News Brief

Little Simz is Coming Back to South Africa (!!)

UK rapper Little Simz is making her Johannesburg-area live debut at Oppikoppi.

You heard it right. According to Red Bull, the 22-year-old UK-based, Nigerian-rooted rapper (née Simbi Ajikawo) is headed back to South Africa next month. Little Simz will make her Johannesburg-area live debut at Oppikoppi, where she’ll perform at the Red Bull Studio Live stage on Saturday, 6 August, at 9:45 PM. This year’s lineup–the festival’s 22nd edition–also includes the likes of Petite Noir, Nakhane Touré, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Riky Rick, Bye Beneco, Johnny Cradle, Jullian Gomes, Kid Fonque, Reason, Soweto punk band TCIYF, Tresor, Urban Village, Yelawolf and many more.


Simz made a big splash her first time in SA last October as part of the Red Bull Amaphiko Academy in Cape Town–a 10-day event that gathered 18 of South Africa’s brightest social entrepreneurs for a series of workshops and events in Langa. The trip came right on the heels of #FeesMustFall, and the student-led protests inspired the rapper’s powerful “Gratitude” video (one of our favourites of 2016). For more on that, read up on our interview with the video’s Director of Photography, Imraan Christian.

Look forward to seeing you in SA, Little Simz.

Audio
(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Former President of Botswana Ian Khama Condemns Zimbabwean Government

Former Botswana President Ian Khama has condemned Zimbabwe's government and joined solidarity with #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.