News Brief

Listen to Petite Noir and Danny Brown's 'Beach'

The second single from La Maison Noir / The Black House.

Petite Noir is readying the release of his upcoming EP, La Maison Noir / The Black House.

The South African artist has already shared the EP's energetic lead single, "Blame Fire," and is now following that up with the second full song we hear from the release, "Beach."

The new single, which is built swaying synthesizers, features a verse from Danny Brown and additional help from Nukubi Nukubi. It sees Petite Noir singing lines like, "If this life is worth living, I hope you hear about me"

"'Beach' is a song about being reborn and how it took for me to fall to rise back up," the musician mentions. "In life we are constantly reborn. Every stage of our lives, from being a baby to adulthood."


Petite Noir will mark the release of La Maison Noir with the inaugural No Borders festival—a new international live music festival curated by the South African artist where he'll be performing alongside Afrikan Boy, Poté, Azekal and others. You can grab tickets here.

Listen to Petite Noir's "Beach," featuring Danny Brown and Nukubi Nukubi below. La Maison Noir / The Black House is due October 5.

Op-Ed
Image via TONL

On Behalf of My Unborn Son: Thank You African Male Artists

African men's openness towards exploring different kinds of masculinity gives me hope for the future.

First things first: I'm not pregnant. But, like many people, I contemplate the world I'll be bringing my children into whenever they so choose to arrive. I don't know who or what their father will be. Ghanaian-Swedish? Haitian-Italian? American – who knows? What I do know for certain is that any son I have will be, at least, half black.

I've long struggled with the seeming paradox of the black imagination. One the one hand, our creative conscious imagines entire lifestyles into existence. We create global trends in fashion, music, dance, language, poetry and literature. Our minds are ground zero for creating entire cultures. But when it comes to ourselves, we seem to be unable to imagine being seen as whole human beings. I feel like even in our imaginations we don't dare to imagine ourselves truly respected and truly free because that freedom might threaten others. It's a problem I have in myself, it's a problem I'm not proud of.

So when I imagine the world my son will enter, I'm hesitant about bringing a son into a world that won't make room for the multitudes he will contain—that all of us contain. I worry that he won't know that he can be all the things he needs to be and be black.

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Audio

Petite Noir Is the King of Noirwave

On his new release, La Maison Noir, Petite Noir blends bombastic rhythms, surging melodies, and the style and substance of the DRC.

Petite Noir gained global notoriety by 2015 for his brilliant, shapeshifting pop debut La Vie Est Belle / Life Is Beautiful. The album was self-described by the artist, born Yannick Ilunga, as noirwave, a genre that extends beyond the music to embrace new concepts of freedom, power and African solidarity.

Three years later, Petite Noir has returned with a six-track EP and an accompanying four-track short film that delves considerably deeper into noirwave and his Congolese roots. The music of La Maison Noir / The Black House and its introspective 18-minute film explores ideas of gender, identity as a migrant, and political resistance.

A young Yannick Illunga and his family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and went into exile after his father faced threats as a former minister of the DRC. They emigrated to Belgium and France before settling permanently in Cape Town.

It's clear from Petite Noir's distinct, genre-blurring noirwave aesthetic that he's absorbed influences on a global scale. His discography up until now showcases a thrilling range of left-field electronics, post-punk and alternative rock, all anchored to the more traditional African sounds of his childhood. Petite Noir is a truly cosmopolitan artist. But on La Maison Noir, moving to the foreground through its bombastic rhythms and surging melodies, the style and substance of Africa takes precedence.

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News Brief

South African Hip-Hop Awards 2019: Full List of Winners

Here is the full list of winners for the 2018 SAHHAs.

The 8th annual South African Hip-Hop Awards took place last night at the Lyric Theatre, Joburg.

Some notable wins include YoungstaCPT's 3T winning Album of the Year, Ginger Trill for Lyricist of the Year, Flame taking Best Freshman and Best Male, Nadia Nakai winning Best Female, Makwa winning Best Producer and Falko One receiving the honorary award.

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popular
Still from RTN TV's YouTube page.

Prominent Somali Activist Almaas Elman Shot and Killed In Mogadishu

The organizer and sister of Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist Ilwad Elman, was shot dead while riding in a car on Wednesday.

Almaas Elman, a prominent Somali rights activist and organizer was killed today in Mogadishu. She died after being hit by a bullet while riding inside of a car in the Halane compound, reports the Somali news site Hiiraan.

Though details surrounding her death remain uncertain, according to security on the ground Elman "was riding in a car along a road inside the airport," Mohamed Omar, a Somali security official told News 24. "A stray bullet hit her, and she died within a few minutes." The complex is also the headquarters of African Union soldiers.

She was believed to been heading to the airport after attending a meeting at the Elman Peace Centre, which was founded by her father, the respected Somali activist Elman Ali Ahmed, who was assasinated in Mogadishu in 1996.

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