Popular
Photo: Artwork provided by Warner Music

Burna Boy Vocalizes Nigeria’s Grief In New Track '20:10:20'

The Nigerian star channels pain, frustration and disappointment in his latest release.

Nigerian music heavyweight Burna Boy is not letting 2020 slow him down.

Following up his critically acclaimed Twice As Tall album, the star is back with "20:10:20," a great song born from devastating circumstances.

The track title comes from the traumatic event that occurred on 20 October 2020, when Nigerian government officials allowed military personnel to shoot at and murder Nigerian citizens at Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria. The event, being referred to as the "Lekki Massacre," marks a pivotal point within the 12 days that hundreds of young Nigerians peacefully protested police brutality at the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).


The song, produced by The Elements, opens with a simple melodic line that really grips you. Burna Boy leaves no room for ambiguity when it comes to his stances on social and political situations and he speaks directly to his Nigerian countryfolk in the lyrics. "Water runaway my eye! Nothin wey you go talk wey go justify the case of their murder," he says in the song, calling out the appropriate authorities to investigate and bring justice to those who were made to suffer.

Burna Boy uses the song to raise concerns around corruption, 'godfatherism' and the staggering rates of youth unemployment in his home of Nigeria. "20:10:20" borrows audio from real life traumatic events, to really drive the message home.

Listen to Burna Boy's new single "20:10:20" here.

Burna Boy - 20 10 20 (Audio) youtu.be

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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.