News Brief

One of South Africa’s Oldest Hip-Hop Crews Black Noise Releases a New Project ‘Black Noise Matters’

Listen to Black Noise's new album 'Black Noise Matters.'

Black Noise's new EP is titled Black Noise Matters, and consists of 10 songs. The project is the first of an ongoing series of three EPs the Cape Town-based crew is releasing to commemorate three decades of its existence.


Black Noise Matters includes the 2013 single "Black is Back" which was originally supposed to appear on a project the crew promised for the same year to commemorate 25 years since their formation in 1988.

Read: Emile YX? Shares Some Gems About South African Hip-Hop History, Its Relationship to Capitalism & More

All but one song, the title track, on Black Noise Matters feature different guests which you may or may not be familiar with—Burni Aman, Nikki Autumn, Monox and Terror MC are some of the names who contribute verses and hooks to the highly socially conscious release.

Messages of self-love, standing up for self, caring for one another, preserving our cultures, racism and colonialism are prevalent on Black Noise Matters. For instance, the song "We Belong to the Land" featuring Burni Aman from the group Godessa, touches on the burning issue of land reform. Burni Aman and Black Noise members Emile YX? and Jay P each share history lessons on how colonialists stole land from the original inhabitants of the south of Africa.

Sonically, Black Noise Matters is primarily boom bap and funk, with songs that will be accessible even to non-hip-hop fans, but still the project doesn't compromise on an artistic integrity and expression.

Stream Black Noise Matters below:



Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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