News Brief
Bas and Ari Lennox in "Amnesia" (Youtube)

Watch Bas' New Video For 'Amnesia' Featuring Ari Lennox & Kiddominant

A blend of Afro-house, soca, afrobeats, and sounds from Bahia, Brazil produced by DJ Moma.

French-born, New York-raised, Sudanese rapper Bas comes through with the new music video for "Amnesia," his addictive single from Spilled Milk Vol. 1.

"Amnesia" sees Bas linking up with fellow Dreamville artist Ari Lennox and Nigeria's Kiddominant for a head-nodding blend of Afro-house, soca, afrobeats, and sounds from Bahia, Brazil. The uplifting track was produced by DJ Moma.

The beautiful, joy-filled music video for "Amnesia" was made by an all-black creative crew, a press statement mentiosn. It features direction and choreography from Tajana B-Williams and styling from Mazhané Rima- Fleurima and Zarah Elizabeth.

For more, read our in-depth interview with Bas about his Sudanese roots and the African influences on his latest record, Milky Way. "I was born in France & raised in New York but I'm still African," he mentions in that exclusive interview with OkayAfrica.

Watch Bas, Ari Lennox and Kiddominant's new music video for "Amnesia" below.


Bas - Amnesia feat. Ari Lennox and KIDDOMINANT (Official Video) youtu.be

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Still from YouTube

Watch the Music Video for Bas' Single 'Jollof Rice,' Featuring EarthGang

The infectious track gets an equally vibrant music video.

Paris-born, New York-raised, Sudanese rapper, Bas shares the music video for "Jollof Rice" a standout from his latest project Spilled Milk Volume 1, featuring Atlanta duo and fellow Dreamville members, EarthGang.

On the infectious song, produced by DZL the rappers spit boisterous lyrics and talk about their many desires: one of them being having their crush cook them jollof rice. Bas told Beats 1 Radio last month that the song and others on the project, were inspired by a recent trip he took to Lagos with label head, J. Cole.

READ: Bas: "I Was Born in France & Raised in New York But I'm Still African

Still from Youtube

The music video, directed by Mariah Winter, is simple but striking as the three artists perform in a hazy and retro-inspired studio surrounded by several modelesque women—all of them dressed impeccably fun and stylishly.

The artist announced last month that he would be dropping a new full-length album this month, so we have that to look forward too as well.

Check out the music video for 'Jollof Rice" below.

Bas - Jollof Rice feat. EarthGang (Official Video) www.youtube.com

News Brief

Bas Announces New Album, Talks African Influences In His Music & More on Beats 1 Radio

In an interview on Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio, the artist reveals a new project dropping in September and discusses what he learned on a recent trip to Lagos with J.Cole.

Rapper and Dreamville signee Bas, just released his latest project Spilled Milk 1 last week, but he already has another project up his sleeves.

The artist took to Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio on Monday to speak with host Nadeska to talk about his latest album which features fellow Dreamville artists Ari Lennox, EARTHGANG, Nigerian artist Kiddominant and more. He also revealed that he'll be dropping another full length album next month.

READ: Bas: "I Was Born in France & Raised in New York But I'm Still African"Bas: "I Was Born in France & Raised in New York But I'm Still African"

The Paris-born, New York-raised rapper of Sudanese heritage also spoke about his 2018 trip to Nigeria with J. Cole, which was the inspiration for his song "Jollof Rice," and a way of paying homage to the continent and the culture (there's also a song on the project called "Fried Rice.")

Bas - Jollof Rice feat. EarthGang (Official Audio + Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

OkayAfrica spoke with the artist about his trip to Lagos last year, and he described an eye-opening performance: "The songs didn't have J. Cole featured on them but while performing, thousands of Lagos people were rapping with me word for word and I was like, what the hell is going on here," said Bas. "I was unaware, I didn't know my music was known that much. I was very surprised with all the love and support I was getting from people. It was very inspiring to show that there is so much room to make music because there is so much culture and energy there."

