Video

Blaklez 'Freedom Or Fame'

Watch Pretorian rapper Blaklez's video for 'Freedom Or Fame.'


Half of Pretoria rap duo The Anvills, Blaklez prefers freedom over the coveted feat that is fame. This, we learn from the veteran emcee’s latest single “Freedom Or Fame,” which he recently released visuals for. He waxes poetic on why he chooses freedom over fame atop a minimalistic backdrop characterised by a perennial synthesizer that flows over a droning bassline and double time hi hats. “Keep the fame ‘cause we want freedom,” he sings on the hook. Blaklez is not afraid to be honest about the issues in his life, from suffering the loss of his mother, to his dirty laundry being exhibited to the whole world, to his long-time crush on Pabi Moloi, and being a father. “The whole world knows my skeletons/ Sometimes I come across like I need medicine/ But don’t judge, I been to places you’ve never been/ Dream about what Pabi Moloi and I could have been,” he raps on the third verse. The tune’s video mainly consists of shots of Lez but also has flashes of scantily-dressed "dime pieces" and cameos from former Orlando Pirates defender Edward “Magents” Motale and fellow Cap City emcee Boy Wonder. Blaklez’s latest is a laidback, honest and relatable story. It's easy on the ears and vulnerable, yet not corny. Watch the "Freedom Or Fame" video below and follow Blaklez on twitter over here.

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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