Busi Mhlongo - Urban Zulu (180 Gram Vinyl)
Urban Zulu – Busi Mhlongo’s rewiring of Zulu migrant roots music for the 21st Century
Busi Mhlongo’s chart-topping, award-winning 1999 album
Heavyweight 180g vinyl with remastered audio, inner sleeve with photographs and
new notes by Kwanele Sisibo
Urban Zulu changed South Africa’s music forever, rewiring Zulu migrant roots music for the 21st
Century. Busi Mhlongo’s powerful voice and challenging lyrics soar over driving bass lines and
glittering guitars of an all-star South African maskanda line-up, backed by a multi-national cast
including Lokua Kanza, Brice Wassy, Jacques Djeyim and Will Mowatt.
With this album Busi Mhlongo subverted and then claimed Maskanda music’s previously patriarchal
space, voicing a new social blues narrative. Her songs cut to the essence of simple joys, unrequited
love, abuse in the name of love, and month-end money blues.
Topping charts in Europe and South Africa, Urban Zulu struck critical and commercial success.
Yehlisan'umoya Ma-Afrika “creates a sensation of being inevitable because the riffs are so organic,
it feels like it would be a crime against nature if they fell together any other way” (AllMusic.com).
"We Baba Omncane" became the sound track for a global Adidas campaign, while a later re-mix
became a smash hit for Black Coffee.