Audio

Listen to Petite Noir Join Danny Brown on Brilliant New Song, 'Rolling Stone'

Detroit rapper Danny Brown and South African noirwaver Petite Noir are a match made in heaven.

Danny Brown has a new album coming out at the end of the month. Atrocity Exhibition is the Detroit rapper’s first since 2013’s Old, and sandwiched in between the album opener and a collab with Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Earl Sweatshirt is a track featuring and produced by Petite Noir.


“Rolling Stone” premiered today on NPR’s All Songs Considered podcast, and it’s exactly the follow-up we needed to the South African noirwave founder’s 2015 masterpiece, La Vie Est Belle / Life is Beautiful. Simply put: Danny Brown and Petite Noir are a match made in heaven.

Speaking with Timmhotep Aku, the rapper revealed the track came about via the great connector that is Twitter. It all started with a DM from Petite Noir that prompted Brown to check the singer/producer’s music out at 4 in the morning. Brown was an instant fan. At that point, he was pretty much finished with the album. “Rolling Stone,” he mentions, was like a cherry on top. Petite Noir sent him a beat and a hook and Brown couldn't pass him up.

Tune in to the NPR player around the 25:50 mark. Atrocity Exhibition is out September 30 on Warp Records.

Op-Ed
Image via TONL

On Behalf of My Unborn Son: Thank You African Male Artists

African men's openness towards exploring different kinds of masculinity gives me hope for the future.

First things first: I'm not pregnant. But, like many people, I contemplate the world I'll be bringing my children into whenever they so choose to arrive. I don't know who or what their father will be. Ghanaian-Swedish? Haitian-Italian? American – who knows? What I do know for certain is that any son I have will be, at least, half black.

I've long struggled with the seeming paradox of the black imagination. One the one hand, our creative conscious imagines entire lifestyles into existence. We create global trends in fashion, music, dance, language, poetry and literature. Our minds are ground zero for creating entire cultures. But when it comes to ourselves, we seem to be unable to imagine being seen as whole human beings. I feel like even in our imaginations we don't dare to imagine ourselves truly respected and truly free because that freedom might threaten others. It's a problem I have in myself, it's a problem I'm not proud of.

So when I imagine the world my son will enter, I'm hesitant about bringing a son into a world that won't make room for the multitudes he will contain—that all of us contain. I worry that he won't know that he can be all the things he needs to be and be black.

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Audio

Petite Noir Is the King of Noirwave

On his new release, La Maison Noir, Petite Noir blends bombastic rhythms, surging melodies, and the style and substance of the DRC.

Petite Noir gained global notoriety by 2015 for his brilliant, shapeshifting pop debut La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful. The album was self-described by the artist, born Yannick Ilunga, as noirwave, a genre that extends beyond the music to embrace new concepts of freedom, power and African solidarity.

Three years later, Petite Noir has returned with a six-track EP and an accompanying four-track short film that delves considerably deeper into noirwave and his Congolese roots. The music of La Maison Noir / The Black House and its introspective 18-minute film explores ideas of gender, identity as a migrant, and political resistance.

A young Yannick Illunga and his family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and went into exile after his father faced threats as a former minister of the DRC. They emigrated to Belgium and France before settling permanently in Cape Town.

It's clear from Petite Noir's distinct, genre-blurring noirwave aesthetic that he's absorbed influences on a global scale. His discography up until now showcases a thrilling range of left-field electronics, post-punk and alternative rock, all anchored to the more traditional African sounds of his childhood. Petite Noir is a truly cosmopolitan artist. But on La Maison Noir, moving to the foreground through its bombastic rhythms and surging melodies, the style and substance of Africa takes precedence.

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News Brief
Still from YouTube.

Watch Zozibini Tunzi's Interview on 'Sway In The Morning'

The newly-crowned Miss Universe says that "if we start instilling leadership in young girls, then they grow up to be the leaders we need in the future."

It's been a few days since Miss South Africa Zozibini Tunzi was crowned this year's Miss Universe. While South Africans and the world are still reeling from the fact that a dark-skinned woman wearing her natural hair (in a fade, mind you) was crowned Miss Universe, Tunzi has already hit the ground running with her international press tour.

Currently in New York City, she stopped by for an interview on Sway in the Morning.

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News Brief

Kwesta and Rick Ross’ Collaboration is Finally Here

Kwesta releases new single featuring Rick Ross, accompanied by a music video.

Around this time last year, Kwesta shared images from a video shoot for a song that features Rick Ross. Today, the South African rapper finally shared the song accompanied by a music video.

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