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.
Our midweek selection featured new releases from Ade Lasode, Sarkodie and E-40, Shun Breezy and the African anthem of solidarity against Covid-19 by 2Baba, Amanda Black, Yemi Alade, Teni, Ahmed Soultan and more. To start off your weekend, today’s curation includes DJ Spinall’s, Kranium-assisted single, Kida Kudz’s collaboration with Falz and Joey B, Psycho YP’s riveting new freestyle and much more. Enjoy.
DJ Spinall x Kranium – “Everytime”
With four well-received studio albums under his belt, DJ Spinall has proven himself as a facilitator of great collaborative songs. While those songs involved linking producers and artists, Spinall has taken things up a notch by self-producing his recent releases, including the previously released, Omah Lay-assisted “Tonight”. He continues this streak with his new single, “Everytime”, a sultry bop with vocal assistance from Dancehall superstar Kranium. Continuing the lineage of Afropop and Caribbean pop mergers, the pair showcase great synergy on the song, with DJ Spinall cobbling a vibrant, mid-tempo afro-Caribbean groove together, while Kranium puts in a delightful performance that is coloured by his trademark style of sophisticated raunchiness.
Tolani – “Badman”
Tolani’s first single of the year, “Badman”, isn’t an anti-love anthem, but it will have you re-considering the point of getting into romantic entanglements because we are often drawn to people who aren’t the best for us. Over iilerixo’s bouncy production, Tolani examines her choices in partners, coming across as someone who, the streets would say, has refused to jazz up. “When he looks like trouble, that’s when I’m catching a buzz”, she sings on the second verse, voicing regret but also admitting the thrill of falling for a badman.
Sun-El Musician x Simmy x Khuzani – “Emoyeni”
With his frequent stream of new music releases, Sun-El Musician is clearly gearing up to release the follow-up to his 2018 debut album, ‘Africa to the World’. Following the late-May release of the Msaki-assisted “Ubomi Abumanga”, the South African producer/DJ has now dropped his third single of the year, “Emoyeni”, with vocal assists from Maskandi singer Khuzani and frequent collaborator Simmy. Leaning into his preference for soulful textures, Sun-El puts together an ambient combination of wafting keys, rippling piano synth riffs and gently rolling percussion, underpinning his guests’ zen-inducing vocals.
Focalistic x Emtee – “Klippa”
Over the past year, Focalistic has established himself as one of the more chameleonic rap artists in South African music, with his ability to hop on a variety of beats, from Amapiano to Trap to Afropop. In last three months, he’s dropped his debut project, ‘Quarantined Tarantino’, put out a 3-single pack, ‘Blecke’, and he has stellar multiple features on projects by Semi Tee and Kabza De Small. Continuing his prolific streak, he’s teamed up with SA rap veteran Emtee on “Klippa”, a boastful track where they trade brags over a stomping trap beat. Taking the first verse and hook duties, Focalistic raps about his come-up journey so far and his readiness to continue levelling up, while Emtee chips in a standard verse championing his hustler’s mind set.
Kida Kudz x Falz x Joey B – “Buga”
So much has been happening in the world that it feels like Kida Kudz’s debut mixtape, ‘Nasty’, has been out longer than its February release. True to his nature, though, Kida Kudz has remained prolific, releasing songs and hopping on features that serve as a solid reminder that he’s one of the more inventive artists fusing rap and afropop. On his new single, “Buga”, he links up with Nigerian rapper Falz and Ghanaian rapper Joey B for a self-assured, feel-good jam. Delivering the repetitive hook and the first verse, Kida sets the tone with his confident and playful delivery, Falz takes over on the second verse where he’s dismissive of those he considers opps, while Joey B closes out with pseudo-romantic lyrics on the third verse.
Psycho YP – “Rap Riddim (Freestyle)”
The common theme tying together his overflowing catalogue of projects and features is that, Psycho YP can pretty much rap over whatever and sound great at it. On his new loosie single, “Rap Riddim”, YP dips his toe into drill waters and he sounds as comfortable as ever. In less than 90 seconds, he wreaks havoc over Johnson IP and Cruise beats’ ominous production, rolling out a flurry of confident raps with a casual ferocity that’s immediately riveting.
Sigag Lauren x Lex Ash – “We’ll Dance Again”
If you didn’t know, Nigeria has a burgeoning EDM culture that’s worth paying attention. One of the names on the forefront of the movement is Sigag Lauren, the rising producer/DJ who’s just put out his first ever music video for his latest single, “We’ll Dance Again”. Featuring vocal assist from Lex Ash, “We’ll Dance Again” is a beaming shot of optimism in these dour times, made evident through Sigag’s production that moves between wistful and boisterous, as well as Lex’s plaintive lyrics and radiant singing.
Dennis is not an interesting person. Tweet Your Favourite Playboi Carti Songs at him @dennisadepeter