News

Nigerian Men & Beauty: Pink Tattooed Lips

Batta Box TV presents a video featuring a new trend of Nigerian men tattooing their bottom lips pink so that they no longer look black. Check out the video.


Last month Batta Box TV presented us with a short video on a supposedly emerging trend in Nigeria: "pink lips." The fashion trend consists of men tattooing their bottom lips pink, to cover up their blackness.

Some weeks have passed but a lot of people are still asking questions as to what the hell these young men are thinking. The service costs 7000 Naira, the equivalent of about $35/40, so while seemingly inexpensive, we know we're not the only ones who think that money could be better spent elsewhere. Perhaps what is most intriguing about the video is how it places masculinity and western notions of beauty in the same conversation, when their relationship is typically understated.

We consistently discuss the prevalence of skin bleaching amongst women throughout the continent (when let's face it- men use skin bleaching products as well), and our conversations surrounding African beautification practices in general are typically female-centric. If anything, when these conversations involve men, we critique men for perpetuating Western notions of beauty via their expectations of black women- but we have to appreciate this video for illuminating how men themselves are also implicated in Western notions of beauty not simply through their expectations of women, but also their notions of self. It's not really much of a hurrah! because it is clearly a bit of an issue that young men think that their darker lips need to be covered up by a very strange (and dare we say ugly?) bubble gum pink. It's more of a nod, that we need to take a closer look at how masculinity is also implicated in blackness and beauty. Check out the video below!

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Interview

This Compilation Shines a Light On East African Underground Music

We talk to a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation from Uganda's Nyege Nyege.

Nyege Nyege, a label in Kampala, Uganda is channelling the confidence brimming over a whole continent. Africa is no longer the future. For dance music, its time is right now.

Music For the Eagles is a compilation released in conjunction with Soundcloud to showcase the best new acts that East Africa has to offer outside the mainstream. A new wave of artists firmly blasting non-conformist energy for you to spasm to. Music that takes you places. Otim Alpha's high BPM wedding frenzy of incessant rasping vocals accompanied by feverous violin will have you clawing the walls to oblivion. Anti Vairas' dancehall from a battleship with super galactic intentions doesn't even break a sweat as it ruins you. FLO's beautiful sirens call, is a skittish and detuned nursery rhyme that hints at a yearning for love but reveals something far more unnerving. Ecko Bazz's tough spiralling vocal over sub-bass and devil trap energy is an anthem that can only be bewailed. And Kidane Fighter's tune is more trance-like prayer. These are only some of the highlights for you to shake it out to.

We got to chat with a few of the artists featured on the Music For the Eagles compilation as they took a break from the studio below.

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