From The Cloud
Stay – Nonso Amadi and OdunsiTheEngine
“Stay” is the the shortest cut off Nonso and Odunsi’s joint four track EP, War. Despite the heavy bass thumps, It’s the closest thing to pangolo street pop. Sprinkle some R&B fairy dust on that and what you get is light touch of many simple ideas that work because of how quickly it comes and goes.
Radio (feat. YCEE) – Bella Alubo
Tinny Entertainment’s new signee, Bella Alubo marks her first label debut with “Radio” featuring labelmate YCEE. It’s not raw enough but Bella is confident enough to run through hard brags, and switch between melodies and bars without missing a mark. YCEE’s presence is felt on a slurpy sing-song melody, the rest is just Bella working the beat for anything that sounds good and she finds it with every note.
Nowadays – Musmah
African hip-hop is becoming a thing so you can stop wondering why this sounds like trap Afropop with actual rap. But “Nowadays” is a little bit more than that. Musmah tells a story, builds a central character similar to the sub-romantic Drake we all fell in love with, then lets the stage of a failing relationship roll across your eyes. And thanks to that subtle bass guitar, you never forget the acoustic leanings of African music, Musmah may be brokenhearted but he sure knows how to compose a song.
Save Yourself – Nu Fvnk
Of those who dare to take from the age of disco snares and complex song building we have Dev Hynes and Nukubi amongst others who ride the wave with synths and deep voices. Nu Fvnk’s “Save Yourself” is a stretch further than that. He carries a melody leaning on broody and layers vocals for harmonies, that blend into a perfect non-ballad about saving yourself from unrequited love.
From Our Pot of Jollof
Rock Your Body – Burna Boy
“Rock Your Body” is produced by Juls and set on the same steel drums that made Mr Eazi’s “Skin Tight”, allowing Burna Boy to ease into the comfort of melody from his earlier days in the game.
Issa Vibe – Kida Kudz
Kida Kudz is finally catching on to what he should have been doing since he won that TV reality show many years ago. “Issa Vibe” waxes strong on an unmissable chill, that seeps his auto-tuned vocals into the rhythm for full effect.
Early (feat. Nonso Amadi, Maleek Berry) – Juls
Juls “Early” may not be a typical dance floor number but the beat is catchy enough to imagine it playing for a late night slow-wine.
I’m The One (feat. Justin Beiber, Chance The Rapper, Lil Wayne, Quavo)
If hip-hop had what Nick Fury is to the Avengers, it would be DJ Khaled. His latest assembly of the A-list artists, “I’m The One” features an irresistible line-up. There is always that tendency for DJ Khaled to outdo himself to a point that it becomes annoying, but none of that happens on “I’m The One”,a song already predestined to ease into summer playlists in the coming weeks.
Love Galore (feat. Travis Scott) – Sza
While we wait for the release of Sza’s Z, here is “Love Galore”, a neo-R&B soul single featuring Travis Scott, that came accompanied with a steamy video and a dark but hilarious plot twist at the end.
Lust For Life (feat. The Weekend) – Lana Del Rey
Queen of sorrow, Lana Del Rey is back with what seems to be her strongest release since “Love”, the lead single off her upcoming album titled, Lust For Life. “Lust For Life” features The Weeknd, who has already proven himself a worthy Del Rey collaborator with “Prisoner” off his 2015 album Beauty Behind The Madness and the “Stargirl” interlude on his 2016 follow-up Starboy. “Lust for Life” is peak Lana Del Rey living at edge of life and doing the most to enjoy the thrill.