Video

Video: Playing for Change 2- Songs Around the World

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The two-disc CD/DVD set PFC 2: Songs Around The World is out now via Hear Music/Concord and available at all Starbucks (!!) locations and traditional retail outlets nationwide.  To create PFC 2: Songs Around The World, Mark Johnson spent 10 months traveling to over 25 countries to connect nearly 150 musicians including Baaba Maal, Keb Mo, the Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, Tinariwen, Grandpa Elliot, and Stephen Marley to name a few - all with the goal of using music to  break down boundaries and overcome distances between people.  The musicians, who each use their instruments and talents in their own home countries to record a single song together, are seamlessly recorded through mobile laptop mini-studios powered by car batteries. The ensemble of musicians was recently featured on NBC's the today show.  Check out PFC 2's latest video for "Gimme Shelter" below - it's mind blowing - and learn more about the organization by clicking HERE.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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