Photos

In Photos: Solange's Groundbreaking Guggenheim Concert

This is what Solange's powerful Guggenheim performance looked like.

Solange played the show of the year last night.


The singer took over the Guggenheim space for a Red Bull Music Academy event that was billed as an "interdisciplinary performance piece and meditation examining themes from A Seat at the Table"—and it was masterful.

Solange used the entire Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda of Manhattan's Guggenheim museum and made it entirely her own.

The performance started with Solange, her band, and dancers taking a circular walk down each floor of the museum, walking directly in front of the audiences watching from the balconies.

The singer had asked audiences to dress in all-white, which most concertgoers did in style. While the audiences matched the color of the museum walls, Solange and her backup singers were dressed in a brown-orange outfits, with the rest of the band in other strong colors—yellow, dark blue, red.

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Throughout the performance, Solange ran through reworked, and sometimes very minimal, versions of favorites from her outstanding album, A Seat at the Table.

"It's not about just being here at the Guggenheim," she mentioned after the performance, "it's about tearing the fucking walls down."

And she did.

Through dance and reworked interpretations of her songs, Solange led the audience through a near hour-long journey into modern, black, female consciousness.

Standout moments included the singer going into the crowd, inching up to black audience members and singing "F.U.B.U." directly in front of their faces. She even went up to a security guard and sang to him.

Other highlights included the soaring "Cranes in the Sky," a highly stripped-down version of "Mad," and "Don't Touch My Hair."

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

But this was more than a concert. There were interpretive dance interludes which flowed in and out seamlessly throughout the performance.

The performers joining Solange seemed endless. At one point, with the full band at ground level, three separate rows of trumpeters popped up on the three levels of the Guggenheim rotunda.

We've written about the beautiful audacity of Solange's album and how it's balm for black suffering. All of this was present in what was a highly powerful, and emotional, performance.

After the show, Solange's message was clear: this was a show about blackness, pride and, over everything, black feminism.

"Its not about allowance, because we belong here," she said after the show. "We built this."

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Carys Huws / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Krisanne Johnson / Red Bull Content Pool

Stacy Kranitz / Red Bull Content Pool

Stacy Kranitz / Red Bull Content Pool

Stacy Kranitz / Red Bull Content Pool

Stacy Kranitz / Red Bull Content Pool

Stacy Kranitz / Red Bull Content Pool

Stacy Kranitz / Red Bull Content Pool

Interview
Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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