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Di'Ja.

The Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Here are the best Nigerian tracks to come out this month.

The close of 2017 saw the release of very impressive projects, most of which were singles and EPs.


Notable exceptions from our list below include Juls' "Ojekoo," DJ Consequence's "Vibes The Mixtape" and Melvitto's "Soon" EP. A wild card inclusion which didn't make the final list is Sarkodie's commanding take on Olamide's "Wo!!"

Read on for the best Nigerian songs of December 2017.

"Shaku Shaku" - Dammy Krane

In a exclusive interview and his first since being absolved of credit fraud charges in the US, Dammy Krane spoke to OkayAfrica about his nightmare experience and new resolve to focus on his talents for music by recording and releasing song after song. Three were published in December alone: the defiant "Credit Card Moves," the Fela-lite "Wonder," and the impressive "Shaku Skaku". [Read the full interview here]

"Jacurb" - MC Galaxy

MC Galaxy continues the slow build of South Africa's gqom wave in Nigeria.

"Replay" - Ice Prince

How boring would rap be today if rappers didn't sing to multiply the textures on such a word-heavy genre?

"No Do" - Kiss Daniel

If only every life advice was sung in such a seductive rasp…

"Ezugo" & "Needy" - Badbridge LOS

It is no exaggeration to say that over half of the 12 songs that make up Badbridge's "Regular Trademark" EP could have made this list so the choice of two is as objective as it is an editorial constrained.

"Your Father" - MI feat Dice Ailes

How rude! (Unless deserved). Diles Ailes weaves simple and smart wordplays in what might be Step 1 of Rude Jude's program to reinvigorate Nigerian rappers after the riot act asking them to fix up their lives.

"Kpro Kpro" - Sean Tizzle

Both Tizzle and Jersey made one of 2017's most well crafted (but little praised) EPs in "Moving Forward," continuing this rich seam of collaboration on "Kpro Kpro."

"I Am North" - Kheengz

Part corrective, part riot act, part apology, part big fuck you to the shamefully narrow perceptions of northern Nigeria (still) held by many Nigerians, "I Am Not" is also the stand out song on Kheengz "Pedestal" EP on which he frequently blends Hausa and Trap to engaging results.

"Only One" - Tekno

If you have a good riff, stick to it and Mr Slow Charmer is in no rush to ramp up the tempo.

"So Rire" - Simi & Legendury Beatz

If you recall that Legendury Beatz are the brains behind Wizkid's "Ojuelegba," "Caro" and "Ginger," the brilliance of their debut album Afropop 101 will not surprise you. Taken from the album, "So Rire" is a clever reworking of IK Dairo's original by Simi who continues to rework juju classics to satisfying results, after the delight that is "Joromi," originally by Sir Victor Uwaifo. [Read the full review here]

"Turkey Nla" - Wande Coal

Mr Amazing Voice has known what to do with a big body busy beat ever since 2013's "Rotate."

"My Lover" & "Save Me" - Di'Ja

The most satisfying two of the seven songs that make up her long-gestated "Aphrodija" EP.

"BIA" - Seyi Shay

Seyi Shay continues to refine the genre blend she started on the still impressive "Yolo Yolo."

"Sekkle Down" - Burna Boy

Both Burna Boy and J Hus retrace the melodic goodness both found on "Good Time" off "Common Sense" and one of our 20 best grime releases of 2017.

"Pereke" - Teni

A clever reworking of highlife and galala, and a winning follow-up to the breakout hit that is "Fargin."

"Correct G" - Ayo Jay feat. Davido and Olamide

Hard to doubt the title when the features are certified heavyweights.

"Candy" & "Spell" - Lady Donli feat. Tay Iwar

A most divine song from the sure-footed EP that is "Letters To Her."

"Aika" - Nonso Amadi

A sweet voice and mild manners masks a tangled psyche—"I'll keep any pact in mind, I'm good at acting fine / I'll take shifts with your man, but I can't keep track of time"—in yet another song that showcases Amadi's songwriting and production talent.

"Werey Yo" - CDQ

CDQ's growl is a good fit for Masterkraft's electro-house confection.

