Film

Get To Know The 4 South African Artists Featured In The Black Panther Soundtrack

Meet Sjava, Saudi, Yugen Blakrok and Babes Wodumo.

TDE and Kendrick Lamar revealed the track list for Black Panther movie soundtrack yesterday and it's all our timeline's been talking about it.

Among US-based superstars like The Weeknd, SZA, Swae Lee, Khalid, and Lamar himself, we were hyped to see four South African artists featured among the 14 songs in the soundtrack.

Below, we give you a clear picture of just who these acts—Babes Wodumo, Yugen Blakrok, Sjava, and Saudi—are.

Sjava

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Sjava is one of the pioneers of the subgenre African trap music (ATM), alongside his Ambitiouz Entertainment label mates Emtee and Saudi. Sjava's music mixes umbhaqanga and maskandi with trap. You can pick up influences of the legendary mbhaqanga group The Soul Brothers in his music.

Sjava sings about issues affecting the average black man in modern day South Africa, which he did in full on his gold-certified debut album Isina Muva. The album was received well by both fans and critics alike. Sjava has appeared on hit singles such as DJ Citi Lyts' "Shishiliza," Miss Pru DJ's "Ameni," and of course the massive "Vura" by DJ Citi Lyts. He's also featured on Emtee's sophomore album Manando.

Saudi

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Just like Sjava, Saudi, who hails from Soweto, is signed to Ambitouz Entertainment, and is part of the ATM collective. He recently released his debut album D.R.U.G.S Inc, last year, and it's essential listening. On D.R.U.G.S Inc, Saudi wears his heart on his sleeve, and delivers his raps in a sing-songy manner without the use of autotune.

Prior to releasing his debut album, Saudi was known for great features on singles such as Priddy Ugly's "In The Mood Remix," Miss Pru DJ's "Ameni" and "Ugesi," DJ Citi Lyts' "Vura," among others. He also appeared on the albums Manando by Emtee, King Zamar by Lady Zamar and Isina Muva by Sjava.


Yugen Blakrok

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Yugen Blakrok is a maverick and one of South African hip-hop's best-kept secrets. While she may not be popular among your regular hip-hop circles, the rapper has managed to amass a solid niche fanbase. She is signed to the indie label Iapetus, and was recently on tour in Europe.

Yugen Blakrok released her debut album Return of the Astrogoth in 2013, and cemented her spot as one of the most potent lyricists in South Africa. She drops knowledge, making use of esoteric metaphors and similes that reveal a well-read writer and an artist who is comfortable in her own skin. Her flow is butter, and sits over a highly-textured beats courtesy of her producer Kanif The Jhatmaster.

Babes Wodumo

Babes Wodumo is the self-crowned 'Queen of Gqom.' She has been a staple in the gqom music scene since she released her single "Wololo" in 2016, which was off of her debut album Gqom Queen Vol. 1. The artist has since released more hits such as "Mercedes," "Jiva Phez Kombhede," "Ganda Ganda," and a few more. She's also appeared on "Tsege Tsege" by Big Nuz, "Shut Up and Grove" by Distruction Boyz.

Babes' personality and dance moves have made her a favorite among South Africans. And her insistence to doing interviews in IsiZulu, which is a revolutionary act of some sort, makes Babes a leader of some sort.

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.