11 Songs, 44 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Written in Johannesburg while British actor Idris Elba was playing the title role in 2013’s Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, this features a variety of South African styles (marabi, kwela, mbaqanga, and mbube) alongside modern pop, hip-hop, dance, and soul music. Like Mandela himself, Elba has an uplifting message on these original compositions even when he contemplates weighty subjects. “Tree,” for example, is about his father's death. This weightiness is balanced by “mi Mandela,” which humorously recounts the unlikely happenstance of Stringer Bell (Elba’s gangster character on HBO’s The Wire) playing Nelson Mandela.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Written in Johannesburg while British actor Idris Elba was playing the title role in 2013’s Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom, this features a variety of South African styles (marabi, kwela, mbaqanga, and mbube) alongside modern pop, hip-hop, dance, and soul music. Like Mandela himself, Elba has an uplifting message on these original compositions even when he contemplates weighty subjects. “Tree,” for example, is about his father's death. This weightiness is balanced by “mi Mandela,” which humorously recounts the unlikely happenstance of Stringer Bell (Elba’s gangster character on HBO’s The Wire) playing Nelson Mandela.

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