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Professor Rhythm’s 1991 recording Professor 3 is a vivid reflection of urban South Africa as apartheid was ending. Thami Mdluli’s production project had young and old dancing to a sound that sought to unite Blacks within Southern Africa. The late 1970’s and 80’s had been trying times for people of color. Thammi says, “During these times, we as a country were experiencing apartheid segregation, very much similar to the segregation in the States. We couldn’t express ourselves how we really felt; it was a matter of being creative with your lyrics. It really wasn’t like today where you could say what you wanted to say provided it was radio-ready. In our times, we had to really watch what we put out there, as we were in fear of being jailed or not having our music played at all if we stepped onto the government’s toes. If you were a musician in these times, one had to be a master of words as politics was force-fed unto us. Our music gave hope to the hopeless.”

Professor Rhythm: Professor 3

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