The past few months have been difficult to go through. An ongoing pandemic has forced us to significantly curtail movements and social interactions, at the same time 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 all over the continent. In a bid to brighten your mood with the finest African tunes, we’ve looked around to bring you four of the best records at the moment – songs you absolutely need to hear.
We started the week with new releases from Korede Bello, Tiwa Savage, Gogowe, Psycho YP, and many more from around the continent. Today, our mid-week selection covers the latest music releases from Ghanaian rapper, EL Lomi featuring Falz, DJ Tunez x Wizkid, Bey T, WurlD and Sarz, Sammie Ca$h and more. Enjoy.
DJ Tunez – “Cool Me Down” Feat Wizkid
“Cool Me Down” is a follow up to DJ Tunez’s 5-track EP, ‘Love Language Vol. 1’, which was released back in July. Singing “Every other day mi steady wanna dey with you” over the mix of Afropop drums, horn harmonies and percussion produced by P2J, Spax and DJ Tunez, Wizkid’s ability to ride a groove remains his strongest attraction with his enchanting melodies complimenting his raw and streetwise sweet-talking lyrics.
Directed by EIRIK, the accompanying video for “Cool Me Down” plays out like a highlight reel of the StayBoy crew’s life on the road as we see the behind-the-scenes cut for the 2019 Starboy Fest at the 02 Arena in London. We see intimate frames from DJ Tunez and Wizkid practising before a performance, as well as cuts of them on stage with thousands of camera phone wielding fans trying to capture every moment. With each artist on the lineup for the show featuring as cameos in the video for “Cool Me Down”, we expect the Starboy fanfare to translate to a hit record we’d be hearing deep into the year.
EL Lomi – “JJ Rawlings” featuring Falz, Gemini Orleans
Ghanaian rapper, EL Lomi’s latest body of work, ‘Leaks 2’ is filled with militant raps especially with track titles like “Heroes Have No Fun” and “No Peace”, which portrays him as a ruthless emcee ready to go bar for bar against any competition. However, on the standout track, “JJ Rawlings”, he teams up with Falz and Gemini Orleans and reveals a more lighthearted side to himself with his comical bars over the trap beat. Saying “Only thing I love more than women is more women” and embracing his local accent to deliver cocky rap bars over the trap beat, he borrows a leaf from Falz’s humorous side, who also contributes a verse along with Gemini Orleans. Though El Lomi remains as aggressive as ever, the new direction adds more appeal to make “JJ Rawlings” a fun and entertaining listen.
Bey T – “Ndio”
Bey T‘s ability to sing and rap allows her to carve out her own niche, as she releases rap songs with enough mainstream appeal to spearhead a hip-hop revolution in Kenya. She recently released the music video for “Ndio”, her latest single since she debuted ‘Concept’ last year. “Ndio” describes Bey T’s struggles with critics and how she had to hustle before her talent was finally recognised. Though she now has hit songs with over a million views on YouTube, we can still hear Bey T’s ambitious mindset, saying “I’m tryna make a super toast/ I want the bread yeah I want that super loaf”. The recently released music video is directed by BOWPA captures her performing the song against colourful backdrops that match the playful harmonies of the trap beat.
Sammie Ca$h – “Intro” Feat. Ijaya
Sammi Ca$h just released his debut project, ‘Paid Attention’, which positions him as one of the experimental artists going against the grain to make melodic Afro-trap songs, regardless of the general audience’s scepticism. For the opening track, “Intro”, he finds the balance between his hip-hop influences and indigenous Yoruba folk melodies by featuring Ijaya, who sings the spiritual hook in Yoruba; “Olorun lo mo ola(Only God knows tomorrow)”. Apart from setting the inspirational tone for the song, it also helped highlight Sammi Ca$h’s innovative sound as he rapped over the fuji-inspired beat produced by Altims.
Sarz x WurlD – “Focus”
The potency of a Sarz and WulrD’s collaboration was first highlighted in 2018 when they first collaborated on “TROBUL”. The pair have continued to deliver catchy Afropop tunes, teaming up on several other releases and even put out a joint tape, ‘I LOVE GIRLS WITH TROBUL’ last November. “Focus” is one of the tracks from the tape which affirmed their immense chemistry, as WurlD laid down his sultry vocals over the ambient production from Sarz. They just put out the animated video for “Focus” done by MOJO Studio and it shows WurlD’s romantic antics before getting his heartbroken by his muse. It’s a sad, yet, relatable tale which will resonate with anyone who is watching.
toni dada – “Desperado” Feat. Tomi Obanure
For years, Nigerian artists have mined rap’s braggadocious aura to depict their flashy lifestyle, but only a few are as convincing as toni dada’s new single, “Desperado”. His laidback Afropop melodies are primed for the dancefloors as he rides the catchy instrumentals while describing his outlandish lifestyle; “Feels like a movie when I step outside/ see when I move, me no need no bodyguard oh”. Tomi Obanure‘s closing verse infuses rap’s cocksure cadence, as he attempts to win the affection of a love interest with his boastful bars. “Desperado” is only toni dada’s second single, however, his brilliant performance on the song shows he’s ready to collect his trophies.
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