Imaginations Are Star Gates: Yugen Blakrok's Afrofuturistic Sonic Fictions

Vögele, Pius Jonas. Imaginations Are Star Gates: Yugen Blakrok's Afrofuturistic Sonic Fictions. 2019, Master Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/76973/

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This thesis explores the work of South African Hip Hop artist Yugen Blakrok from an Afrofuturist perspective. Yugen Blakrok’s first album The Return of the Astro-Goth (2013) already bears an Afrofuturist title, as a return in a debut must come from the future. She received considerable attention with the appearance on Kendrick Lamar’s soundtrack for the blockbuster feature movie Black Panther (2018), which brought Afrofuturism into the international mainstream. On her second album Anima Mysterium (2019), she delves deeper into the cosmos and affirms her role as mythic sorceress, which becomes apparent in song titles such as “Gorgon Madonna.” The collaboration with the Afrofuturist Hip Hop legend Kool Keith on “Mars Attacks” further embeds the album in this tradition. Following in the tracks of Sun Ra’s MythScience, Yugen Blakrok is exploring otherworlds and parallel universes. An intermingling of inner and outer space with the conceptual metaphor ‘space is an ocean,’ a frequent use of gothic tropes, and a holistic outlook emphasizing in-betweenness appear as key characteristics of her unique take on Afrofuturism. As Afrofuturism is a concept mainly developed in the African diaspora and despite its inherent interplanetary consciousness, Yugen Blakrok’s South African perspective yields a distinct approach on all aesthetic levels (the lyrical, sonic, and visual). While all these characteristics are taken into account, the thesis primarily focuses on Blakrok’s lyrics.
Advisors:Schweighauser, Philipp
Committee Members:Askin, Ridvan
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Amerikanistik (Schweighauser)
UniBasel Contributors:Schweighauser, Philipp and Askin, Ridvan
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Master Thesis
Thesis status:Complete
Last Modified:09 Jun 2020 04:30
Deposited On:08 Jun 2020 12:25

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