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Anatii’s Iyeza Is His Best Work Yet – Album Review

Anatii’s Iyeza is a cohesive, fervent and spiritual journey. He’s found his sound, his faith and, the calling he must heed.

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Rarely have we seen an artist whose creative legitimacy has remained as uncontested as Anatii’s. On the contrary, “I feel like he’s going to buy weed at KFC”, is one of the most popular comments on his Youtube account, a reference to him ‘making the pots happen.’

In South Africa’s increasingly cynical – and ever critically discerning – soundscape, the market sometimes goes harder on rappers than they do on politics. Your faves get blasted every other day and you know that.

Yet, apart from the fact that his personal life remains as withheld from the public as much as he shuns the splashy displays that have become hinged to album promotional build ups, its the sheer production virtuosity, talent and compelling storytelling that set him apart.

Anatii Iyeza Review

Perhaps, the 25-year-old rapper feels no pressure.

And why should he? Halfway through his twenties, his catalogue boasts a slew of timeless classics that have shaped the business as much as they disrupted the convention. Things were never quite the same after The Saga, were they? In all honesty, that verse might have introduced Balmain to the better part of our youth. And it’s also here that ‘sexy chubby n****’ became some cool lexicon.

Back to Iyeza. A few songs allude to spiritual callings to which he must heed. That might or might have not influenced a controversial radio presenter to attempt ‘outing’ him as one who has answered a sangoma calling.

Thriving at the periphery of the formulaic tried-and-true, Anatii’s distinct sound and beautiful Xhosa heritage and a strong anchor in contemporary sound continues being a definitive factor in his fascinating journey on his latest album, Iyeza.

Fascinating is the word because, on this album, he departs from playing to mainstream seductions and enters a spiritual realm of unbridled authenticity.

Anatii Iyeza Review

We know that he’s entered a whole new dimension in his career because on this album, he turns to isiXhosa to articulate his most complex, emotional and personal ideas. That’s as true as it is for his song titles – which are mostly in his native language – as much as it is for his beautifully African album artwork and album title. Iyeza means (traditional) medicine.

In many ways, Iyeza is the more refined masterpiece that his previous collaborative project with AKA – Be Careful What You Wish For – aimed to be.

Anatii Iyeza Review

It’s the successor that better showcases Anatii’s multilayered technique, spiritual faith and character. Mind you, that’s not even paying dust to BCWYF, which was a decent contribution to Hip Hop.

This 10 track project finds Anatii straddling the gaps between Trap and traditional African sonic flavours. He’s truly found himself here – bringing nostalgic elements that distil the often understated South African musical footprint to trap 808s in ways that no one else has tackled out here.

There are some subtle electronic synths that enhance African inspired electric guitars and organic traditional sounds on Wena, the album’s opening track. A perfect opener, the song sets the mood and vibe that will become the cohesive thread weaving this album together into an embrace of an authentic African expression of self. The song has the spirit of Jabu Khanyile, Joe Nina, Tshepo Tshole and Caiphus Semenya all over it, without having anything to do with these icons.

One of the album’s best tracks, Ngozi (Danger) follows next. It’s one of the songs in which he makes mention of his ancestors in a spiritual sense, a divine being who is active in his life. Perhaps as a reference to the pressures of heeding a calling, the song explores the conflict between running away, like a fugitive, from what he’s been called to do, or from danger, and the simpler comfort zones. It’s a space that most of us will have to navigate at one point or another.

The end of this song has a beautiful transition into something abstract, spiritual and ethereal. Anatii could be flirting with ululating, or just diving in and out of his African heritage, which contains in it the rich texture of melodic musicality.

ALBUM REVIEW: NASTY C – STRINGS & BLING

The narrative of risk and foreboding fear of lurking danger continues onto Hlatini, another solid bop on the album. At this point, the album has completely matured in its assumption of a specific identity. The chord progressions and vocals styles are now fully anchored in Africa’s infinite musical universe. Something about the chorus and hook could remind an old soul of the Soul Brothers.

