Cape Town's Indigo Children Rap Their Truths Over Arsenic’s Soulful Beats

Arsenic's new boom-bap EP features Chris Gaudy, Andy Mkosi, YoungstaCPT, Mvula Drae and more.

Sadly it's only 15 minutes long. Just as you are gearing for more heat, it's done. Hidden Formulas 5: Project Indigo, the latest in the series of mixtapes by Cape Town veteran producer Arsenic, packs some serious heat.

It's too focused in theme to be an EP and plays rather as a short album with skits containing explainers of the concept of indigo children. The producer is astonished by the ways of the indigo subculture.

Last week, he told IOL:

"The indigo project name came because I started exploring the concept of indigo children a few years ago. They are children sent to earth to alter and heighten the vibrational frequency of our planet and expand our consciousness. All of the artists I work with display that ability."

First off displaying that ability is the rapper Chris Gaudy and the singer Soul Sista Tilo on the EP's first song "Indigo." With an unmatched conviction, Gaudy speaks on the concept of protecting your unorthodox dreams in a world that favors clones.

The rapper Andy Mkosi viciously raps about the contradictions of "the city of Apartheid," i.e. Cape Town, on the remix to her 2013 song "Words." She explores the complexities of the city—class and race—in a near-perfect 16 bar verse. YoungstaCPT, who appears on the second verse, finishes what Andy started with another one of his show-stealing guest verses.

To relieve your ear of the heat provided by the first two songs, the vocalist Tiffany Joseph appeases you with smooth vocals over mild piano keys.

Mvula Drae closes this grand gathering of some of CPT's finest with "Hidden Formula." The young lyricist exhibits his 90s-inspired flows over a falsetto trumpet loop.

Hidden Formulas 5: Project Indigo will thoroughly entertain boom-bap heads and fans of lyrics. It plays out as an album by a group of artists who are comfortable with picking their own lane and sticking to it.

Listen to Hidden Formulas 5: Project Indigo below or download it here.

Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.

get okayafrica in your inbox


How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

Nigerian singer and producer CKay talks to OkayAfrica about the rise of his international chart-topping single "Love Nwantiti," his genre-defying sound and the reasons behind this era of afrobeats dominance.