Video

Soukous & Politics: Baloji's Beautiful Kinshasa Dance Video

Baloji criticizes the power that cellphone companies & alcohol industries have on Congolese society through dance in "Unité & Litre"


Congolese-born, Belgium-based rapper & producer Baloji unveils a beautiful and political Kinshasa dance in his latest visuals for "Unité & Litre." Directed by Baloji himself, the music video follows dancer & choreographer Jolie Ngemi as she weaves her way to a brewery in a sharp critique of the power and influence that cellphone companies (Unit = a mobile top-up) and alcohol industries (Litres) have on Congolese society.

That political theme runs through Baloji's upcoming 64 Bits & Malachite EP (due October 30 via Universal France), a reference to computer processors (64 bits) and one of the few minerals found in Katanga, DRC that isn't mined for use in operating systems across the globe (Malachite). “Everything I do in music is computer-based – and 40% of my computer and my phone came from Congolese soil,” explains Baloji.

The song "Unité & Litre," which features MC Mipipo and was co-produced by Baloji & Moroka, repurposes Congolese dancing chants and features guitar lines inspired by 1970s soukous group Zaiko Langa Langa. Watch the "Unité & Litre" music video, which follows Baloji's stunning love letter to the Congo, below.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

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