The artist also discusses working with fellow rappers Vince Staples, Smino and more. You can listen to Bas' full interview on Apple Music's Beats 1 Radio below.

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5 Women Doing Amazing Things Behind the Scenes in South African Hip-Hop

Behind every successful South African rapper of the last decade is a woman helping to get ish done. Helen Herimbi spoke to a few of them.

South African hip-hop had a great run in the last decade. As we start a new era, it's important to highlight the women who have played a pivotal role in the growth of the genre.

​Thuli Keupilwe

Thuli Keupilwe is the founder of LAWK Communications, an artist booking and representation agency that now works closely with the likes of DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small.

But she's not all about the yanos. Thuli has worked with urban music brands like Dreamteam SA and Homecoming Events, but in 2016, she cast her booking agent net wider and started LAWK Communications where she worked with DJs Capital and Sliqe.

The following year, Thuli received a phone call that would force her to level up. "Boom," she exclaims. "February 2017. PJay from B3nchMarQ called me. I was the one that pushed A-Reece to get onto his first Maftown Heights around 2014 and we're all from Pretoria so I'd known them since forever."

B3nchMarQ and A-Reece were gearing up to leave Ambitiouz Entertainment and when she agreed to be their booking agent, Thuli hadn't anticipated how much it would stretch her. Partly because the artists weren't initially permitted to perform their own songs—problematic for an agent who is meant to book them for gigs.

"I didn't see that coming at all," she says. "I was going up against the big guys, people I looked up to. I realized I needed to get a lawyer." Eventually, the artists were legally permitted to gig. "I had one of my biggest years with Reece after that. I am still with him till today."

A-Reece had managed to amass an enviable fan base size mostly from his online and streaming presence. Thuli works closely with him and counts using A-Reece's "Rich" song in a sync deal with the gambling website BET.co.za as a milestone in their partnership. "It was a good check," she chuckles. "And he was being himself and that's the most important thing to me."

Kay Faith

Authenticity has been the drive behind Kay Faith's work. The Cape Town-based engineer, producer and budding vocalist began her career behind the boards during sessions for the likes of Yasiin Bey, Nasty C and E-Jay.

She put out her own EP, In Good Faith, in 2017, and in 2018, she became the first female producer in the world to be featured on Apple Music's New Artist Spotlight.

She has also given us hip-hop bangers like "Slam Dunk" by Da L.E.S and YoungstaCPT. The latter is a frequent collaborator of hers. So much so that when his album 3T won the Best Album category at this year's South African Hip Hop Awards, she felt it was a win for her too. Especially since projects she'd worked on had been nominated and lost before.

Read: Meet The Woman Engineering Your Favorite South African Hip-Hop Releases

"When we started [the song] 'YVR,' I had this emotional feeling that it would be something big for Cape Town," Kay excitedly says. "From recording to mixing to mastering and featuring as a vocalist on 'The Cape of Good Hope' and 'KAAPSTAD NAAIER,' I was behind all of 3T. I even co-produced the 'Pavement Special' intro and the 'Outro' with Chvna.

"We spent 11 months crafting and him trying to get it to be perfect so it was a surreal feeling when we won Album of the Year. I even sent out a tweet saying: 'Can we just take a moment to realize that the South African Hip Hop Album of the Year was entirely engineered by a woman?'"

Kay's upcoming album, Antithesis is slated for a 2020 release. "It's going to be the first album of its kind, I believe," she says. "And I'm really trying to play with that idea of being the antithesis of hip-hop. I am a woman, an Afrikaans kid, in hip-hop. When I walk in, people don't expect me to be an engineer or a hip-hop producer and when I roll out my accolades, then they're like, 'damn, Kay's got game.' That reaction is what this album is about."

