News

The Side Eye: Reliving The Colonial Past


Big thanks to the blog Africa is a Country for tuning us into these two side eye stories of folks rehashing colonial fantasies. The first is a temporary hotel in London modeled after Joseph Conrad's boat in his novel "Heart of Darkness." You know, the novel that has eternally coined The Congo as the 'dark heart of Africa' in the popular imagination - "Dr. Livingstone, I presume," and all that. The story on Blackbookmag.com says the design was one of 500 submitted for a contest by Living Architecture... which raises the question: really? There wasn't one other design in 500 with a more progressive politics than effing 1903?

The second story is about a dude, DeWet Du Toit, in the Western Cape in South Africa who lives out his fantasy in a loin cloth, claiming to be the real life Tarzan. He cares for wild animals, and judging from the picture, has a few black servants, we mean 'employees.' These romanticizations of a colonial past are so whack! They definitely speak to a gross desire still present in the world for 'adventure' in the 'exotic' lands of Africa.Read the full story here.

Music

Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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Joeboy Shares Visuals for New Track 'Lonely'

Joeboy has dropped the music video for his latest track 'Lonely'. The endearing track features on his upcoming debut album 'Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic'.