News Brief

Listen to K.O., Omen, Lee Kasumba, DJ Azuhl and More Pay Tribute to Pro In An Episode of ‘SA Hip-Hop Fix’

Listen to Pro's peers pay tribute to the rapper who died last week.

Tributes are still pouring in for the South African hip-hop legend Pro, who died last week Thursday. SA Hip Hop Fix, the hip-hop podcast hosted by Cape Town-based legendary DJ trio Beat Bangaz, released a 'ProKid Special' episode last night.


In the episode, several of Pro's peers— radio show host Lee Kasumba, Skwattakamp member Shugasmakx, fellow rapper Mr Selwyn, co-founder of the clothing label Loxion Kulca, Wandi Nzimande, and more—each share endearing words about what type of person and artist Pro was. Some share anecdotes of Pro in his prime. For instance, Omen, who produced a lot of Pro's hits from his classic debut album Heads & Tales, remembers an event they performed in.

"Kwaito was the order o f the day," he says, "and uMzekezeke had just performed. And the crowd was lit, and we were up next, you can imagine… David versus Goliath situation. But I tell you, man. When we came on… I used to do this thing, when Pro raps, every fourth line is a punchline, so I would kill the music, and he would just hit it. The crowd went berserk. I've never seen people go nuts like that." K.O. remembers Pro showing him love during the launch of his hit "CaraCara."

Some memorable songs by Pro such as "Uthini Ngo Pro?," "Soweto," "Budget Speech," "Soweto," "Ghetto Science," "Syeke Ngey'ndaba" (by Young Nations), and more, are played to remind you what a powerhouse Pro was. There's also a spectacular freestyle in which ProVerb and Pro freestyle over Jay-Z's "Encore." How monumental!

Listen to the episode below:

Interview
Photo: Shawn Theodore via Schure Media Group/Roc Nation

Interview: Buju Banton Is a Lyrical Purveyor of African Truth

A candid conversation with the Jamaican icon about his new album, Upside Down 2020, his influence on afrobeats, and the new generation of dancehall.

Devout fans of reggae music have been longing for new musical offerings from Mark Anthony Myrie, widely-known as the iconic reggae superstar Buju Banton. A shining son of Jamaican soil, with humble beginnings as one of 15 siblings in the close-knit community of Salt Lane, Kingston, the 46-year-old musician is now a legend in his own right.

Buju Banton has 12 albums under his belt, one Grammy Award win for Best Reggae Album, numerous classic hits and a 30-year domination of the industry. His larger-than-life persona, however, is more than just the string of accolades that follow in the shadows of his career. It is his dutiful, authentic style of Caribbean storytelling that has captured the minds and hearts of those who have joined him on this long career ride.

The current socio-economic climate of uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrusted onto the world, coupled with the intensified fight against racism throughout the diaspora, have taken centre stage within the last few months. Indubitably, this makes Buju—and by extension, his new album—a timely and familiar voice of reason in a revolution that has called for creative evolution.

With his highly-anticipated album, Upside Down 2020, the stage is set for Gargamel. The title of this latest discography feels nothing short of serendipitous, and with tracks such as "Memories" featuring John Legend and the follow-up dancehall single "Blessed," it's clear that this latest body of work is a rare gem that speaks truth to vision and celebrates our polylithic African heritage in its rich fullness and complexities.

Having had an exclusive listen to some other tracks on the album back in April, our candid one-on-one conversation with Buju Banton journeys through his inspiration, collaboration and direction for Upside Down 2020, African cultural linkages and the next generational wave of dancehall and reggae.

This interview has been shortened and edited for clarity.

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[Op-Ed] Speeka: “‘Dankie San’ brought me closer to kasi rap”

A personal reflection on one of South Africa's most influential hip-hop albums, 'Dankie San' by PRO.