Events

Okayafrica's Guide To SXSW 2014

Presenting Okayafrica's Guide to SXSW 2014 featuring showcases from Tinariwen, Young Fathers, Petite Noir, Afrikan Boy, Christian Tiger School, and more.


South By Southwest is nearly upon us (less than 1 week!!!). This year we're going down to Austin with tricks up our sleeves (4 to be exact). To recap: the cherry on top of the Okayplayer network-wide takeover of SXSW is a stacked to the tee bill that includes SA noir wave mastermind Petite Noir, Edinburgh's Scottish / Liberian / Nigerian art-rap trio Young Fathers, and Cape Town's Christian Tiger School (the beatmaking cornerstone of one of our favorite Player Xchanges to date). That's three Africa In Your Earbuds alums all in one night (like we said, cherry on top of SX for us). For FOMO's sake though, we'll be hitting the ground hard in between our own events. So in the spirit of tradition, we've sifted through South By's official showcase schedule, picking out our favorite artists across Africa and the diaspora that will be down in Austin next week. But before we get to that, there's two panels to note. The first is "Packed With Electronic Beats: Africa's Next Music Coming to America" (Thursday, March 13, 5-6pm). The second is "Africa's Mobile Music: A New Way of Listening" (Friday, March 14, 2-3pm). And now, without further adieu, Okayafrica presents 10 artists to catch (in alphabetical order) at this year's edition of SXSW.

* Denotes SXSW OFFICIAL showcase

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Literature
Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Emile YX? Wants to 'Reconnect The String'

The father of South African hip-hop's latest book release is here to teach you about the culture.

As a father-figure in South African hip-hop, there's a lot Emile Lester Jansen, aka Emile YX?, knows. He'll also tell you, there's a lot he doesn't. But the knowledge Emile has gained, over his 3 decades in music, he's always tried to share with others. His latest project is no different. The Black Noise founder is working on a book that identifies the similarities between Bushmen expression and hip-hop, and how this knowledge can help empower anyone who has a love of the culture.

The book, which will be called Reconnect The String, comes on the back of this year's 21st anniversary of the African Hip Hop Indaba, one of the landmark hip hop events in Cape Town created by Emile, which has helped many an artist launch their career. As a teacher and a musician, he's long been involved in using hip hop to uplift communities—first through the seminal group Black Noise, founded in the late 1980s, with its rhymes rallying against Apartheid, and then through the Heal the Hood organization, a non-profit that grew out of the group's efforts to use its love of hip hop to fuel youth development initiatives in townships on the Cape Flats.

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