The Blak Rapp Madusa/Ziggy Sawdust Interview

Published On July 20, 2015 | By Megan Brown | Interviews

Blak Rapp Madusa (Photo Credit: Kelly Carter)

Multi-talented artist and activist Blak Rapp Madusa is on a mission to change the world and bring positivity through her music. Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Madusa takes the music movement by storm through her past experiences. Whether it’s through spoken word or her lyricism, she is able to portray what’s happpening within the culture that surrounds her.

Madusa studied Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and uses her knowledge and experiences to relate to what she talks about in her music. Her latest music video for “Blak Summer (feat. Jacquea Mae)” shows just that. Images of the culture around Pittsburgh and movements that have happened in 2015 bring the video to life and show a social change. We had a chance to chat with Blak Rapp Madusa, as well as Ziggy Sawdust, the director and producer of her video. Below is what transpired.

Blak Rapp Madusa

Megan: Your music reflects themes of a social movement.  What message(s) would you like your music to portray?
Blak Rapp Madusa: I would like my music to expose society; to expose the grossness of white supremacy; to expose the absurdity of poverty in one of the most wealthiest nations in the world.
M: Through spoken word and lyricism, you are able to describe what’s happening in our culture. Where does that deep meaning in your lyrics come from?
BRM: My lyrics reflect my experience; but mostly, American English does not even begin to graze the thoughts, memories, and experience of being black in America. The depth of my content is ancestral, like it’s encoded in my spiritual DNA to use my words to create change.
M: How would you describe your music?
BRM: My music is activism and art — I am an artivist.
M: Explain your acronym M.A.D.U.S.A. and how it came about.
BRM: Pronounced like Mad USA (Making A Difference Using Skills and Activism) [the acronym] has a few different meanings to me. Most people pronounce it as Medusa, but I do not correct folks, either. I kinda like the play on words, but it really is mad USA. It’s also a call to action, so to speak; a chant, if you will: “Blak Rapp Mad USA!” It’s how I start off some of my performances.

Ziggy Sawdust

Ziggy Sawdust

Ziggy focuses on music and the arts within his Pittsburgh event planning/production company, Ziggy Sawdust Productions. Ziggy created the “Blak Summer” music video with a sense of social justice in mind, hoping to intertwine the artists’ lyrics and the city of Pittsburgh’s imagery to reflect it.

Megan: What inspired you to film the shots of Blak Madusa near the barrel of fire?
Ziggy: Ambiance. It ending up working really well. Everything really came together and put the message out there.
M: Were certain parts of Pittsburgh selected for the video for particular reasons?
Z: Most definitely. She spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh and in the surrounding areas with the tunnels and graffiti walls. It’s essentially aesthetic. With the courtyard in Homewood, the artwork on the walls changes every week. It’s a capture of how temporary things really are.
M: Do you think Pittsburgh shows a movement in social justice or understanding?
Z: I believe that’s there’s a lot of extremely positive things happening in Pittsburgh. In the video, there’s original footage of people from the MLK march in January.
Through the collaborated efforts of Blak Rapp Madusa and Ziggy Sawdust Productions, along with music producer, Idasa Tariq, and vocalist, Jacquea Mae, “Blak Summer” is a call to action. It’s a perfect representation of social change, of what’s happening in today’s world, and of Pittsburgh’s imagery and culture. Peep the finished product below and see the masterpiece for yourselves:


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