Video

Video: U.S. Army Does Azonto In Afghanistan

The furore over the U.S. Army's Azonto is just a big distraction.

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Looks like the U.S. Army has submitted an entry to the #ANTENNADANCE competition (in which people record themselves dancing to Fuse ODG's hit Antenna).  The vid features soldiers pranking, grinding, shimmying, & (inexplicably) doing the dougie on tanks, in the feel-good vein of last year's 'Call me Maybe' cover, or 2008's 'The Ding Dong Song' or 2009's 'Ice Ice Baby' . . . you get the picture.  We came across it via Report Ghana, who tell us that "Afghanistan is actually known for war and suicide bombing" and then enthuse "It is really amazing to see that Ghana's azonto has spread world-wide."

Not sure how Report Ghana figured that a video in which U.S. soldiers bounce around barracks and dance with the odd Afghani kid is going to radically alter representations of Afghanistan. And in this instance, is it really worth celebrating Ghana's global reach? Mainly, in the vein of Hearts and Minds, the video functions as good PR for the Army and the U.S. government. Distracted by all the frat-boy homerotic fun and games, everyone (me included) starts feeling sentimental about "the boys" and forgets to ask what the the Army is still doing in Afghanistan . . . and why our leaders saw fit to send it in the first place.

On a purely formal note: this is not azonto - just bad dancing set to an azonto soundtrack.

Audio
Image via Sheila Afari PR.

9 Black Electronic Musicians You Should Be Listening To

Featuring DJ Lag, Spellling, Nozinja, Klein, LSDXOXO and more.

We know that Black queer DJs from the Midwest are behind the creation of house and dance music. Yet, a look at the current electronic scene will find it terribly whitewashed and gentrified, with the current prominent acts spinning tracks sung by unnamed soulful singers from time to time. Like many art forms created by Black people all over the world, the industry hasn't paid homage to its pioneers, despite the obvious influence they have. Thankfully, the independent music scene is thriving with many Black acts inspired by their forefathers and mothers who are here to revolutionize electronic music. Here are a list of the ones you should check out:

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