Video

Azizaa Criticizes The Role Of Western Religion In Ghana In The Music Video For 'Black Magic Woman'

Ghanaian artist Azizaa and Wanlov of the FOKN Bois tackle issues of religion in Ghana with the new song and video for "Black Magic Woman."


Is Ghana too influenced by Western religion? Budding Ghanaian singer Azizaa and Wanlov the Kubulor of the rap outfit FOKN Bois would argue that it most certainly is. They tackle this "religion issue" in their new song and video "Black Magic Woman," a satirical offering in which the two openly critique Christianity, which they believe has a damaging, colonial clutch on many Ghanaians. "It is a perfect self-perpetuating system," says Wanlov, who directed the video, in a recent interview with the FADER. "They took away our spirituality and gave us religion; they banned us from gathering under a tree by the fireside and herded us into churches."

In the booming, percussion-laden track, Azizaa proudly declares herself a "black magic woman from the African jungle," and challenges monotheistic religious notions by referring to otherworldly entities and embracing ideas commonly associated with pre-colonial, Ghanaian spirituality. The accompanying music video begins with a young woman rejecting the propositions of two overbearing evangelists and joining Azizaa in a "juju" ceremony. The two enthusiastically deject the zealots in the same manner that many Ghanaians have cast down non-Western spiritual practices. Through this, the song raises questions regarding the willingness of some Africans to accept Western culture and religious practices over "traditional" customs. "How can anyone of African descent be worshiping the same tool used to uselessly murder their ancestors?" asks Azizaa. Watch below as Azizaa and Wanlov explore this question and more in the video for "Black Magic Woman."

 

Interview

Angelique Kidjo Writes a Love Letter to 'Mother Nature'

We talk to the Beninese musical icon about assembling her new album on Zoom and the "bigger than COVID-19" threat that lies ahead!

The kind of infectious energy that lives within Angelique Kidjo can't be contained by Zoom. Her zest for life reaches out far beyond any screen, and burns stronger than the fastest internet connection.

"I can't wait until we're in person hugging again," she enthuses soon after joining our Zoom meeting to discuss her latest album Mother Nature. Having been on the receiving end of a hug from the four-time Grammy-winning singer, I know exactly what I'm missing out on. "Me too," I say, as I wrap my arms around my laptop, my face squishing the screen. "No, no," she retorts. "I don't want that. You keep it. I want the real deal," she chuckles, her full-bodied trademark laughter lovingly admonishing me.

The Benin-born musician is preparing to release Mother Nature, a collection of songs reflecting our one Earth, and cementing her status as an African musical icon. Collaborating with the likes of Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Sampa the Great, Shungudzo and more, Kidjo's crossing through time and space, over age and country through Mother Nature's themes and stories. Each track is infused with a vigor that only she possesses — the kind that shares a significant message even as the listener is called to just dance or sing along.

Below, Angelique Kidjo reminisces about making the album, and chats us through her hopes and dreams for it!

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