Video

Video: Solange Knowles 'Losing You'

Cape Town-shot music video for Solange Losing You co-written/produced by Dev Hynes.

Solange flew to Cape Town to film the video for her break-up single "Losing You," a synth-flanked ballad co-written and produced by Blood Orange's Dev Hynes (who's been racking up those production credits). Notably featured are a band of hyper-sharp sapeurs inspired by Daniele Tamagni's Gentleman of Bacongo book. In an interview with Fader, Solange delved on the video's Congolese inspiration:


What’s so exciting to you about the Sapeurs? I think it’s about the fact that they really believe that this interpretation of style is giving praise to God. Sort of marking their place in the world. There are all of these commandments that a Sapeur must abide by. Sort of like a society. [It's amazing] to really be able to capture that in its origin, which is in the Congo, which is in Brazzaville, a place that has had its fair share of horrific things happen.

They’ve been able to just sort of create this movement and have the foundation of it be about, you know, having style and grace and edict and portraying that in every way. It’s not just about the fashion, a Sapeur must know how to speak French, a Sapeur must know how to tie his tie the right way, he must have perfect posture, just that classic edict. It’s so amazing, especially in contrast to what Brazzaville is like, which is why I think the book was so interesting to me.

Watch the Melina Matsoukas-directed video above.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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