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Screengrab from Kendrick Lamar & SZA's "All The Stars."

Best Music of the Week: Kendrick x SZA, Niniola, Ibeyi, Muthoni Drummer Queen & More

The songs you need to hear this week.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.


Kendrick Lamar & SZA "All the Stars" for 'Black Panther'

Kendrick Lamar and SZA's incredible video for "All the Stars," the lead single from the TDE-produced Black Panther soundtrack finds a way to touch on all corners of the African continent—from Congolese sapeurs to kente from Ghana.

Read about all of the video's African references here.

Niniola "Oyin" + "Maradona" SA cover

South African producer Eternal's cover of Nigerian singer Niniola's hit single "Maradona" has gone viral. The cover features Eastern Cape born vocalist Amanda Faku, who was a contestant on The Voice SA last year. She sings her vocals in IsiXhosa. Niniola's also dropped a new addictive video and single for "Oyin."

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Ibeyi's Tiny Desk Concert

Ibeyi are the latest artists to appear on NPR's Tiny Desk concert series. The French-Cuban duo performed stripped down versions of four of their songs including "Oddudua," which the twins sing in Yoruba, "Deathless," "Valé," and "Transmission/Michaelion," from their 2017 album Ash.

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Kae Sun "Treehouse"

Canadian-based Ghanaian singer and songwriter Kae Sun premiered music video for "Treehouse," a dark-yet-uplifting anthem for late nights and early mornings inspired by his neighborhood in Accra.

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LeriQ & Odunsi the Engine "Start All Over"

Nigerian producer and songwriter LeriQ—the man behind the beats on Burna Boy's solid debut albumL.I.F.E - Leaving an Impact for Eternity and his Redemption EP—teams up with Odunsi for this ultra smooth Nigerian R&B jam, "Start All Over."

"Start All Over" is available now from Okaymusic.

Muzi "Chocolate Dreams" feat. Una Rams & Saint Seaba

South African producer Muzi drops the video for"Chocolate Dreams," a catchy afrobeats-meets-pop song that features rising SA singer Una Rams and Nigerian producer and singer Saint Seaba.

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Muthoni Drummer Queen "Lover"

"Lover," the new single from Kenya's Muthoni Drummer Queen, is a buoyant, synth-lead anthem that tells the story of a proud and unapologetic transgender woman who, as Muthoni's team writes, "is experiencing the power and beauty of womanhood while basically having the sex of her life."

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Kobi Onyame "Still We Rise" feat. Wanlov the Kubolor

UK-based Ghanaian artist Kobi Onyame links up another fellow Ghanaian, Wanlov the Kubolor of FOKN Bois fame, for a hazy trip through the mountains of Ghana in "Still We Rise," a song about staying on your grind.

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Patoranking "Available"

Nigeria's Patoranking showcases the ever-growing influence of South Africa's gqom in the new music video for his single, "Available."

Montess "Ma Booi"

Cameroonian diva Montess comes through with "Ma Booi," an addictive, synth-lead single about being in love with her man.

"Ma Booi" is available across all platforms from Okaymusic.

Sean Tizzle "Kpro Kpro"

Sean Tizzle has a song that could sound track any and all of your upcoming parties. The new video for "Kpro Kpro" was shot and directed by Ademola Falomo in Lagos, Nigeria.

Mr P "My Way"

Mr P (Peter Okoye formerly of P-Square) gets his Kanye in "Can't Tell Me Nothing" on his new desert video for "My Way."

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.

News

The Ethiopian Government Has Asked Olympic Runner In Exile, Feyisa Lilesa, to Return Home

After two years in exile, the Olympic athlete will return home and receive a "hero's welcome."

Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian runner who went into exile in 2016 after bravely protesting the Ethiopian government's brutal treatment of its Oromo population at the Rio Olympics, has been invited to return to home.

After living in self-imposed exile United States for two years the marathoner, who demonstrated by crossing his fists as he reached the finish line and claimed the silver medal, has been extended an offer to return to his homeland and compete for his country once again by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation and the country's Olympic committee. According to VOA News, the runner will return home in the coming weeks with his wife and children.

"Athlete Feyisa Lilesa has scored great results at the Rio Olympics and other athletics competitions enabling Ethiopia's flag to be hoisted to great heights," read a joint letter from the two athletics organizations.

"We want Lilesa to return to his home country to resume his athletics competition and upon his return we are prepared to give him a hero's welcome."

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Politics
Image via GovernmentZA's Flickr.

Could Justice Finally Be on the Horizon for Marikana Massacre Families?

New evidence suggests that the police intended to kill all along.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, when 34 mine-workers were gunned down by police after several days of wage disputes at Lonmin Mine in Rustenburg, North West province. New information was recently uncovered that undermines the police's longstanding claim that they acted in self-defence. If anything, it is a glimmer of hope for the families of the victims that remain left behind in the aftermath of that tragedy.

It was the worst mass civilian killing since the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, where South African protesters were killed for opposing the Apartheid regime. The Marikana Massacre, in contrast, was the tragic consequence of week-long wage disputes and clashes between miners and the South African police.

While media footage appears to show the miners as the victims, police have always argued that they were acting in self defence. Consequently no officers involved have been charged. Instead, the surviving mineworkers face murder charges under the doctrine of common purpose. But unnerving facts have come to light that seem to make the police argument even less likely. This includes the ordering of 4000 rounds of live ammunition and several vans from the mortuary the day before the massacre.

I cannot even begin to unpack my anger and frustration at this terrible irony.

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popular

Remembering Aretha Franklin and Her Heartfelt Connection With Nelson Mandela

In honor of the Queen of Soul's immeasurable impact, we revisit her passionate support of Nelson Mandela, and the anti-apartheid movement, through her musical tributes.

Iconic singer, Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" passed away on Thursday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

Franklin was considered by many to be the greatest singer of all time. Her influence on popular music cannot be overstated. The legendary artist sold 75 million records and earned 18 Grammys in a career spanning six decades and she was influential in many global social movements as well.

Having been a widely-embraced public figure for so long, Franklin was present for some of the biggest events of the 20th century, including the funeral of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

Upon Mandela's release, the singer played a unique role in welcoming him to the States by performing at a freedom rally in his honor in Detroit. Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and Stevie Wonder were also in attendance for the historic night. During the celebration, Franklin called the anti-apartheid leader on stage, where he spoke about listening to and appreciating "the Detroit, Motown Sound" while he was in prison.

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