Audio

Spoek Mathambo Double Shot: Samthing Soweto Remix + 'The Judge'

Spoek dropped a double shot this morning with his Samthing Soweto remix and breezy life anthem 'The Judge.'


A renaissance man with what seems to be a never-ending supply of tricks up his sleeves, Spoek Mathambo hit the world with a double shot this morning. First came a remix of the incredible Samthing Soweto. It was merely a month ago that OKA writer Shiba Melissa Mazaza first tipped us off to Sam's soul-chilling Eb’suku. Since then we've been on the look-out for more from the falsetto-singing third of South African afro-jazz band The Fridge. On the "Let It Happen" remix, Spoek churns out a new brand of acapella-futurism. Imagine a gut-sinking voice of a neo-soul legend backed by beatboxing and Beach House. We could soak in it for days. Except that an hour later Spoek had another surprise in store. On the day's second dose, Spoek supplies weekend motivation on his big-hitting surf and turf joint. F*U*G*Z adds his production hand to breezy life anthem "The Judge," which you can listen to below along with Samthing Soweto's "Let It Happen (Spoek Remix)". Spoek's new album Fantasma is due out later this year.

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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