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The Very Best Share 8-Bit Video Game Visuals For 'Let Go'

The Very Best release the old-school video game visuals for "Let Go," their celebratory single with Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio.


Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and producer Johan Hugo, better known together as The Very Best, will be releasing their latest full-length album Makes A King next month. Today, the duo share the vintage Mario Bros.-style visuals for "Let Go," their celebratory single featuring Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio. The new video follows the pixelated Esau and Johan as they fight off multinational corporations in Malawi and polar bears in Sweden.

"The idea was to have a video that looked like an old-school 8-Bit game with the characters and landscape made out of pixel beads," Johan explains about the visuals. "One level in Malawi where we run from street dogs and fight off Monsantos GMO monster maize plants, and one level in Sweden where we run from a fox and our enemies are the far right-wing political party. The whole video is a collaboration between Pappas Parlor and The Very Best."

The Very Best's 13-track Makes A King LP, due April 7 from Moshi Moshi, will also feature collaborations with Seye, Baaba Maal, Jerere, and Jutty Taylor. You can grab "Let Go" as an instant download if you pre-order the album on iTunes. Watch the 8-bit video for "Let Go" below and, for more, check out the band's time-lapse video for Makes A King single "Hear Me," which also features Chris Baio.

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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