Kamasi Washington drops entrancing “Hub-Tones” video

It draws on Pan-Africanism, Nina Simone, Anita Hill’s courthouse hearings and more.

Kamasi Washington has released a video for “Hub-Tones,” the third track off his third studio album, Heaven & Earth, out earlier this year.

Directed by British-Nigerian filmmaker Jenn Nkiru, who also worked on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s show-stopping “Apesh*t” visual, the video trains on a performer who falls into a trance. She sways slowly, her bejeweled eyelids flutter shut, and though she still swings her tambourine in time and keeps pace with her fellow dancers, it’s clear she’s someplace else.

As Pitchfork reports, Nkiru drew on many different inspirations for this striking visual: from the culture of the Ikwerre people—to whom her parents belong—to British-Ghanaian artist Larry Achiampong, to Nina Simone, to Anita Hill’s courthouse hearings.


“As an African-American, a lot of us don’t know the country of our origin, that’s why most of us take on the ideology of Pan-Africanism,” Washington said in a statement. “I was trying to connect to my ancestors by connecting African rhythms with a Freddie Hubbard tune, which gave me that connection in a different way.”

Watch the video below:

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