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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.

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Tay Iwar. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Tay Iwar Is Nigeria's Hidden Gem

In a rare interview, the reclusive Nigerian singer and producer talks in-depth about writing and producing his new EP 1997, his forthcoming album Gemini and Nigeria's 'Alté' movement.

Tay Iwar wants some space. The word is the title of one of three songs on his new EP and also one that comes up during our interview, conducted via voice notes and texts on Whatsapp from his base in Abuja—a long way from Lagos which remains Nigeria's music hub.

The choice of the nation's quieter capital over the bustle of its music metropolis is a deliberate one for Iwar and one which fevers his reputation as a recluse and cult figure in Nigerian music circles. This especially happens among the subculture referred to as "alté"—an abbreviation of the word alternative which is used to denote the independent movement that is free from the flash and perceived vacuity of afropop. Precise definitions of the word vary but common denominators include introspection and melancholia, as well as trap and R&B.;

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Photo: Dancers of the Asociación Cultural Afro Chincha Perú via Wikimedia Commons

After Decades of Erasure, Afro-Peruvians Will Finally be Counted in the National Census

Despite an Afro-Peruvian cultural resurgence not a lot has been done to increase the population's visibility on a political level.

In 2009, Peru became the first Latin American country to issue an official public apology to its afrodescendiente population for centuries of "abuse, exclusion, and discrimination." Since then, many have criticized it as more of a symbolic gesture, especially for its failure to mention slavery. It was also seen as a way for the government to highlight Afro-Peruvian culture over making any substantive improvements to the material conditions of Afro-Peruvian communities.

Enter the census, which can play an important role in compelling the Peruvian government to address systemic inequality related to education, poverty, and health. Unfortunately, the last time Peru made a formal attempt to keep track of its African descended population via the census was in 1940.

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Watch Kuami Eugene's Vibrant Music Video "Meji Meji" Featuring Davido

This Ghanaian and Nigerian link up will make your day.

Ghana's Kuami Eugene has been an artist to watch—especially as he shows himself to hold his own on collab tracks.

The music video for his latest, "Meji Meji" featuring Davido, is here. Its upbeat vibe shines through as the two crooners go about their day in Ghana, singing sweet nothings to their love interests.

"Meji Meji" was produced by Fresh VDM, with the video directed by Twitch & Rex.

Take a look at the vibrant video below.

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