News Brief
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Fela Kuti Named As Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominee

In arguably the most diverse and inclusive ballot to date, the king of Afrobeat is joined by the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and many more favorites.

Fela Kuti's estate has been keeping the Nigerian icon's name and legacy alive and well over the past few months. With a recent collaborative merch drop with Online Ceramics, and the resurgence of Finding Fela! , the documentary detailing his life, the Kuti name is one that won't be losing heat anytime soon.

And now, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame seems to be keen on immortalizing the creator of Afrobeat, as he's included on this years list of nominees.

"24 years since his passing, we're so happy to see our Father recognised in this way," Fela's children write to OkayAfrica, via his longtime manager Rikki Stein. "Hoping that his fans around the world will vote for him, multiple times!"


Other popular names on 2021's ballot include US queens of R&B Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan (her 7th time being nominated!), Dionne Warwick, rap geniuses Jay-Z, LL Cool J (his 6th nomination), rock superstars Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine and legends Tina Turner and Carole King.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced this years nominees via their official Twitter account.

2020's virtual ceremony saw the Notorious B.I.G. and Whitney Houston inducted posthumously. While rock bands Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, T.Rex and the Doobie Brothers were awarded top honors too.

If you're a fan and an active voter, votes can be casted at RockHall.com. While fan votes add to the final count, they don't guarantee entry.

Interview
Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.