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Mashayabhuqe KaMamba's Digital Maskandi

Listen to South Africa's Digital Maskandi founder Mashayabhuqe KaMamba's 'The Black Excellence Show' EP.


Born Ntsikelelo Christ' Ndlovu in Durban but based these days in Joburg, Digital Maskandi founder Mashayabhuqe KaMamba first dropped his six-track The Black Excellence Show EP as a free download back in September of last year. It's since then been made available on soundcloud and Audiomack. The whole EP, which took about a month to come together, was recorded at MarazA's Dionysys Recordings in Yoeville (with the exception of "Afrikvn Lordz," which was produced/recorded in Joburg CBD). Mashayabhuqe KaMamba, who cites the record's influences as "fellow Afrikvn musos the likes of Madala Kunene, Yossuf Ndou, Busi Mhlongo, Thandiswa Mazwai and Vusi Ximba," wrote almost every song on the EP (with the exception of guest verses from MarazA and 4Front). It's a solid introduction to Digital Maskandi music, Mashayabhuqe's signature blend of traditional Zulu folk (aka Maskandi) vocals with trappy, autotune-heavy Future Mzansi production. The EP was close to slipping under our radar. Luckily we caught wind of the first single "Afrikvn Lordz," recently championed and given a second push by the folks at Red Bull Studios CT. We asked The Black Excellence Show mastermind to shed some light on the song's meaning and chorus.

"So basically what I was trying to achieve with this record was to be heard, I needed to say something about my Culture, my Religion and my Background but it was a mission to accomplish that; I studied Communication Science and what I've learnt from these studies is that you need to engage with people, speak about things that they can relate to; make them feel like they're part of your struggle, your jounery. So Afrikvn Lordz encompasses those elements; Emotions, Fear of High Power, My jounery and Giving praises to Shembe *the messenger* (Whom I regard as THE AFRIKVN LORD) and what's interesting is that I didn't write the song (it came to me as form of a DREAM* I dreamt it, the melody and the gist or direction of the whole story."

"Izono zami yebo! Zaziwa nguwe baba nguwe wedwa" meaning (Only GOD knows all my sins)

We are still young and creative; We don't need confusion in our lives; this EP has opened my eyes and gave me a completely different feeling about youth of today. We're now liberated and we don't need anyone to choose things for us and that's why I get so much LOVE. They didn't judge me for doing something that has to do with Tradition/Cultures but they embraced that and made it look even way too cool.

Since introducing the world to Digital Maskandi on his latest EP, Mashayabhuqe KaMamba was behind a breakout performance at Newtown's Back to the City Festival in April and joined brotherly rappers Fratpack on their Brenda Fassie-sampling "Higher." M.K., who is a BOYZNBUCKS affiliate, linked up with Okmalumkoolkat fresh off his debut EP Holy Oxygen I. The track they recorded together, "Shandarabaa Ekhelemendeh," will drop later this year. The BOYZNBUCKS crew's UMSWENKO event is slated to take place 5th October at Zone6Venue in Soweto. Until then, listen to The Black Excellence Show in full below.

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Photo still via TIFF.

Watch the Striking Trailer for 'Farming'—Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Directorial Debut

This is a must-watch.

The trailer for Farming, Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's directorial debut, is here.

"Between the 1960s and the 1980s, thousands of Nigerian children were farmed out to white working class families in the UK," the trailer begins. "This is the true story of just one of them."

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Politics
Image by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr.

#IStandWithIlhan: Supporters Rally Behind Ilhan Omar Following Racist 'Send Her Back' Chant

"I am here where I belong, at the people's house, and you're just going to have to deal,"—Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Social media continues to rally behind Representative Ilhan Omar, following a series of racist remarks targeted at her and several other congresswoman of color by President Donald Trump.

The president doubled down on his racist rhetoric during a re-election rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, attendees began chanting "send her back," referring to Omar—echoing anti-imigrant remarks that the president tweeted last week, in which he wrote that four congresswomen of color: Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib should "go back" to where they came from.

This is far from the first time that Omar has been on the receiving end of racist and Islamophobic attacks and referred to as un-American on account of her Somali heritage.

READ: Op-Ed: In Defense of the Black Boogeyman

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Sir Elvis in "Loving Man" (Youtube)

6 African Country Musicians You Should Check Out

Featuring Sir Elvis, Jess Sah Bi & Peter One, Emma Ogosi and more.

With Lil Nas X's EP going straight to number on the American charts, it seems like country music revival is taking over 2019 and beyond, thanks to its unlikely fusion with trap music. It only makes sense that black people are reclaiming the genre, as country was actually partly created by black American artists and heavily influenced by gospel music.

On top of that, plenty of lesser known black artists and bands are making country, or country-infused, music. This is especially the case in Africa, where the genre has been around for a few decades and an increasing number of musicians are gaining momentum. By gaining popularity in Africa, country is coming back to its roots, as country guitar and the way of playing it was originally inspired by the banjo— an instrument that African slaves brought with them to America.

Country music has a strong appeal across the African continent for several reasons: the similarity with many African instruments and the recurring lyrics and themes about love, heartbreak and "the land." At the heart of it, country music has an appeal to working class people all over the world who feel let down by the people that were supposed to help them.

Country music is played regularly on the radio in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi but yet, the artists featured are overwhelmingly white and American. African country singers do not get the respect they deserve or are seen as anomalies. With the growing number of them making country music, here is a list of the ones you need to listen to right now.

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