Featured

Video: South African Shangaan Gets A BOOST

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Located on the outskirts of Johannesburg, the South Western Township AKA Soweto is known to outsiders as the location of the Soweto Uprising of the 70s. Nowadays however, Soweto’s musical scene is beginning to surpass the area's previous political reputation through the birth of musical styles such as Kwaito in the 90s, and more recently, Shangaan electro.

Cell phone repair shop owner turned musician and record label guru, Richard "Nozinja" Mthethwa, pioneered Shangaan electro in 2005 by re-working and speeding up the tempo of traditional Shangaan music. Unlike the original sound of Shangaan that ran at around 110 BPM, with the help of synthesizers, MIDI keyboards and marimba rhythms, Shangaan electro beats hit the 180 BPM mark and create an infectious new wave sound that’s intensely quick, but surprisingly easy on the ears. These hyperactive pulsating rhythms are paired with some hip action and pantsula-inspired moves called the Xibelani dance (check the videos above and below). We can't wait to hear more from Nozinja’s label, Honest Jon’s Records.

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Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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