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Here Are the 4 South African Features In The 'Black Panther' Soundtrack

Breaking down the appearances by South African artists in the Black Panther album.

The Black Panther soundtrack has officially arrived and it's all sorts of great.

Among the international stars that contributed to the album, the album features four South African artists whose collaborations we're about to dig into here after giving the album a listen.


Here is how we think the four South African artists did on their features in the Black Panther album.

Sjava

Sjava's a messenger of the people. You can never fault the way this man tells his story and the impeccable way in this he's managed to modernize the maskandi and mbhaqanga singing styles. The way he sings his praises when introducing himself in the beginning of his verse on "Seasons" will surely give you goosebumps. His verse is solid—it's emotional but not whiny, and it reveals a man who's comfortable with his story and who he is. If you understand IsiZulu, then this verse will put you in your feels. An excerpt:

"Laph' eng'phuma khona, maw'phuma khona bathi aw'fiki la/
Ngyamangala uma ngila/
Bebathi ng'yophelel' emoyeni, ba-right/
Manje ngiy'nkanyezi"

Yugen Blakrok

The politically-charged "Opps" is one of the strongest songs on this album. Vince and Kendrick were always going to spit technically correct verses. Vince, as usual, advocates for our right as black people to do whatever the fuck we like, which we are constantly being denied ("They don't wanna see me gettin' to the check/ They just wanna see me swimming in the debt"). Yugen Blakrok, on her verse, proves she's a high caliber emcee who does more than rhyme "and" with "land." She rhymes in syllables over a skittering rhythm, over a tempo you normally wouldn't hear in her own music. She's outside of her comfort zone, but manages to excel. Yugen Blakrok makes the difficult look easy as she raps potent lines such as:

"Mouth piece drawn, got a verbal armory/
Stack bodies, not figurines/
Move beneath the surface, submarine/
I'm half machine, obscene with a light sword/
Look inside the brain, it's a ride in the psych ward"

Babes Wodumo

All of Babes Wodumo's lyrics are almost 100% in IsiZulu. Even during interviews, she hardly ever utters an English word. Power to that. But her verse on "Redemption" is mostly done in English, except for the vocable "kikirikiki." Something seems off here. She doesn't sound like her usual charismatic self, it's as if she's curbing her own personality. While her appearance is not bad, it just lacks the x-factor that has made Babes Wodumo the star she is. In short, she can do better.

Saudi

You either love Saudi's music or you hate it–there hardly ever is an in-between. In "X," Saudi is part of a spaz fest alongside Kendrick, SchoolBoy Q and 2 Chainz. He switches between melodic and conventional raps on his verse, just like he does on most of his songs. There's nothing innovative about that, but he delivers his verse so suavely you can overlook mediocre lines like: "I keep the piece on me, I leave you puzzled," and "I'm higher than her Dad's salary." Side note: How great is 2 Chainz' verse on this song, though?

Listen to the whole album below.

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Photo courtesy of 1-54/SUTTON.

1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Landing in Marrakech is 2018's Most Anticipated Art Event

The leading art fair dedicated to contemporary African art makes its mark on the continent for the first time this weekend.

This weekend, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, the leading art fair devoted to contemporary African art, will debut in Marrakech, Morocco. The announcement of the Fair's expansion to the continent last year has left aficionados of contemporary African art in eager anticipation of this "homecoming"—this author included.

1-54 debuted in London in 2013. Although an expansion to New York followed, a presence on the continent was always part of the long-term vision of the founder Touria El Glaoui. Finally, the time has now arrived.

Here are five reasons why we're looking forward to 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech.

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This Olympic Figure Skater Blew Us Away Again By Pulling Off a Costume Change Mid-Routine

First Maé-Bérénice Méité performed to Beyoncé, now she's effortlessly slaying outfit changes mid-routine. What can't she do?

French-Congolese and Ivorian figure skater, Maé-Bérénice Méité, has pretty much been the life of the Winter Olympic figure skating competition.

Earlier this month, the athlete had the internet shook when she performed her opening routine to two Beyoncé songs. Now she's back with even more black girl magic.

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Video still via YouTube.

10 Stand Out Moments From Janelle Monáe's Powerful Music Videos

Janelle Monae came back making a statement—and we're just as obsessed as you are.

We've got to talk about Janelle Monáe.

Over the past half decade, she's embarked on a profound journey that's solidified her as an artist, creator and activist who isn't afraid to shoot down the stars—or shoot with them.

After having roles in Hidden Figures and Moonlight—two Oscar nominated movies where one won an Oscar, a stellar speech at the Grammy's and a stunning presence at the Black Panther red carpet, she's ready to grace us with "Dirty Computer," the latest musical venture in her Afrofuturistic saga.

To whet our appetites before the album, which is set to release on April 27, Janelle dropped not one but two music videos yesterday. Both are distinctly entertaining: one is a black, intersectional feminist anthem and the other a psychedelic soundtrack of sexual fluidity.

Watch both, then read some of the highlights we gathered from the hypnotizing visuals and powerful wordplay.

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