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South African Hip-Hop Duo Ill Skillz' 'To The Beat Ya'll'

Watch the video for South African hip-hop duo Ill Skillz' new track "To The Beat Ya'll"


It's been a minute since we've gotten a look at South African hip-hop outlet Ill Skillz. The dudes are back with the video from their latest release "To The Beat Ya'll," which pairs their golden-era deliveries and boom-bap productions with visuals that represent Jimmy Flexx and Uno July's upbringing in the Gugulethu township. "It's quite reflective and captures a nostalgic essence, you pretty much get an idea of our upbringing in Gugulethu," explains July. Peep the video for the Common-sampling track below and keep an eye out for their upcoming album Notes From The Native Yard.

Interview
Photo courtesy of the director.

Interview: How Félicity Ben Rejeb Price Is Reinventing the Afro-French Music Video

Félicity is the Tunisian music video director birthing a new aesthetic for urban French culture.

Félicity Ben Rejeb Price represents a new generation of imagery in Afro-French hip-hop culture, with clients including top French acts like Dadju, Aya Nakamura, Gims, Niska, SCH and Soolking. She also has a growing catalogue of editorial campaigns for the likes of Adidas, Uber and Converse.

Her current role is a combination of everything she's done so far. A jack of many trades, she's played her hand as an interior decorator, publicist, set designer, stylist, casting director, photographer, and ultimately, artistic director. The detail-oriented Félicity relishes at being able to select the location, models, styling, and the method of filming for her projects.

Félicity dominates a masculine industry with illustrations that go beyond the typical rap video starter pack—comprised of cars, scantily-clad women, alcohol, and money. Her formula is: film music videos that are mini-films where women such as herself are treated as equals rather than objectified, while also sprinkling in a number of lights and colors.

It's Saturday afternoon in Arizona, where Félicity is shooting a new music video. She pauses to speak with us on the phone about the trajectory of her career.

The article below has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Song / Beating Heart.

Watch Tanzanian Up-and-Comer Mike Song's New Video For 'Temptation'

Video Premiere: "This song is my real story, this is me. I am the kid hustling on the streets, life is hard fighting all day, every day just to get by," says the rising artist Mike Song.

Mike Song's story is a compelling one.

At 17, he was living homeless in Dar Es Salaam, when he saw an ad for a music production workshop in Zanzibar. Mike managed to borrow enough money to make his way over and it was at that workshop that he met Beating Heart Project production team Saronde.

"Temptation" was born during those days at the workshop, as "Mike stepped up to the mic and proceeded to enchant the room with the sweetness and sincerity of his voice," Beating Heart mentions. "When he was asked what the song was about, Mike spoke about how his father had died when he was young, he was looking after his mother and younger sister and was tempted to give up pursuing his dreams of music to get a normal job."

"This song is my real story, this is me. I am the kid hustling on the streets, life is hard fighting all day, every day just to get by," Mike Song tells OkayAfrica. "My creative struggle is real; my friends support me but I often feel the temptation to quit—I also hear the voice of my father telling me not to give up. My passion is singing and know deep down that life is going to be OK because I have my friends and family, but for now I have to focus on my dreams of being a successful performer."

Watch out music video premiere for "Temptation" below, the song is out today on Beating Heart.

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Audio

8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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