popular
Image courtesy of MDQ.

​Muthoni Drummer Queen's 'She' Is A Spirited Celebration of Womanhood

MDQ's new concept album is a true Afro-feminist record and a victory for herself and Kenyan music in general.

Muthoni Drummer Queen has been paving the way for "alternative" artists in Kenya for years. The multi-talented artist and entrepreneur has always pushed boundaries for the non-conformists to exist and find a way to prosper in a country where gospel is arguably still the most popular genre of music.

A spirited celebration of womanhood from different perspectives, She is a 12-track concept album that has been produced, packaged and wrapped ready to cross-over to the rest of the world.

Musically, it is bolstered by the signature style of Swiss producers GR! And Hook who teamed up with MDQ again for the full length of the album. Together they were able to cultivate a contemporary sound that flawlessly blends elements of hip-hop, blues, dancehall, retro-soul, future R&B;, as well as distinct African rhythms.

Kicking off the LP is "Million Voice," a powerful single dedicated to the millions of ordinary, everyday people doing whatever it takes to put bread on their table and create a meaningful impactful life. Her reggae-style delivery on the chorus is hard-hitting. Singing loud and clear, MDQ has arrived. One couldn't ask for a better way to start the album.

The follow up track is the bouncy socio-politically charged "Kenyan Message" which served as the debut single for the album. Not only does this track stir up a discussion about the incompetence of Kenyan leaders, but it also showcases her laudable skill as an emcee.

"Suzie Noma" is where the fun really begins! The dancehall flavored tune is a feel good jam that celebrates the beauty of female friendship and empowerment all over the world. The party spills over into "Lover," a bubbly, synth-heavy tune about coming into fullness of sexual expression as a woman.

"To be a woman is a full time job for half the pay and even then, not always." This quote from "Dear Mathilde" addresses double standards that women are objected to. In this engaging spoken word manifesto, she shatters the traditional social constructs and expectations that come with being a woman, especially in Africa. In summary ladies: be you, and fearlessly so.

She pays homage to the iconic Maya Angelou poem with "Caged Bird," a poignant femme chant tackling the inter-generational struggle.

Image courtesy of MDQ.

Although initially unintended, MDQ realized mid-production that she was in fact "channeling a prismatic array of stories about women."

This album isn't just a victory for MDQ, it's a victory for Kenyan music in general. For the local scene, it's two steps in the right direction. It continues to prove that with good branding and the right resources, Kenyan creatives are able to produce world class level work which can be on par with the rest of the world.

It illustrates the level of mastery that can be achieved when Kenyan artists are given the opportunities to express themselves fully and unapologetically.

Though it carries a substantial message with each song, She still manages to be optimistic, playful and radio-friendly. The balance of fierce and fun, perhaps, is what makes it a true Afro-feminist record.

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 at 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, Stefflon Don and 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

Bobi Wine Set to Return Home to Uganda

Uganda authorities have already warned against welcoming rallies for the musician.

Bobi Wine is making his way home to Uganda after spending just over two weeks in the United States seeking medical treatment for injuries he sustained after being tortured while in military custody, he says.

The opposition lawmaker, who is currently out on bail following an alleged attack on President Yoweri Museveni's motorcade, shared the news on Twitter with a photo of himself at the airport this morning. "Headed Home," he wrote as a caption.

READ: "I'm Proud to Be Persecuted For the Truth:" Bobi Wine on the Fight for Freedom in Uganda

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief

The Trailer for Faraday Okoro's Tribeca Film 'Nigerian Prince' Is Here

The film is due to hit U.S. theaters October 19.

The trailer for Nigerian filmmaker Faraday Okoro's debut feature Nigerian Prince is here, Shadow and Act reports.

We're a month away from the film landing in U.S. theaters and On-Demand since the film got acquired by Vertical Entertainment.

Revisit the synopsis below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.