Tuesday, August 9, 2011

South African Caiphus Semenya + Watch the Throne

As you may have heard, hip-hop superstars Kanye West and Jay-Z are releasing their long awaited collaboration album called Watch the Throne this week. The album is one of the most highly-anticipated album of the year seeing how these two may be the most well-known celebrities in the U.S. and even on the planet.

So what does that have to do with Afropop?

Well, thanks to the blog Africa is A Country, it has been brought to our attention that one of the tracks from the album samples a piece from South African musician/composer/musical director Caiphus Semenya. The song “Murder to Excellence” off Watch the Throne, which subject matter deals with violence in black communities in the U.S., samples a piece that Semenya helped compose for the film The Color Purple called ‘Celie Shaves Mr./Scarification Ceremony’. The score to the film was co-written by Semenya along with Quincy Jones Harvey Mason Jr., Joel Rosenbaum and Bill Summers.

Here’s the original:

While we are unable to stream you the cut from Watch the Throne (legal stuff), we thought it was worth noting the influence of African musicians and music throughout various genres and popular styles of music, even if you don’t realize it.

Read more on Caiphus via Africa is A Country and hear another one of Semenya’s songs sampled by a South African rapper.
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