Video

Afika NX Dances Across The Streets Of Brooklyn In 'C'est La Vie'

South African-American rapper Afika NX blends Caribbean melodies and a highly-addictive beat in his latest music video for "C'est La Vie."


Photo by Izzy Filippini.

South African-American rapper Afika NX comes through with his latest foot-stomping single "C'est La Vie," a track that propels the MC's bold bars with the use of Caribbean-infused melodies and a highly-addictive beat. "The song is for anyone who's ever been broke in New York City," Afika NX tells Okayafrica via e-mail. "We wanted to make something fun, and communicate to people that money should never define you or limit your enjoyment of life. I'm a huge Missy fan, and a huge Busta fan, and there's definitely some Afro-Caribbean influences in there."

The single's Gabriel Garcia Rosa-directed music video follows Afika NX and crew of dancers as they bust some pretty impressive moves across the streets of Brooklyn. "We made that video in one day — just got together a bunch of creative people in Brooklyn to see what we could come up with in an afternoon. It's got hip-hop dance, West African dance, Afro-Caribbean rhythm, absolutely sick choreography. It's low budget and fun — just like the message of the song and just like it should be. We love it."

Stream our premiere of Afika NX's "C'est La Vie," from the NYC-based rapper's forthcoming EP, below.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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