Best New Music: Master KG & Joeboy Make A Glorious Pair On New Single, “Laleyi”
Best New Music: Master KG & Joeboy Make A Glorious Pair On New Single, “Laleyi”

Best New Music: Master KG & Joeboy Make A Glorious Pair On New Single, “Laleyi”

the unmissable highs of enjoying one's life

Every last quarter of the year is always an interesting time for Afropop. Having met the needs of their international fanbase, selling out tours and performing at festivals almost all year round, the final three months lead unmistakably geared towards home. The music then channels the boisterous spirit of the forthcoming period of festivity, pulling all the most conventional stops to ensure a bonafide hit song is created. 

Master KG is familiar with flowing alongside such ebbs of creativity. Around this time four years ago, the Zanda Zakuza-assisted Skeleton Move began catching on among listeners from other African countries. Though its message of homecoming appealed to a pan-African sensibility, the music was similarly brilliant, bursting with the electro House influences the 26-year-old producer has embodied throughout his career. In 2020, Jerusalema achieved stellar heights of ubiquity and earned Master KG a remix with Burna Boy, thereby oiling the wheels of prospective collaborations with Nigerian musicians. 


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On “Laleyi,” the hit-making prowess of Joeboy is called upon to construct the latest lore of KG’s. Quite early into the song, the listener gets a sense of the sonic direction as distinct Amapiano drums create a heaving, yet exhilarating mood. Matched with spacey keys and snares which builds an additional layer beneath the more recognisable percussions, there’s a stuffing of the production which somehow doesn’t obscure the sunny potential of Joeboy’s vocals. 

Coming from the success of “Contour,” it’s been a redemptive year for the musician who was often levelled with the accusation he’s gone off the radar amongst the scene-shifting works of his peers. And yet for those who understand the uniqueness of Joeboy’s takes on Afropop, there was seldom a time when the musician was that far from a hit record. He’s provided the perfect soundscape by his eminent South African collaborator, and the freedom he was granted with songwriting audibly influences the record’s fun-seeking direction. 

Right from his breakout single “Baby,” the music of Joeboy has long probed the relationship between romance and community, often trying to tease a deeper connection with a love interest. Even with more festive flourishes lining its seams, “Laleyi” maintains this sensitive edge, although with a sharper twist of moving along with their sensual desires. “I want to do what you want tonight,” he sings in the opening lyric, and then following up with, “You want me as bad as I want you, don’t lie,” effectively cashing in on the bad boy image young Afropop artists are increasingly being known to project. 

The record continues to build on that intensity, and just before the chorus Joeboy reiterates his need for a good vibe. It’s a quintessential Afropop subject matter, but there’s such mastery from both Master KG and Joeboy that one easily forgets they’ve heard many records cut from a similar ilk. In terms of sonic choices, the pairing of melancholic keys and Amapiano drums, and then the crowd vocals which lines the record’s latter parts, bears on an influence that has been rife in Nigerian Pop throughout 2022. Its falsetto-delivered post-chorus of “I no fit to wait o, Baby don’t be late o” has shades of prime Wande Coal, establishing an exhilarating sense of breeziness which further polishes the record’s brilliance. 

With December only some days away, it’s surely fitting to get a certified banger from two ingenious musicians from sub Saharan Africa’s most successful music industries. Combining their distinct strengths on its promotional run would no doubt prove an interesting endeavour, but there should be no shortage of popular love given the quality on display.