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VIDEO: SPAZA$HOP BOYZ Talk About 'Rehab Tony'

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SPAZA$HOP BOYZ is a mirror” Jonny Joburg muses. It’s an atypical Zen-like response to a question about the duo’s eerie music video for their electro-hop single, "Rehab Tony," directed by Xolelwa ‘Ollie’ Nhlabatsi. “We show Africans Africa” he continues. “Especially the aspects of our culture that are swept under the rug, like black magic, hence ‘Rehab Tony’ is what it is.”

Together with Charlie Macc, the up-and-coming emcees have been rapping as SPAZA$HOP BOYZ since 2009. “The name was given to us by the people we partied with at the time,” Jonny candidly admits. “We were always at every party together because we were good friends prior to rapping.” The idea to break into the hip-hop game, in part, stemmed from a desire to find a more productive avenue to channel their pent up youthful energy.

The gamble paid off. Their first recording, "Anti-Gravity" featuring Zuluboy, peaked at number one on a national radio show; knocking Miami don Rick Ross off the top. Since then, the duo have been working on their debut album, Popular $cience (Sony/Atv), scheduled for release at the end of July. “I’m a perfectionist by nature” Jonny says. “There’s probably five versions of the album that we went through. The version we have now is what we were destined to make.”

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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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