News Brief

Stogie T’s Visuals for ‘Love & War’ Use Contrasting Colors to Explore the Complexity of Heroism

Stogie T shares polarizing visuals for 'Love & War.'

A few months ago, Stogie T highlighted the song "Love & War" as a single from his latest EP The Empire of Sheep, released in November 2019. After releasing a deluxe version of the project last week, today the south African emcee shares a music video for "Love & War," which features the emerging vocalist Lucille Slade.


The visuals, which are the work of Cape Town-based filmmaker Motion Billy, are as striking as the song, which casts the spotlight on our heroes' flaws as human beings, especially infidelity and bad parenting. It must be noted that Stogie T was born in exile to parents who were involved in the struggle against apartheid.


A quote from the video's description on YouTube reads:

"'Love and War' speaks of the strange state of heroism and delinquency. How our heroes who achieve the most magnificent feats spectacularly fail with the simplest things. It is personal, political, triumphant and deprecating."

Towards the end of the song, Stogie T raps:

"Martin Luther had a floozy, Hoover was recording/ My poppa died for a freedom that I now enjoy/ But left some frightening demons we ain't recovered from"

The visuals contrast the bad and the good (love and war) through the use of color. Stogie T and Lucille Slade are dressed in strikingly bright colors. Their performance scenes are intercut with cutaways showing a group of black people (mostly children) in a somber mood with candles in their hands during what looks like a vigil, as if to reflect on the country's current state. We also follow a young woman in the hood who loses her partner and is left holding his work uniform, which could be symbolic of the burdens women are left with when their husbands die. That scene strategically plays as the emcee fittingly raps:

"The brave stories In the history books/ But slain soldier uniform and dirty laundry, what the widows took/ Love-child with the village hooker/ The scandal is hidden in the nook"

"Love and War" is only one of many songs on The Empire of Sheep that offer an alternative look at the struggle against apartheid. In most of the EP's song, the rapper looks at the dire state of affairs in South Africa, and ponders on the sacrifices made by those who fought in the struggle (which really was a war) against apartheid.

Watch the music video for "Love & War" below and stream The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked) on Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer.

Stogie T - Love & War (feat. Lucille Slade) [Official Music Video] youtu.be



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.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.