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Premiere: "Abracadabrakafrika" by Zakiya Harris - By jschiewe - June 5, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Premiere: “Abracadabrakafrika” by Zakiya Harris

Zakiya Harris (Credit: Randall Richards)

In Bay Area artist Zakiya Harris’ new musical project Sh8peshifter, the quick-spitting, multi-talented emcee funnels her creative energies into a cornucopia of sounds and stunning visual imagery. She’s performed her eclectic mix of African, soul, dance, and hip-hop with the likes of Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, and Gil Scott Heron, and was a performer at a past Stern Grove Festival.

In “Abracadabrakafrika,” her newest release, Harris turns her attention to the experience of being a Black woman in today’s society, pairing the grungy, electronic song with a celebratory and elusive short video.

Filmed in West Oakland’s Lower Bottoms, the bulk of the video centers around a group of women dressed in white performing a ritual ceremony and in general just having a great ol’ time.

Harris fills the video with some pretty powerful vocals, spitting poignant lines with pop culture and Bible references, like “Black woman is god” and “Never a hoe / YOLO / Walls fall down like Jericho.”

Harris calls the song a “humble effort to cast myself as divine in a world that has continuously sought to sell me a lesser version of myself.”

The goal of both the song and video, she adds, is to elevate the pride and self-confidence of Black women and inspire “them to affirm who they are without apology.”