Video

Watch Ill Skillz & Camo's Cape Town Street Anthem 'Hip Hop Jones'

Watch Cape Town hip-hop duo Ill Skillz and Camo's 'Hip Hop Jones' video off Notes from the Native Yards.


While still trotting on the fringes of South Africa's mainstream hip-hop scene, Cape Town hip-hop duo Ill Skillz have released another video from their 2013 album Notes From The Native Yards. “Hip Hop Jones,” the fourth video single from the album after “Ill Skillionaire” (which was released in 2011), the J-oNE-produced “To The Beat Ya'll (TTBY)," and the Hipe-produced “7's Clash,” sees the outfit take the director’s chair alongside Camo, who drops a stellar verse on the tune. The 5th Floor founding member is said to be including the Hipe-produced banger in his upcoming Shaolin Jazz EP. According to Ill Skillz' Jimmy Flexx, “[‘Hip Hop Jones’] captures the zeitgeist, the voice of the new mzabalazo (struggle), highlighting the angst many economically marginalised people experience daily. It's about the peace music can give you and finding expression through Hip Hop." A commentary on the state of Cape Town hip-hop and the city's blatant marginalisation of black folk, the song highlights that struggle while veteran Cape Town producer Hipe’s magical bass-heavy backdrop keeps neck muscles active. The video, which was shot by Ignatius Mokone, Max Mogale, and Asadair Mcculloch, features the duo kicking it in the hood and the city spliced with scenes from the 2013 edition of their annual Cape Town’s Most Wanted gig held at Trinity in Cape Town. If Ill Skillz' Jimmy Flexx and Uno July are still sticking to their word of releasing a video for every song on NFTNY, then it’s four down and fourteen to go. Watch their latest with "Hip Hop Jones" and stream Notes From The Native Yards in full below

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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