Audio

Yugen Blakrok’s Sophomore Album ‘Anima Mysterium’ Is Officially Here

Listen to Yugen Blakrok's 'Anima Mysterium' album.

You must have been living under a rock if you haven't been seeing the promo leading towards Yugen Blakrok's sophomore album, Anima Mysterium.

Right after announcing a deal with I.O.T Records, the South African rapper released two singles, "Carbon Form" and "Picture Box," that were both accompanied by stunning music videos.


The road leading to Anima Mysterium hasn't been a quiet one. What with the overwhelming media coverage Yugen received after her impressive verse on the Black Panther soundtrack last year.

Yugen Blakrok - Carbon Form (Official Video) www.youtube.com

Yugen has more people watching her now than she did when she released her debut album Return of the Astro-Goth in 2013. But listening to the new album, it's evident she didn't allow any of that pressure (if any) to dictate what music she made.

Anima Mysterium may be more dynamic than Return of the Astro-Goth sonically, and has more guests per song than her debut, but Yugen is still being herself. Guest features on Anima Mysterium include Historian Himself, Jak Tripper, Bravestarr, Fifi The RaiBlaster and Zetina Mosia.

YUGEN BLAKROK - PICTURE BOX (Official Video) www.youtube.com

The album was mostly produced by Kanif The Jhatmaster, but also features production from Joel and Seventh Galaxy. DJ cuts are provided by DJ Raiko, DJ KCL and DJ Koncept.

Listen to Anima Mysterium below and/or download it 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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