Music

This Documentary Takes You Inside South Africa’s Biggest Trap Movement, ATM

Watch the Emtee-directed and produced documentary about ATM.

South African rapper and singer Emtee and his producer Ruff started a movement when they released "Roll Up" in 2015.


"When we made 'Roll Up,' I don't think none of us thought it was gonna be this big. We knew it was a dope song, big song, but we never knew it would get us here. 'Roll Up' got us here," Emtee says as him and his Ambitiouz Entertainment label mate Saudi sit in the comfort of the bucket seats of the rapper's Mercedes Benz in a scene from the recently released ATM Documentary.

ATM (African Trap Movement) is an indie label and movement started by Emtee, one of the most prominent trap artists in South Africa.

Apart from showing the usual suspects—Emtee, Saudi, Sjava and Ruff—the documentary introduces us to other faces that are part of ATM, up-and-coming artists, fashion designers and the label's manager.

The documentary, which was directed by Emtee himself, and shot and edited by Mmuso R. Mafisa, follows the crew on the road, at shows and studio sessions. The artists explain what trap means to them, how they made it theirs by adding African elements to pure trap music, and what they think its future is, among other insights.

There will be a new episode of the ATM Documentary every month. You can watch the first episode below. Check out some of the best ATM releases that came out this year underneath.

Read: How Emtee Found His Voice And Became South Africa's Number 1 Trapper

The 11 Best South African Trap Producers





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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