Ndaweni sustains the momentum. With high pitch and spirited vocals which he lays over a song that could have easily charted alongside Mandoza, Trompies and Abashante back in the 90s, Anatii continues making a firm statement about his musical DNA. He’s not here to churn out pointless number ones and produce random beats to make a quick buck. He’s here to shift the landscape. And he cares about a whole lot of things, one of them being the sheer feeling of his productions.

ALBUM REVIEW: BIG STAR JOHNSON – ME & MINES 

Ntloni is one of the album’s more commercially palatable bangers. It has all the elements of a bop you’d jam to at Taboo, at Pop Bottles, at the Sands. It has a beautiful summer hit finish to it, which Anatii has already proven to have no problem whipping out.

Vuka is possibly the album’s most beautiful love song. It’s a sing-along, smooth and lush African summer jam. The chorus and hook instantly demand to be kept on a loop. The organic instrumentation allows the hearty harmonies to shine, giving the song a verdant laid-back vibe.

 

 

 

 

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to land on Disney+ in February

Welcome to Wakanda!

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Black Panther Wakanda Forever

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are in for a treat. Disney+ has announced that 1 February marks the arrival of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The blockbuster will be joining 16 other on the streaming platform.

ABOUT THE MOVIE

Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death.

As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, ruler of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, is now playing in theaters. 

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Music

The Shocking Fallout of Black Motion

Tensions have reportedly escalated.

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They are one of South Africa’s most revered music duos.

Their discography packs both blockbuster club bangers and lush delights for lovers of House with a transcendental African sonic flair. And the explosive fallout of Black Motion, which has been splashed across the internet long before reaching the courts, has shocked many.

Loved for their electrifying live performances and awe-inspiring chemistry, Mörda and Smol have always seemed like musical soulmates. But that relationship seems to have reached a bitter end.

In 2022, rumours of their reported split triggered a frenzy on the internet. Following the uproar, the group’s members Bongani Mohosana, who now goes as Mörda, and Smol (real name Roy Thabo Mabogwane), jointly calmed fears that they had fallen out.

It had been said the break would be temporary, as Mörda moved to focus on the release of his solo studio album.

Far from it, it now seems. The parties have escalated things to court.

According to reports, Black Motions have confirmed that they had pressed charges against Mörda for alleged housebreaking and theft.

A court order by the High Court in Gauteng posted on social media has ordered Morda to “restore possession of a recording studio apparatus” to the group by 13 January, at 5pm. 

Black Motion shared snaps of the alleged damage caused by Morda – a broken door and stolen equipment.

 

It looks like we won’t be getting a new Black Motion album with Mörda anytime soon.

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Reality Shows

Inside the Big Brother Titans Premiere!

South Africa and Nigeria unite under Biggie’s roof.

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Sunday, 15 February 2023, marks the roaring arrival of BBTitans.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW.

The highly anticipated social experiment brings under Biggie’s roof housemates from both South Africa and Nigeria. And for 72 days, we will be splashed with the finest in South African and Nigerian swag, banter, romance and all the trappings of a fun-filled, dramatic and – we’d hope – an entertaining show.

A first of its kind, the social experiment assembles the most colourful personalities from the two nations to outwit, outplay and outsmart each other in a bid to get their hands on a massive bag, life-changing bag!

In addition to a number of lofty prizes that will likely be on the line throughout the season, the winner of the show will also be walking away, a whopping grand prize of US $100 000 (over R1,7 million) is up for grabs for the one who trounces his Housemates to charm audiences across the continent.

That’s not all; the amount of social capital, celebrity and opportunities for lucrative brand deals after the show, all form part of the career-launching lift-off that comes with being on the popular franchise.

Both Big Brother Mzansi host Lawrence Maleka and Big Brother Naija’s Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will co-host this debut season.

Fans of Big Brother Mzansi and Big Brother Naija in the diaspora are not left out as Showmax will stream the show in the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and about 50 other countries.

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