The ladies of Oshun invite fans of hip-hop, soul and jazz into their world of bedazzled cowrie shells, slinky harmonies, burning myrrh and earnest ancestor worship, much like their pioneering sonic foremother Erykah Badu. With a heady mix of spiritual symbols, colors and patterns at their disposal, they youthfully blend this mélange of West African multitribalisms. All become chosen tools of connection for the culture-hungry, coming-of-age Black woman grasping for her African identity and sisterhood in Oshun’s music.
Knocking drum patterns and glittering horn samples lift up the vibes, carrying Oshun’s sound swooning toward the altar of golden-age hip-hop and the macktress love deity, Oshun. Their video, “Gyenyame,” is one of several released by fiesty NYU college friends Thandiwe and Niambi Sala over the past year. In it, the erotic energy flows freely, with the ladies finding themselves lost in a waterfall-dappled beach paradise in bloom with two gorgeous, shirtless companions. Summertime love gets wrapped up in an aroma of Oshun’s Afrocentric hip-hop soul, and the result is pretty intoxicating.—Sun Singleton
Sun Singleton is a Northern Virginia-born singer/journalist based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter @sunsing.
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