popular

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.

Featured
Courtesy of the artist

Meet Musa Okwonga, Poet, Musician and Activist Standing Up Against Xenophobia One Line At A Time

We talk to the artist about leaving London, being a migrant and resisting Germany's resurgent fascist movement.

A German TV channel recently announced a TV debate on whether Germans should still be allowed to say the N-word.

One of the announced panelists was Frauke Petry, the former leader of the AfD—a German far-right party that recently got 14 percent of the vote in local elections. Petry openly called for the return of Nazi-era terminology in public. This issue might have remained hidden for anglophones if it wasn't for the British writer, poet and activist Musa Okwonga who called out the TV channel on his Twitter account. Eventually, they cancelled the show.

Keep reading... Show less
Sports
Via CONIFA

At This World Cup, Players Risk Imprisonment to Compete

What you need to know about the CONIFA World Cup, the football tournament for breakaway nations.

The ConIFA World Cup, the global football tournament for unrecognized nations, and football associations not affiliated to FIFA, is about to begin its third edition. The championship will kickoff on 31 May in Sutton, Greater London, where the Barawa FA team will act as host.

Barawa FA, named after the port city of Barawa in southern Somalia, represents the Tunni and Bravanese people who live there, but it also represents the wider Somali diaspora in the United Kingdom. So, even though the tournament will be played in England, this will be the most African ConIFA competition to date, with not only an African member hosting and heading the organizing committee, but with two other African teams taking part in the competition: Matabeleland and Kabylia.

This will be the largest edition of the ConIFA World Cup so far, with 16 teams playing in 10 stadiums—seven in Greater London, two in Berkshire and one in Essex. In contrast, the previous edition, held in Abkhazia—a separatist region of Georgia—in 2016, featured 12 teams in two stadiums; while the inaugural edition, held in Lapland—a region encompassing parts of northern Sweden, northern Norway, northern Finland and north-western Russia inhabited by the Sami people—in 2014, only featured one stadium and 12 teams. It will also feature the largest number of African teams so far, as only two participated in 2014 (Darfur and Zanzibar) and 2016 (Somaliland and Chagos Islands).

The tournament has also raised its profile. Irish bookmaker Paddy Power announced it will be sponsoring the tournament, probably seizing the opportunity to take bets on the tournament, which will occur between the end of national European leagues and the beginning of the FIFA World Cup in mid-June.

Keep reading... Show less
Events
Photo by Farah Sosa.

Here's What Amplify Africa's Inaugural Afro Ball Looked Like

The awards event was a celebration of excellence and ambition in the African community.

On Saturday, May 19, the Los Angeles Theater Center in downtown LA became a mecca for idealists and dreamers from the African diaspora.

The casual passersby would've been greeted with an effusion of bold prints, intricate headwraps and color coordination—the likes of which had not been seen since their favorite 90s music video (or church, or a wedding for some of us). And though the festivities might have vaguely resembled a film set—as is all too common downtown—this moment wouldn't be rehashed months later in a movie or television show. Attendees were flocking to Amplify Africa's inaugural Afro Ball. With the support of BET International, Buzzfeed, OkayAfrica, the GEANCO Foundation and more, Afro Ball lived up to its name as a "for Africans, by Africans" awards event, celebrating excellence and ambition in our community.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.