Events

NYC: Thomas Mapfumo + The Blacks Unlimited with Akoya Afrobeat (Wed, 7/20)


This Wednesday Akoya Afrobeat is joining Thomas Mapfumo + The Blacks Unlimited on stage at Southpaw (125 5th Avenue) in Brooklyn. Thomas Mapfumo, aka the Lion of Zimbabwe, has used his music to call attention to the Zimbabwe's historical, social and cultural issues and injustices from the country's bloody revolution in the 70's to today's economic and political crises. Check out this frontman, social critic, visionary and national hero as he fuses afro-funk, R&B, reggae, local dance beats, African jazz and mbira sounds. The show will start at 8 at night and go until 2 the next morning.

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

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