Fast-rising South African MC Yugen Blakrok releases “Gorgon Madonna,” the third single and video from her critically acclaimed sophomore LP, Anima Mysterium out 2/1 on I.O.T. Records.
In “Gorgon Madonna,” Yugen explores the vilification and exclusion of divine feminine energy in mythology, using Medusa and the Virgin Mary as examples. As Yugen explains, “In old Mythology, Medusa (The Gorgon) is cursed by Zeus and is made a monster that Man must fear. No one can look into her eyes as they’ll be turned to stone.
The Virgin Mary (The Black Madonna) in religion, as much as she’s the vessel that carries the Christ into the world, is somehow excluded from the Holy Trinity. It is out of this vilification and exclusion of the female element that these two entities meet. Both inspire fear in Man. The Gorgon Madonna is the wrath of Medusa and Mary. The Divine Feminine in the guise of the ultimate warrior: the woman scorned.”
The video intercuts shots of Yugen writing in her book, a old zombie couple playing chess, dancers with glowing mouths moving in slow motion, and a young girl performing a shamanistic ritual over the body of an old man. By the video’s end, the old and presumably sick man has been healed and smiles warmly at the young girl.
“For this music video I focused on animating the artist’s metaphors without illustrating them in a strictly literal way,” says the director Yann Marquis. “From her prose, I let emerge a collection of hybrid and extraordinary characters. These characters commune to represent a form of transversality. Transversality of time (youth-old age), of matter (organic-electric), of the genre (masculine-feminine) and of species (animal-human).”
The song and the video further fuel Yugen’s trajectory as one of the most compelling lyrical rappers and storytellers of our generation.
A sorceress who casts hexes with words and sound waves, Yugen Blakrok emerges from the smoke-filled dungeons of rap. Growing up in the Eastern Cape and influenced by the political/militant and spiritual aspects of Hip-Hop, her music is firmly rooted in the mindset of the ‘90s, a deeply lyrical and audio odyssey into the world around us, both seen and unseen. Her sound is a mix of sci-fi soundscapes, hard drums and meditative melodies, over which Blakrok’s words command vivid attention.
Live, the room often moves as one, as in a trance, led through the acoustic void. Her debut album, Return of the Astro-Goth (2013) was well-received by the Hip-Hop community worldwide, garnered several five-star ratings, and caught the attention of renowned Hip-Hop veterans such as Chuck D and Sage Francis. It also saw her nominated three times at the 2014 SA Hip-Hop awards, in the Best Lyricist, Best Newcomer, and Best Female categories.