"Usual" - Melvitto feat Nonso Amadi

The most song assured of the 5 songs that make up the delicate assembly that is Melvitto's "Soon" EP.

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Janet Jackson Returns With Afrobeats-Inspired Song & Video 'Made For Now' Featuring Daddy Yankee

The icon's latest is a nod to the sound, fashion and culture of the diaspora.

Ms. Jackson is back.

The iconic artist returns with her first single since the release of her 2015 album Unbreakable, and it's a timely nod to the "made for now" influence of afrobeats fashion, sound and culture.

On "Made For Now," which features Puerto Rican reggaeton titan Daddy Yankee, Janet Jackson does what she's done successfully so many times throughout her decades-long career: provide an infectious, party-worthy tune that's fun and undeniably easy to dance to. "If you're living for the moment, don't stop," Jackson sings atop production which fuses dancehall, reggaeton and afrobeats.

The New York-shot music video is just as lively, filled with eye-catching diasporic influences, from the wax-print ensembles and beads both Janet and her dancers wear to the choreographed afrobeats-tinged dance numbers, even hitting the Shoki at one point in the video. The train of dancers travel throughout the streets of Brooklyn, taking over apartment buildings and rooftops with spirited moves.

It's obvious that Jackson has been studying and drawing inspiration from the culture for some time now. She even hit the Akwaaba dance, popularized by Mr Eazi, during her Icon Award performance at this year's Billboard Music Awards.

The bouncing video, directed by Dave Meyers, features contributions from a number of creatives from Africa and the diaspora who were involved in the creation of the video, including designer Claude Lavie Kameni and choreographer Omari Mizrahi. Ghanaian health guru, Coach Cass pointed out some of the many dancers involved in the production on Instagram, who hail from Ghana, Nigeria, Trinidad, Grenada and the US.

Ahead of the video's release, it garnered attention on social media when Jackson was spotted filming in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, wearing what many thought was a questionable fashion ensemble. The outfit in question only makes a small appearance in the video, and we're glad to see that Janet's other looks appear, at least slightly, more coordinated.

Watch the music video for "Made for Now" below. The singer is set to perform the song with Daddy Yankee live for the first time tonight on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, so be ready!

Audio

You Need to Hear Juls' New Single 'Saa Ara'


New hip-hop and highlife grooves from the celebrated UK-based Ghanaian producer.

By merging the diverse influence of growing up in Accra and East London, Juls has managed to cultivate a hybrid afrobeats style that has set him apart from the rest.

For his latest single, "Saa Ara," he teams up with award-winning rapper Kwesi Arthur and gifted lyricist Akan.

The brilliant fusion of vintage highlife instrumentals and booming hip-hop beats, along with Kwesi Arthur's lively chorus and Akan's fiery delivery gives the song a very spiritual and classical feel.

Soothe your soul this weekend with these tasteful sounds from Juls.

Listen to "Saa Ara" by Juls featuring Kwesi Arthur and Akan below.

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News Brief

FIFA Refuses To Meet with Nigeria's Sports Minister as Ghana Takes Steps to Avoid Ban

This could jeopardize Nigeria's qualifier against Seychelles in September, while the Ghanaian government has pledged not to dissolve its football association.

In lieu of the ultimatums Nigeria and Ghana's football associations faced from FIFA, one country is on its way to dodge the threat of being banned, while the other is not going down without a fight.

FIFA has refused a proposed meeting with Nigeria's sports minister, Solomon Dalung, to discuss problems in the country's football federation, BBC Sport reports. They say their leadership and the FIFA president is unwilling to meet during the proposed time period.

FIFA is giving the NFF until August 20 for Chris Giwa, who was acknowledged by the courts as the president of the federation, to leave the NFF offices.

Giwa's lawyer Ardzard Habilla asserts that FIFA can't ban Nigeria as the federation's issues need to be sorted out internally by the country's judiciary.

Habilla questions, "Do we take it that FIFA laws are superior to the judgment of the highest court in our land—the Supreme Court, and has FIFA elevated itself before the constitution of Nigeria?"

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