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World Music CD Reviews Africa

Various Artists

By James Rodgers
Published March 16, 2007

Tsotsi—Music From The Motion Picture
Milan 36156

A good soundtrack is a balancing act, supporting or even propelling the film while standing alone as musical entertainment. The key ingredient to the soundtrack of the recent Academy Award-winning foreign film Tsotsi is the nine songs by South African Kwaito superstar Zola. Kwaito is South Africa’s answer to hip-hop, and Zola is its Kanye West. Pulling songs from his multiple releases as the cornerstone of the soundtrack was shrewd. Zola’s vocals and music have a cocky arrogance and swagger that translate even if one can’t understand the lyrics. This international showcase of his talents and skill will surely lead to a wider audience. Each of the five other artists contributes one song, and they each have a sure foot in both worlds. Only the five tracks by Mark Kilian and Paul Hepker featuring Vusi Mahlasela fail to translate outside of the film, and clash with the other 14 tracks.