The past few months have been difficult to go through. An ongoing pandemic has forced us to significantly curtail movements and social interactions, and at the same time we’re fighting injustices on multiple fronts. Luckily, the one palliative we can rely on is the continued and diverse stream of music that has continued to grace ears from all over the continent. In a bid to highlight the best songs, we’ve looked around to bring you the songs you absolutely need to hear.
Our selections for today include pre-album singles from Adekunle Gold, Cuppy and Niniola, new singles Jidenna, AKA and more. Enjoy.
Adekunle Gold x Nailah Blackman – “AG Baby”
Months after its initial announcement, Adekunle Gold’s third studio album, ‘Afro Pop, Vol. 1’, is scheduled for release next year. Officially starting the project rollout, the singer has shared the lead single, “AG Baby”, a boastful cut where he relishes his success and touts his prowess. Accompanied by TMXO’s maximalist combination of rippling bass guitar, bright horn harmonies and punchy drums, Adekunle Gold sounds as imperial and suave as ever, while Trinidadian singer Nailah Blackman contributes an infectious that adds to the self-aggrandisement on display.
Cuppy x Rema x Rayvanny – “Jollof on a Jet”
Cuppy SZN is in full effect. The DJ/singer has been drumming up attention for her debut album, ‘Original Copy’, which is set for release next month. To that effect, she has shared the lead single, “Jollof on a Jet”, and it features guest appearances from Nigerian wunderkind Rema and Tanzanian star Rayvanny. “Jollof on a Jet” initially started off as one of Cuppy’s many hilarious moments on social media, and she’s capitalised on it to deliver a lively bop. Backed by Killertunes’ thumping production, Rema and Rayvanny deliver a romance-driven set, with the former taking the hook and the latter delivering a solid verse, while Cuppy adds a repetitive half-sung bridge in between.
Niniola – “Addicted”
Nearly three years since her well-received debut album, ‘This is Me’, Niniola is gearing up to release her sophomore album, ‘Colours & Sounds’, which is scheduled to arrive in September. In anticipation of the album, the singer has dropped a new single, “Addicted”, a Sarz-produced song that takes inspiration from the increasingly popular Amapiano subgenre. Over Sarz’s intermittent horn melodies, piano riffs and thudding percussion, Niniola longs for a physically absent lover, admitting her addiction to him through her expressive lyrics and playfully intense melodies.
AKA – “Cross My Heart”
AKA’s recent project has seen the South African rap artist further embrace his melodic side. On his latest single, “Cross My Heart”, he embraces his falsetto more than he ever has, delivering an affectionate love song that still caters to his big ego. In between the hook where he sings, “I can’t get you out of my mind”, he delivers two rap verses highlighting the characteristics that he feels makes him an ideal romantic partner.
Jidenna – “Black Magic Hour”
Since he broke out, Jidenna has made it a point of duty to represent and reconnect to his African heritage. On his thumping new single, “Black Magic Hour”, he raps, “I rocked these linens ‘fore wakanda looked appealing/the best you rappers do is do a show, pay a visit/while I’m really out here living in Kenya, making shillings”. It’s one of many standout lines on a song where pays homage to his polygamous grandfather and tersely explains why he never looked at Morgan Freeman as a hero figure.
Sipho the Gift x Psycho YP – “ON MY JOB”
Whether he’s being introspective or bullish, Sipho the Gift raps like he’s trying to raise the hair on his listeners’ ears. Just over a month after releasing an EP, ‘Bloom’, Sipho is back with a new single, “ON MY JOB”, and he taps UK-based Nigerian rap star Psycho YP for an adrenaline-fueled cut. Accompanied by sinister piano chords and blown out bass, the pair combine for a boastful cut where they pump their chest and wag their fingers at naysayers, making it clear that they’re not interested in any unnecessary games.
Black Beatz x MOJO – “Dobale”
In addition to his latest solo single, “Chiwawa”, MOJO has been on a prolific streak of scene stealing guest appearances. His latest feature is on “Dobale” by Black Beatz, who produces the bouncy beat and wisely cedes most of the spotlight to his guest. For his part, MOJO delivers a raunchy set admiring the physical attributes of a love interest, rapping his endless stream of memorable bars in his trademark imposing yet playful cadence.
Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Playboi Carti Songs at him @dennisadepeter