Whether you choose to admit it or not (because you live in constant denial of greatness) Beyonce Knowles Carter’s #Lemonade was one of the best pieces of art created for and inspired by Black women. The visual album that accompanied the songs helped tell a nuanced and complicated story of infidelity, Identity, self awareness, forgiveness and healing. There was some Yoruba mythology thrown in and a good chunk of art by Nigerian artist Laolu Sebanjo.
But if you’ve milked all the joy you can out of Lemonade but still have that craving for some honest to goodness, unapologetic black girl magic that Beyonce dished out with second and third helpings, then maybe you should check out Ghanaian-American hip-hop Artist, Blitz The Ambassador.
An accomplished lyricist and visual artist Blitz The Ambassador has been making music for quite a while, his debut album Native Sun had songs like Dikkembe and Native Sun.
If the name seems familiar but you’ve not heard his music before, its probably because he has collaborated with Nigerian writer and filmmaker Akwaeke Emezi on a few projects, most recently her short film Break Fruit.
While his music has always been political, poking at the things that make us African, in late 2015, Blitz decided to turns his lens inward, into his identity as a Ghanaian American, and explore the topics of race, identity and gender, through a trilogy of music videos called the ‘Diasporadical trilogy. And it is pure fayah!
Shot in three locations; Accra, Ghana, Brooklyn, USA and Bahia, Brazil, all places with where slavery and immigration has vastly shaped the landscape, Blitz explores the duality of living in an ascetic contemporary world while acknowledging the spirits that your ancestors have let guide their lives for centuries. Something many of us struggle with.
The third videos show women in three stages of life.
The first, ‘Shine’ is so beautiful my heart cant take it. A immigrant (we’re guessing Muslim from his hat) is being hustled by the police to become an informant for them, or risk deportation for both him and his daughter. He is forced to go with them and cut his daughter loose to navigate through New York alone. Her guardian ancestral spirit, a raffia covered masquerade follows her through town, dancing with her and protecting her. She’s a child, and innocent, so she doesn’t question the spirit, she just follows its lead.
It is so great to see a video where a black girl is allowed to be so carefree. It just melts my heart.
Juju Girl, the second video shows a young woman, being wooed in a era that reminds us strongly of the sixties. Her natural hair is out and the men are all in snazzy suits at a speakeasy, where they jive and her paramour professes his love. But suddenly, she feels the call of the spirits, and runs, unable to resist. Worshippers of Yemaya (Yemoja) are by the sea, performing a ritual. She joins them and by the time her paramour arrives, she is gone, reunited with Yemoja.
In the third, Running. Our girl is a middle aged woman, steeped in the traditions and worship of the Orishas. She spends her time officiating weddings, healing the sick, purifying. She has finally come into her own.
There is a lot of things to enjoy in the Diasporidical trilogy, the mixing of genres, the multiple era specific fashion and the enthralling cinematography and story telling.
Running, the last video in the trilogy, shot in Bahia Brazil, is particularly gorgeous, depicting the Yoruba Orisha worship that survived the slave trade and has thrived in contemporary Brazil.
Blitz the Ambassador is bae.