Best New Music: Kida Kudz reworks a familiar African sample for "1 AM" - The Native

Best New Music: Kida Kudz reworks a familiar African sample for new jiggy bop, “1 AM”

Music of African origin is in it’s most innovative time in history. We’ve seen the sound expand as new artists offer their distinct styles to the melodic sound. Self-proclaimed Afro-swank artists, Kida Kudz is proof of this trend and his unorthodox approach is what makes his latest release, “1 am” such a thrilling listen.

Moving to the UK from Nigeria as a teenager didn’t discourage Kida Kudz from being himself or even indulging his nerdier impulses, and as a result, he has become a distinct figure in the UK rap community. He leans into his Nigerian background while detailing his reality as a UK rapper to create a sound that neatly fits alongside his sing-song delivery.

“1 am” is a prime example of him doing what he does best—blending influences from his African roots with his hip-hop upbringing in the UK. The song is built on the groovy baseline from Ghanaian hip-life classic, “Ahomka Womu” by VIP, which he reinterprets into a whirling club song with his boastful lyrics; “It’s 1 am and I’m active/ I’m just cooking up a mad ting”. While his catchy melody is set to the lightweight ambience of the dancefloor, you never question his rapper intentions with the way he filters his roadman antics through his melodic African influences.

“1 am” also features a guest verse from Jaykae. The rising Birmingham rapper joined Kida Kudz to rap over the beat as they bridged the continents through music. Rapping “Litty on a weekend/ It could be a weekday/ We don’t need a reason”, Jaykae captures the flashy rapper lifestyle and the music video Jiggy Boyz Films produced brings it to life through the glitter-covered CDs and models.

Kida Kudz’s roadman interpretation of Afropop makes the genre more accessible to non-African audiences. With each new release, his compositions have gotten more sophisticated and with the VIP sample on “1 am”, it might be his most career-defining song yet.

Featured Image Credits: Instagram/kidakudzgram

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You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu

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