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Get To Know The 4 South African Artists Featured In The Black Panther Soundtrack

Meet Sjava, Saudi, Yugen Blakrok and Babes Wodumo.

TDE and Kendrick Lamar revealed the track list for Black Panther movie soundtrack yesterday and it's all our timeline's been talking about it.

Among US-based superstars like The Weeknd, SZA, Swae Lee, Khalid, and Lamar himself, we were hyped to see four South African artists featured among the 14 songs in the soundtrack.

Below, we give you a clear picture of just who these acts—Babes Wodumo, Yugen Blakrok, Sjava, and Saudi—are.

Sjava

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Sjava is one of the pioneers of the subgenre African trap music (ATM), alongside his Ambitiouz Entertainment label mates Emtee and Saudi. Sjava's music mixes umbhaqanga and maskandi with trap. You can pick up influences of the legendary mbhaqanga group The Soul Brothers in his music.

Sjava sings about issues affecting the average black man in modern day South Africa, which he did in full on his gold-certified debut album Isina Muva. The album was received well by both fans and critics alike. Sjava has appeared on hit singles such as DJ Citi Lyts' "Shishiliza," Miss Pru DJ's "Ameni," and of course the massive "Vura" by DJ Citi Lyts. He's also featured on Emtee's sophomore album Manando.

Saudi

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Just like Sjava, Saudi, who hails from Soweto, is signed to Ambitouz Entertainment, and is part of the ATM collective. He recently released his debut album D.R.U.G.S Inc, last year, and it's essential listening. On D.R.U.G.S Inc, Saudi wears his heart on his sleeve, and delivers his raps in a sing-songy manner without the use of autotune.

Prior to releasing his debut album, Saudi was known for great features on singles such as Priddy Ugly's "In The Mood Remix," Miss Pru DJ's "Ameni" and "Ugesi," DJ Citi Lyts' "Vura," among others. He also appeared on the albums Manando by Emtee, King Zamar by Lady Zamar and Isina Muva by Sjava.


Yugen Blakrok

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Yugen Blakrok is a maverick and one of South African hip-hop's best-kept secrets. While she may not be popular among your regular hip-hop circles, the rapper has managed to amass a solid niche fanbase. She is signed to the indie label Iapetus, and was recently on tour in Europe.

Yugen Blakrok released her debut album Return of the Astrogoth in 2013, and cemented her spot as one of the most potent lyricists in South Africa. She drops knowledge, making use of esoteric metaphors and similes that reveal a well-read writer and an artist who is comfortable in her own skin. Her flow is butter, and sits over a highly-textured beats courtesy of her producer Kanif The Jhatmaster.

Babes Wodumo

Babes Wodumo is the self-crowned 'Queen of Gqom.' She has been a staple in the gqom music scene since she released her single "Wololo" in 2016, which was off of her debut album Gqom Queen Vol. 1. The artist has since released more hits such as "Mercedes," "Jiva Phez Kombhede," "Ganda Ganda," and a few more. She's also appeared on "Tsege Tsege" by Big Nuz, "Shut Up and Grove" by Distruction Boyz.

Babes' personality and dance moves have made her a favorite among South Africans. And her insistence to doing interviews in IsiZulu, which is a revolutionary act of some sort, makes Babes a leader of some sort.

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Casanova, Davido & Tory Lanez' '2AM' Will Soundtrack Your Weekend

Flatbush meets Lagos and Toronto in this addictive new single.

Brooklyn rapper Casanova rolls through with an energetic new collaboration with Davido and Tory Lanez.

"2AM" sees the rapper going in over highly-infectious afrobeats-meets-pop beat work, in the same vein as we've heard from massive hits like "Unforgettable." The song was produced by 30 Roc.

The single features the star power of Davido and Tory Lanez which gives "2AM" the increased potential to be one of those huge new jams that'll be getting constant spins this year on both sides of the Atlantic (it's already got the top slot in Spotify's African Heat playlist).

The music video kicks off in Atlanta but eventually follows Casanova to Lagos, where he connects with Davido in Shitta. The clip was directed by Nigeria's Meji Alabi, the creative force behind many of your favorite afrobeats videos.

"2AM" is the lead single from Casanova's upcoming EP, Free At Last, which is due from Roc Nation/Def Jam Recordings on February 15.

We talked to Casanova below to learn a little more about this new collaboration and sound for him.

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Dive Into TOBi's New Music Video For 'City Blues'

The Nigerian-Canadian rapper delivers a solid jam.

TOBi is a Nigerian-born, Toronto-based rapper making music inspired by his early life move to Canada and the experiences around immigration and culture shock.

You might have previously heard his track, "Hidden Fences," closing out the finale of Insecure or gotten into his 2016 debut EP, FYi.

TOBi is now sharing the new single and music for "City Blues," which sees the rapper taking cues from Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" over a beat produced by Free n Losh. It's the first taste we're hearing from his upcoming debut album due later this year.

"[City Blues is] written from one perspective within the African diaspora, pertaining to being caught between two worlds and reclaiming my ethnic identity," TOBi tells OkayAfrica. "Embracing my name has been a crucial part of my personal growth."

"I drew inspiration from the Shakespeare quote: 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.' City Blues speaks about the many roles that a human takes on at once but from my perspective," he adds.

Get into it below.

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Issa Rae to Star In Murder Mystery Rom-Com, 'The Lovebirds,' With Kumail Nanjiani

Issa Rae isn't playing with us in 2019!

Issa Rae has added yet another exciting project to her growing list for 2019, and we're totally here for it.

The actress and Insecure showrunner is set to star alongside comedian and Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani in the upcoming romantic comedy The Lovebirds, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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