Audio

Jumping Back Slash's 'Namhlanje' EP Featuring Spoek & Okmalumkoolkat

Producer Jumping Back Slash shares two remixes of one of SA's finest MCs Okmalumkoolkat + announces his upcoming EP.


UK/Cape Town's Jumping Back Slash is readying the 12" release of Namhlanje, an EP that focuses on the producer's faster 'khawulezayo' style work (check out his previous reworks of Justin Timberlake and Petite Noir to get an idea of the sound). Namhlanje, set to come out on Pollinate Records March 31, will feature appearances from a crop of vocalists including two of SA's finest MCs: Spoek Mathambo and Okmalumkoolkat.

Jumping Back Slash recently shared a free 'deeper dub' remix of "Kumoshakele," one of the EP tracks featuring Okmalumkoolkat. It seems the two have been crossing paths a bit lately; as a bonus grab JBS' SA house rework of Kid Fonque and Okmalumkoolkat's "Usangikhumbula." Both are streaming below.

Update: Preview Jumping Back Slash's Namhlanje EP featuring Spoek, Okmalumkoolkat and Qubekani the Ndola 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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