Audio

Zimbabwean Rapper Black Fin's 'Distortion In The Music' Video [Premiere]

Rising Zimbabwean rapper Black Fin shares the song and accompanying video "Distortion in the Music," off his debut mixtape 'HOKOYO.'


Zimbabwean-born rapper/producer Black Fin strives to rescue hip-hop from its pop-polluted sea and bring back its truth-speaking nature with the song and accompanying video for "Distortion in the Music." Taken from his debut mixtape HOKOYO, which means "Be careful" or "Beware" in his native shona language, the track has the Tribe Called Quest-admirer "moving in the underground" of percussive pings and electronic stretches where he creates beats like his "finger's made of cardiac tissue." Speaking to OOGEEWOOGEE about HOKOYO, Black Fin says:

"I’m a fan of great albums which form emotional stories. I wanted Hokoyo to be a large collage of experiences that have shaped my history up to the present. Every song is a link in the chain that tells a larger story. Some links skip each other and connect later down the line. So in as much as my brother and I worked to make Hokoyo a cohesive project both visually and sonically, I would have to say it isn’t complete yet as whole. The story of Black Fin is still unraveling. The main diagram on the Hokoyo website is a symbol of this, and the white space is the next chapter."

In the grainy, animation-featuring black-and-white visuals for "Distortion in the Music," Black Fin first roams empty streets but then looks at the wide ocean, a world of possibility before him. Check out "Distortion in the Music" below, listen to HOKOYO in full at Black Fin's website, and keep posted for more from the artist.

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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