This is one of those gems I picked up at the Laney Flea Market in Oakland, California. My dad used to talk a lot about this guy and when I saw it, I had to grab it. Hugh Masekela is an award winning trumpeter, singer, and composer from South Africa. He was born in 1939 and began recording in 1959. Raised during Apartheid, his music was greatly influenced by the struggle of Africans and as a result his music is often politically charged—most notably his songs “Soweto Blues” and “Nelson Mandela.” Masekela’s music has heavy elements of jazz and funk with traditional African instrumentation throughout. The Boy is Doin’ It was Masekela’s eleventh LP released on Casablanca in 1975 and is an incredible fusion of musical styles. The Boy is Doin’ It is an historical glimpse at how American born genres such as jazz and funk influenced Africans and how African musicians infused their high life and afrobeat styles into the genre to create their own distinct sound. This record features band members from Ghanaian highlife band Hedzoleh. With well over 30 albums including a best of LP and many live recordings, Masekela is definitely regarded a musical legend.
“The Boy is Doin’ It” starts with a strong bassline and several voices chanting the title of the track. It quickly moves into a funky drummer type introduction and then you hear the recognizably charged voice of Masekela come in. The choruses are in English but the rhythm is African, American, and Latin. His trumpet solos are like a melodic siren of self and a communal proclamation of, “We’re here!” One of the things that struck me about the chorus of “The Boy is Doin’ It” was that it felt like he was not only describing where he was in his music, but where he loved—the world. Like early 90s hip hop shout outs, he calls out cities everywhere, showing universality. Put this in your mp3 player and ride to it on the train or on the highway! Enjoy.
“The Boy Is Doin’ It” by Hugh Masekela