popular
MHD. Photo by OJOZ.

Listen to MHD's New Album '19'

MHD's second album is brilliant and reveals of a side of the young artist we haven't seen through versatile production and features from Wizkid, Salif Keita, and Yemi Alade.

MHD, the king of France's Afro Trap movement, has dropped his highly-anticipated second album, 19.

By now, you should know the story of the pizza delivery man turned French phenomenon, who's performed on the biggest stages like Denmark's Roskilde and California's Coachella. MHD's effortless mix of rap and afrobeats has solidified his place as the voice of a generation, gotten him two invites to France's presidential palace, l'Élysée, and a noteworthy reception when he arrived in Guinea.

The 19 tracks on the album and its title are an homage to the 19th arrondissement, the Parisien borough where he grew up and continues to dwell. This new record has all the potential to be just as successful as the 24-year-old's triple platinum debut and the Afro Trap series that catapulted his career.

19 includes features from the likes of Wizkid, Salif Keïta, Yemi Alade, Orelsan, Dadju, and Stefflon Don as well as production by Diplo, Stromae, Dany Synthé, Junior a la prod, DSK On The Beat, S2keyz and Heezy Lee. Unsurprisingly, the majority of these features were landed through simple social media direct messages—MHD has mastered the art of using YouTube and Instagram to his advantage in an internet age.

Keep reading... Show less
Audio
Nix. Photo: Sidy M. Kandji.

The Artist Is Present: Nix, the Senegalese Rap Pioneer

Nix talks about his new album, EMW2: Excuse my Wolof 2: The Nuulest, and putting Senegal on the map.

Nix or Nicolas Omar Diop, 39, has been a driving force behind his Senegal's hip-hop scene for about two decades. Like any old-head or vieux père, as we like to call them, his love of rap is rooted in admiration for the likes of Doug E Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, Father Mc, The Boys, Bobby Brown. as well as Frenchmen Mc Solaar, Assassin, NTM, and IAM.

Nix got his start with the group Kantiolis in 1993. Black Crystal, his first solo album from 2003 so moved the youth of the time it got him a Senegalese Hip Hop Award. 2010 would bring his second solo project, Rime de Vie. This was the start of international success and paved the way for a collaboration with Wyclef Jean. In 2016, he dropped his award winning third album, Art de Vivre and the Excuse My Wolof EP.

The EP was a test, it was his first project comprised majorly of Wolof, the Senegambian language spoken by 80 percent of Senegal's population. Before then, his tracks had been in French. When Nix dropped Excuse My Wolof, he did so knowing that fewer people would be able to understand his rhymes. The return to his roots forced him to step out of his comfort zone and reinvent himself artistically.

Last Friday, Nix released his highly-anticipated 16-track album, Excuse My Wolof 2: The Ñuulest or The Blackest. The name is a call to a period in the artist's life when he was made fun of for the darkness of his skin. It's also a state of mind and a celebration of using every aspect of yourself: your history, intuition and culture to create.

Keep reading... Show less
Arts + Culture
Image via coraliecocorabadan's Instagram.

The 2018 DAK'ART Biennale Was a Creative Playground For African Artists

A look back at Senegal's biggest contemporary art gathering.

The dust has settled and Senegal has bid adieu to it's momentous 13th Dak'art Biennale. It proved to be the landmark event it's meant to be. From May 3rd to June 2nd, hundreds of works were shown and events took place in Dakar and surrounding areas.

The grandiose Ancien Palais de Justice stood at the center of the IN, like it did in 2016, with a number of paintings, photos, sculptures, videos and installations placed throughout its atriums and courtyards. IN artists' works called to mind a desire for unity, acceptance and home.

The OFF was the Biennale's playground, showcasing artists who didn't necessarily adhere to the Red Hour theme. Eclectic pieces were placed in hotels, restaurants, shops, by monuments, beaches, etc. The decentralization of art was awe-inspiring.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.