When: Thu., Feb. 11, 8 p.m. 2016
THURSDAY, FEB. 11 BLITZ THE AMBASSADOR
In "Shine," the first in Blitz the Ambassador's trilogy of self-directed music videos called Diasporadical Trilogia, the Ghanaian-American rapper plays a questionable detective who threatens to have a father and his daughter deported unless the father names other undocumented immigrants. The clip follows the daughter on a daylong solo journey through Brooklyn. Accompanied by a costumed ancestor spirit, she dances through the city, as though invoking the promise of a better life in her new country, given the sacrifice of her father.
During "JuJu Girl," the story continues years later, in the daughter's native land, Accra, Ghana. She has a put a love spell on Blitz. "The way you wind your waist make the boys go gaga/Me I just chock wey I wedge make they scatter," raps Blitz in a thick Ghanaian tongue. "Then I step to you like, I never seen a goddess in the flesh 'til tonight." When he tries to track her fleeting steps to a beach party, all he finds is a wilted lily. And during the trilogy's final installment, "Running," Blitz presides over a wedding on the island shore of Salvador, Bahia, where the female lead lives. By saving a young boy passed out in a stray canoe, she scares the demolition crew that has arrived to destroy her home. Her whole life has come down to this idea—protecting her right to live in yet another new land.
You can ask Blitz about this trilogy, his past work, and his upcoming Diasporadical LP during his three-day Durham residency, which includes conversations at Beyù Caffè and Duke and culminates with a Thursday concert at Motorco. Expect hard-hitting, immediate rap with an atypical, imported, and most welcome element. —Eric Tullis
MOTORCO, DURHAM 8 p.m., $10–$22, www.dukeperformances.duke.edu