Context is King: the Hidden Story Behind “Searching for Sugar Man”

The late designer, Virgil Abloh, once offered the power of context as he held a tin can in his hand. According to him, this object would mostly be viewed as discarded trash. If, however, he built a pristine art studio around it and placed it on a well-lit pedestal, observers would assume it was valuable modern art. 

Context is everything. 

I was blown away watching the acclaimed documentary, Searching for Sugar Man. It’s about a failed musician, Sixto Rodriguez,  living in the slums of Detroit. For context, he purchased his home for $50 in 1976. Unbeknownst to him, his music became an underground cult classic in South Africa during the apartheid. With South Africa cut off from the outside world because of international sanctions, his music was smuggled into the underground music scene along with American greats. South Africans assumed by association that he, too, was a legend. 

Soon rumors spread that he’d died and so when international relations became less opaque, his legend wasn’t explored further based on the assumption he was dead. Meanwhile a small group of music-heads and disc jockeys from South Africa began digging only to find that Rodriguez was alive and (mostly) well in Detroit. 

Rodriguez, who assumed he was a failed musician, had a fan base the size of a platinum-level recording artist in South Africa. Once the connection was made, Rodriguez made the pilgrimage to South Africa to standing ovations and played six consecutive sold out arena shows. 

So, which is it? 

Is Rodriguez a reclusive musical failure? Or, is he a bonafide rock star? In instances when it was assumed he was a failure, the music was the same music that was regarded as rock star status in a different context.

7/26/23 WOD

DEUCE Athletics GPP

Complete 4 rounds of the following:
5 Consecutive Barbell Vertical Jumps

Then, complete 3 rounds of the following:
5 CAT Back Squat

Complete the following for time:
Push Ups
Double KB Swings (44/26)
1 Bull Run



Paused Snatch Pull (Below the Knee)


Complete 4 rounds for time of:
400m Run
12 Alt DB Snatches (50/35)
-Rest 4 min-