Music
Photo by Sabelo MKhabela

You Are Going to Love Riky Rick’s ‘Stay Shining’ EP

Riky Rick bares his soul while making you dance on his latest EP, 'Stay Shining.'

South African rapper Riky Rick loves you, and he wants you to be your best. But he's also not shy to remind you that he dresses better than you.


On his latest EP, Stay ShiningStay Shining, King Kotini opens up about seriously personal issues, like missing his private life which celebrity has stripped him of. He raps on "Joy," the opening song after the ominous "Jordans Intro":

"I had a dream about last night/ I'm really missing my past life/ Ain't got no love for the fast life/ I remember walking in the mall without people begging for pictures/ Baby mama mad 'cause I'm travelling over Christmas/ the other day, my son called me by my stage name/ I thought it was funny, it took a moment for me to think about it and understand what it means."

"Joy" is an oxymoron because the instrumental, which has kwaito and bubblegum influences tells you to hit the dancefloor, yet Riky pours is heart out, it's so hard to dance.

The song is microcosm of most of the project, as Riky tells his story, holding very little back, over music that induces happiness with catchy rhythms and hard-hitting 808s.

To prove that Stay Shining isn't just a collection of random songs, Riky's guests drop fitting verses. A-Reece on "Pick You Up," gives us a glimpse into a tumultuous time from his recent past, recording his debut album Paradise. He raps, "Funny thing about this whole shit, making Paradise was a living hell/ I don't even have a clue how the album did , but I know I'm doing well," over reserved synths and a big bass line.

Nasty C reflects on fake friends, his place in the industry and shares some advice from his father ("I reconciled over my father over some good food/ He told me nothing could travel slower than good news") on the Tshego-assisted "Vapors."

That's before Riky gives us yet another extremely personal account of his glamorous life, regretting missing his mother's birthday and looking richer than he actually is:

"I thought life is easy after you blow up
I guess life is harder when you grow up
I'm stressed out, I'm thinking about what to do
When I started rapping, it wasn't about the moves
It was about copping sneakers and macking honeys
Now it's all about hype and making money
And plus I got the text man tryna take it from me
I'll probably never make a real million in this country
I know a lot of rappers who bubbling in the hood
I'm in a nice house, they struggling in the hood
So when they see me shining, they thinking I'm good"









On Stay Shining, Riky is introspecting when he isn't telling you he dresses better than you—which is highly likely to be true. After gracing the cover of GQ Fashion earlier this year, hanging out with A$AP Rocky and rocking Gucci like it ain't a thing, the rapper is the trendiest among his counterparts. And we are totally here for it.

Songs like "Stay Shining," "Buy It Out," and "Buy It Out Remix," see the man loosen up a bit and celebrate himself. While "Murdah" is a love song that, sonically, fuses afrobeats and dancehall by way of Davido and Gemini Major.

On "Buy It Out Remix," Riky enlists an array of fellow fashion killer rappers: J Molley, Frank Casino, KLY, Stilo Magolide, YoungstaCPT, Frank Casino, and the father of South African new school rap Da L.E.S (Riky introduces him as "the OG of this swag shit," which is an undisputed fact). We are seeing few and fewer posse tracks in South African rap, and Riky just gave us one to debate over who had the best verse.

Stay Shining is a balanced body of work that shows us different sides of Riky Rick, just like his 2015 debut album Family Values did. And he keeps the music interesting and varied without trying too hard.

Listen to Stay Shining below, and buy it on iTunes.

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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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