Phindi Matroshe

For Phindi Matroshe, the outside reaction to her work is not the most important thing. Phindi is a publicist and talent manager who owns At Handle, a PR and social marketing solutions firm. She was there before Nadia Nakai became a Reebok or Courvoisier ambassador and before she had sold-out ranges with Sportscene's Redbat.

She was also there when Nadia bagged a Best Female pyramid at the 2019 South African Hip Hop Awards. And she was right beside her when she scooped awards at AFRIMA 2019 for Best Artist, Duo or Group in African Hip Hop as well as Best Female Artiste: Southern Africa.

"Winning awards was never the mission," Phindi confesses. "Honestly, we have never done things to try and get awards. Nadia truly loves what she does and it feels great when that is acknowledged and someone pats us on the back for work we've done. I really love and respect what I do and don't see it as a job."

Having handled publicity for the likes of JR, Tumi Masemola (of Gang of Instrumentals), Shane Eagle, Major League DJs and more, Phindi pivoted to managing Nadia. She says: "Seeing the things we talk about come to life or when we're in the boardrooms signing those deals, those are personal milestones for me."

​Ninel Musson

Ninel Musson has been brokering some of hip-hop's biggest deals for over a decade. She co-owns Vth Season, a boutique full-service entertainment marketing agency with Raphael Benza.

A former party promoter and publisher of the wonted.co.za website, Ninel helped start a record label wing of Vth Season where AKA was their first signee. Together, they turned AKA into a mainstream success that the artist could bank on when he started the now defunct BEAM Group independent record label with Prince Nyembe in 2016.

Recently, Ninel and Benza, together with the Sony Music team, presented AKA with diamond and platinum plaques for several songs at a surprise dinner. "The music we went on to create became some of the best-selling records of all time in South Africa," Ninel says matter-of-factly. "When we started with him, the major labels said SA hip-hop would never go this far. We said we believed it would and then we did."

​Sibu Mabena

Cassper Nyovest seems to make it a point to work with women. In addition to Cassper's sisters running his Family Tree store, several Fill Up dates have seen PR maven, Sheila Afari at the helm. And while it's clear that the Fill Up series was always the brainchild of Cassper and his longtime friend and business partner, T-Lee Moiloa, bringing it to fruition has also included the skills and power of women behind the scenes. Women like Sibu Mabena, a multi-hyphenate creative entrepreneur who owns the Duma Collective.

"The day I landed back home from the EMAs, I went straight to The Dome," she remembers. "I said: 'yo, T-Lee, give me a job. I want to work on this thing.' He was like: 'bra, there's nothing for you to do.'" Sibu stuck around at the Dome, watching the production come together when a lightbulb went on in her head.

Read: Sibu Mabena Works Behind The Scenes in South African Hip-Hop, And She's Kicking Ass

"I thought: 'Cassper has 11 outfit changes. Who is helping him with those?' So Gareth Hadden from Formative, who was building the stage, said they needed someone to help with those changes. I forced myself into the Dome, and the next year I pitched to T-Lee to run the stage at Orlando Stadium. The following year was Fill Up FNB Stadium and there, I got a bigger job to run the talent operations. That's how we started doing the Fill Up Intern Search."

In the next decade of Mzansi hip hop, Sibu has her heart set on parties with a purpose. "All the things I have learnt along the way have led me to contribute to AKA's Fees For All Mega Concert," she shares. "I'm not coming on as just a creative or event organiser or marketer. It's demanding all of me. We're all tapping into a more philanthropic and less commercial role than we usually have so the pressure is that much greater."

There are plenty more women who've got game. From Lerato Lefafa, who has been a part of the team that brought us the SAHHAs and Back to the City to Bianca Naidoo who is a big part of Riky Rick's triumphant trajectory to women like Spokenpriestess, Caron Williams, Azizzar The Pristine Queen, Loot Love and way more who have, in the last decade, used their media platforms to lift up Mzansi hip-hop. In the next decade, women will still be a huge part of hip hop. It'll be interesting to see where that contribution takes the movement next.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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