of their new Fela Kuti box set.

The new box set, which will be the fourth installment the label has released from the king of Afrobeat, will be curated by none-other-than Erykah Badu.

"Fela Kuti is a Fucking Genius," Badu writes in a press statement. "Please listen to these tracks, preferably with a nice blunt.. with a nice slow burn."

Erykah Badu's selections include her "favorite Fela Piece of all times," 1980's Coffin For Head of State, alongside Yellow Fever (1976), No Agreement (1977), J.J.D. (Johnny Just Drop) (1977), V.I.P. (1979), Army Arrangement (1984), and Underground System (1992).

The box set will be limited to only 3,000 copies, which come with a 16" x 24" poster designed by Nigerian artist Lemi Ghariokwu, the creative force behind 26 of Fela Kuti's iconic album covers, and a 20-page full-color booklet. The booklet features seven personal essays written by Erykah Badu.

Previous Fela Kuti box sets have been curated by Questlove, Ginger Baker, and Brian Eno for Knitting Factory Records.

Pre-order Erykah Badu's Fela Kuti box set now.

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