Tag Archives: The Black Opera

The Black Opera Wants To Broaden The Scope of Hip-Hop

The Black Opera

Across several solo and group releases, The Black Opera have demonstrated their ability to create fearless art that extends well beyond the hip-hop scene. Over tough, grinding beats, Jamall Bufford and Magestik Legend rap about the Black experience, encouraging people of all backgrounds to think critically and challenge injustice. Onstage, TBO have become known for their unconventional performances, incorporating costume changes, video projections, live painting—even yoga.

With their most recent release, 80z Babiez to the 2Gz 2, TBO challenge the very premise of what hip-hop is supposed to be. For Bufford and Legend, music is a way to understand what’s going on in a specific moment of time. 80z Babiez is something of a generational mash-up: Classic and contemporary beats are sped up, slowed down, and ultimately transformed into something new. Following the release of 80z Babiez, we spoke with Bufford and Legend about the new mixtape, how their work as teachers informs the music they create, and how they’re often mischaracterized and misunderstood.

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