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The Blackspace Afronauts Release Their First Album

From left to right: JAMM, Naima, J Rowdy, Lil Monsta, and Zone.
Amanda Magnus
Some of the Blackspace Afronauts. From left to right: JAMM, Naima, J Rowdy, Lil Monsta, and Zone.

Two years ago, the Afrofuturist digital makerspace in Durham started offering hip-hop workshops. Local students gathered at Blackspace to learn about writing and met each Friday night in a public park to rap and make beats. Out of those gatherings, a group of students – who call themselves the Blackspace Afronauts – put together their first album: “Revenge Of The Afronauts.”

Host Frank Stasio talks to the program director for Blackspace Hip Hop, Josh Rowsey (J Rowdy), about the process of making the album. Stasio is also joined by artists featured on the album: Jeremiah Henderson (JAMM), Zach Woodard (Zone.), Naima Harrell (Naima), and Lourdes Pietri (Lil Monsta). They perform tracks live in studio and talk about their experiences in Blackspace Hip Hop.

The album release party is on Saturday, Oct. 6 at the Pinhook in Durham. The Blackspace Afronauts will also be at the Unscripted Hotel in Durham on Friday, Oct. 19

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Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.