The ethereal video for “Black Girl Magik” features the Zambia-born and Australia-based rapper alongside other resplendently-dressed Black women and girls. They dance, they play chess and they braid hair throughout different rooms in a stately home. And at one moment, as the women sit at a dining table in a greenhouse, Tempo delivers these powerful words:
I’ve been Black since ‘93. But I understand that it’s not just about me. Understand that there’s a spirit underneath this skin. Understand that there’s a soul that lives within. Soul, glow, from dusk ‘til dawn, from the beginning where we all come from. So, somebody tell me why we can’t get along. I wrote this psychosis for sisters like me, with skin as dark as the night that shines so effortlessly. I wrote this for my sister, who looks in the mirror and calls out to beauty, who can no longer see her.
Tembo told Okayplayer that she wrote the song for her younger sister, Mwanje, who also appears in the video. “I often wondered what Mwanje saw when she looked back at herself in the mirror,” she explained. “We’re surrounded by beauty standards that we cannot fulfill as they’re not made with us in mind. In this video I wanted to depict something beautiful, strong, and royal—all that she embodies.”
“Black Girl Magik” is from Tembo’s latest album, “Birds and the BEE9.”