News Brief

Golden Shovel and Battlekat Share a New Single and Music Video

Watch Golden Shovel and Battlekat's music video for 'Keep it Lit.'

Veteran South African rappers Golden Shovel and Battlekat (real name Tongogara) recently released a new song titled "Keep it Lit." The song, which is produced by Battlekat, is nostalgic boom bap decorated with a prominent electric guitar.


Golden Shovel, in his verse, raps with the presence and clarity he is known for. He drops impressive punchlines, rapping in long sentences that end with emphasized syllables.

"The song is based on depression which has grown to be a great social pandemic not only in South Africa, but world," says Battlekat in a press release. "The general theme is oriented around 'staying strong during tough times' referring to light as metaphor for hope during uncertain or doubtful times, with are represented by the reference to darkness."

The song's video was shot in low light, and shows silhouettes of Battlekat and Golden Shovel against a brown backdrop.

Battlekat and Golden Shovel are members of the four-man hip-hop crew Optical Illusion which was prominent in the early and mid-2000s.

Optical Illusion last released music collectively in 2013 when they dropped the single "Watch What You Say." However, Golden Shovel and Battlekat have each been dropping music sporadically to keep Optical Ill fans occupied. Battlekat's music can found on his website.

"Keep it Lit" is a single from Battlekat's upcoming album titled BATTLEKAT RE-BEAT (Work: Love and Life). The album will be released under the label Beats Against the Beast, a label run and founded by Battlekat.

Battlekat is one of the country's most respected producers, and his production was a staple in the mid-2000s when he produced songs for the likes of Optical Illusion, H2O, Zubz, Reason and many others.

Watch the video for "Keep it Lit" below and stream the song underneath.

Visit Battlekat's website and keep up with him on SoundCloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Golden Shovel and Tongogara KEEP IT LIT (The Official Music Video) www.youtube.com



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.

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