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Freshlyground Blasts President Jacob Zuma In New Music Video

Is this popular South African band getting censored in national media due to their political stance?

SOUTH AFRICA--Freshlyground’s latest single, “Banana Republic,” which was released on Freedom Day (April 27), is, to say the least, politically charged. On the song, lead singer Zolani Mahola comes at President Jacob Zuma with some direct words. Even though she makes no mention of the president’s name, it’s clear who she’s referring to, especially with all the images of Zuma littered across the video juxtaposed with dingy images of South Africans’ struggles.


There are clips of the Marikana Massacre, Fees Must Fall protests and the #RememberKhwezi silent protest, in which four young women from Wits University protested the president’s rape trial from 2005. Notable lines from the song go: “All your people dying in freedom/ Suffering a profound lack of leading/ Are you even there when we call? Are you a human, man?/ Full of lies, can’t believe what I’m hearing/ From your lips a river of scheming/ Poisoning all the water we’re drinking/ Are we good to go?”

This is not the first time Freshlyground has expressed feelings about a head of state. In 2010, the band released a song called “Chicken to Change,” aimed at Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who has been president for 17 terms. After the release of the single, the band was banned from performing in Zimbabwe.

It’s highly unlikely Zuma will respond, but we don’t see the song getting played on any of the national broadcaster SABC’s platforms.

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Interview: Rexxie Steers His Street Sound Into Mainstream Afropop

In conversation with Nigerian producer Rexxie on the rise of his Afro-streets sound.

Rexxie has been instrumental in the rise of the zanku sound in popular Nigerian music. As the pioneer and go-to producer for the sound, his infamous producer tag, "Yo, Rexxie pon dis one", can be heard in many infectious zanku-inducing songs that have made the youth of Nigeria (and around the world) show off their leg work.

Born Ezeh Chisom Faith in Anambra State, Rexxie played the piano at his father's church as a child. And about 10 years ago, he began his career as a producer, crafting beats for his friends. It was however in 2018 when his name started getting traction, after producing Chinko Ekun's culture-shifting hit "Able God" featuring Lil Kesh and Zlatan.

Over the past few years, he has been mostly known for his continuous work with Zlatan and Naira Marley, relationships that stem back to 2018, when he produced their earlier mainstream hits, "Jogor" and "Jappa". Their collaborations have steered the streets into the realm of the mainstream and brought an energetic vibe to Nigeria's potent Afropop scene.

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