Audio

Jovi 'Kankwe Vol. 1'

Cameroonian pidgin rapper Jovi returns with the 'Kankwe Vol. 1' EP.


Cameroon's Jovi hit us over the weekend with a fresh batch of electro-backed pidgin rap on Kankwe Vol. 1. The sample-heavy EP, produced entirely by Jovi himself (as his producer alter-ego Le Monstre), includes four new tracks along with its bouncy lead single "B.A.S.T.A.R.D" with fellow New Bell-stress Reni$$. The EP welcomes listeners in with a nostalgic refrain on "Fufu" before segueing into a heavy-hitting fusion of pidgin/English/French that includes the Yeezus-esque dark-rap of "BWAM!". The EP's title is itself a nod to the vernacular behind Jovi's music. According to the folks at New Bell, "'Kankwe' refers to a pre-colonial mindset and style of art-- the creative process in Africa before the influence of colonization." Look out for Jovi donning a style worn in the North of Cameroon on the EP artwork (above). Kankwe Vol. 1, out now via New Bell Music, is the follow up to H.I.V. and a warm-up for Jovi's forthcoming full-length sophomore effort. Stream it in full below.

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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