News Brief

Listen to our Staff Writer Discussing Inclusivity in Hip-Hop on Radio 702

Radio 702 host Eusebius McKaiser is joined by rapper Mx Blouse and our staff writer Sabelo Mkhabela to discuss inclusivity in hip-hop.

Revered South African talk radio host Eusebius McKaiser hosts the morning show on the talks station 702, The Eusebius McKaiser Show. This morning, he discussed inclusivity in hip-hop, particularly in terms of gender and sexual orientation. Joining him were the rapper Mx Blouse and OkayAfrica staff writer, Sabelo Mkhabela, who covers a lot of hip-hop for this website.


With the success of queer artists like Lil Nas X, it's clear that hip-hop is changing, but is it really?

Mx Blouse, who's a gender non-confirming artist, has the first-hand experience and shared their insights and experiences in the game. "Hip-hop tends to look more misogynistic and more homophobic than the rest of society when it is actually just a reflection of society," says Mx Blouse.

Adding on, Sabelo Mkhabela suggested that the conversation extends further than hip-hop and music, saying, "This is a conversation about society and not necessarily about hip hop because the genre is made up of ordinary people in society. It always holds a mirror on who we are."

The conversation touched on a few points, including the treatment male queer rappers face as opposed to female queer rappers. It was discussed if hip-hop in its current form will survive in a world where inclusivity and political correctness are part of the zeitgeist, given that a lot of misogyny and homophobia exist in hip-hop.

Callers on the show added their takes, with Lee Kasumba, a highly respected hip-hop media icon, calling in too. She agreed with the guests that hip-hop only holds the mirror to society, and that profanity can be used to drive a point home.

Listen to the segment below and revisit our interview with Mx Blouse here.

News Brief

South African Film ‘MOFFIE’ is Screening Online Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The critically acclaimed film MOFFIE's cinema screenings have been affected by the lockdown.

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen South Africa and other countries undergo a lockdown, production companies and other businesses are looking for alternative methods to conduct business.

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Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane Added to Rocking The Daisies 2020 Lineup

Stormzy, YBN Cordae, Ari Lennox and Col3trane will be performing in South Africa during this year's edition of Rocking The Daisies.

Rocking The Daisies is celebrating its 15th year of existence this year. The popular music and lifestyle festival recently announced they have added four new names on the bills—UK's Stormzy and Col3trane alongside US rapper YBN Cordae and the singer Ari Lennox.

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Justice Mukheli. Courtesy of Black Major/Bongeziwe Mabandla.

Interview: Bongeziwe Mabandla's New Album Is a Calm Meditation On Relationships

We speak with the South African artist about his captivating new album, iimini, love cycles, and the unexpected influence of Bon Iver.

"I've been playing at home for so many years and pretending to be having shows in my living room, and today it's actually happening," Bongeziwe Mabandla says, smiling out at me from my cellphone as I watch him play songs on Instagram Live, guitar close to his chest.

Two weekends ago, Mabandla was meant to be celebrating the release of his third album, iimini, at the Untitled Basement in Braamfontein in Joburg, which would no doubt have been packed with some of the many fans the musician has made since his debut release, Umlilo, in 2012. With South Africa joining many other parts of the world in a lockdown, those dates were cancelled and Mabandla, like many other artists, took to social media to still play some tracks from the album. The songs on iimini are about the life and death of a relationship—songs that are finding their way into the hearts of fans around the world, some of whom, now stuck in isolation, may be having to confront the ups and downs of love, with nowhere to hide.

The day before his Instagram Live mini-show, Mabandla spoke to OkayAfrica on lockdown from his home in Newtown about the lessons he's learned from making the album, his new-found love for Bon Iver, and how he's going to be spending his time over the next few weeks.

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Interview
Lueking Photos. Courtesy of emPawa Africa.

Interview: GuiltyBeatz Proves He's Truly 'Different'

The Ghanaian producer talks to us about his debut EP, Different, the massive success of "Akwaaba," producing for Beyoncé and more.

GuiltyBeatz isn't a new name in the Ghanaian music scene. A casual music fan's first introduction to him would've likely been years ago on "Sample You," one of Mr Eazi's early breakout hits. However, he had scored his first major hit two years before that, in the Nigerian music space on Jesse Jagz' and Wizkid's 2013 hit "Bad Girl." In the years to come, the producer has gone on to craft productions for some of Ghana's most talented artists.

In the years to come, the producer has gone on to craft productions for some of Ghana's most talented artists, having worked with the likes of Efya, Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, R2Bees, Stonebwoy, Bisa Kdei, Wande Coal, Moelogo and many more over the last decade. The biggest break of the talented producer's career, however, came with the arrival of his own single "Akwaaba".

In 2018, GuiltyBeatz shared "Akwaaba" under Mr Eazi's Banku Music imprint, shortly afterwards the song and its accompanying dance went viral. The track and dance graced party floors, music & dance videos, and even church auditoriums all around the world, instantly making him one of Africa's most influential producers. Awards, nominations, and festival bookings followed the huge success of "Akwaaba." Then, exactly a year later, the biggest highlight of his career so far would arrive: three production credits on Beyoncé's album The Lion King: The Gift.

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