News Brief

Watch Yugen Blakrok’s Latest Music Video For ‘Picture Box’

Yugen Blakrok suggests you switch that TV off and find inner peace, in her latest single.

South African MC Yugen Blakrok is on a roll. Two months after releasing a music video for "Carbon Form," the first single to her upcoming album, she unleashes another video for the album's second single "Picture Box."


In the song, the MC condemns the idiot box, which she believes pollutes our consciousness. She paints a vivid picture of the effects of TV in layered lines as she always does. She raps on the first verse:

"Sad souls, known to grab loose and hang loose/ Lay hypnotized by the tube, horrific daily news/ Ears ringing from eerie noises/ Empty vessels make the loudest/ TV hosts evading living rooms like haunted houses/ Spewing words without contact, spoken out of context"

Knowing that many of us would run out of activities once we have switched our TVs off, she provides some solutions in the song's hook. The first one seems to be to listen to music and finding inner peace, as she raps:

"Turn it on, turn it off/ Let the rhythm bring peace to your bubbling heart/ Find the inner space at night/ The most cosmic are sparks/ A firefly that shines like the sun and lights up the dark"

The song's second verse is where she goes in, rapping about reaching deep into your consciousness to be in touch with self, using herself and experiences as an example. As is always the case with Yugen's bars, you'll have to take a closer listen, several even, to fully grasp her notions.

"Fire was the first storyteller, now we gather around a television like in times past," says Yugen. "We mimic and echo shadows of ourselves in alternate dimensions through the picture box; characters that influence our thoughts and lives on this timeline. Where do they go when we change the channel or switch off? The mind cannot imagine what does not already exist."

The music video, which is shot in lowlight, shows Yugen rapping in a rotating living room while mysterious characters linger around. One of them stabs a TV with a spear. The production design and art direction of the video is deeply rooted in the afrofuturism Yugen Blakrok and her Iapetus Records label mates have proven to be fond of.

Yugen Blakrok's sophomore album, Anima Mysterium, drops February 1. You can pre-order it here.

YUGEN BLAKROK - PICTURE BOX (Official Video) youtu.be


News Brief
Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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