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Tiwa Savage Delivers 6 Sweet Stalks of 'Sugarcane' In Her New EP

The Queen of Afrobeats, Tiwa Savage, delivers another surefooted EP, ensuring her dominance in the afrobeats music sphere.

Tiwa Savage told us she had no plans to put out a project this year until she decided to assemble this Sugarcane EP.

“All Over,” her first big single of the year, is closing in on 8 million views on YouTube, and has since been followed by cross-national collaborations with Awilo Longomba in “Esopi Yo” and Diamond Platnumz on “Fire”.

Signing to Roc Nation already made Savage’s global ambition clear, and early in September she further cemented that by performing at Jay Z’s Made In America festival.

As if to give an idea of what kind of company she keeps these days, she posted a video of Coldplay’s Chris Martin Naija two-stepping to “Ma Lo” on her Instagram page.

Savage’s two full projects—2013’s Once Upon A Time and 2016’s R.E.D—have been fully realized records of surefooted writing and well-chosen production, ensuring dominance in the afrobeats sphere and elsewhere on the continent.

Her new project, Sugarcane, is the EP that makes the case for other acts making EPs over albums. Brevity sharpens focus, or simply leaves little room for fillers, making for great replay value for Sugarcane. Twenty listens in one weekend and one isn't bored or sated.

Both Tiwa Savage and Wizkid combine well on “Ma Lo” as they did on their last song together, “Bad,” off R.E.D.

Produced by Spellz, the melodies on “Ma Lo” are more satisfying, helped by the soothing beat—as well as memorable phrasing that don’t mean much “robo ske ske, robo ske ske” the Pon Pon playbook that is Tekno's “Pana.”

House beats, like juju, are easy sells but Spellz’ own combination has got extra delight on the titular track “Sugarcane,” where Savage’s already honeyed voice, good enough in the verses, is even more effective when she coos the words “something wey sweet like sugarcane” just when the beat breaks.

Savage’s singing straddles Spellz’ beat through its peaks and troughs and the writing, once again, is mature. Another writer would have multiplied the entendres on “sugarcane” for being sweet or phallic, but Savage is an experienced hand and shows restraints.

Mavin Records' First Lady may sometimes draw from Beyonce’s aesthetic in her videos and live performances—who wouldn’t?—but her strongest vocal twin is Brandy.

This is less clear when she sings in Yoruba or pidgin, but undoubtable when the lyrics are mostly in English as in “Hold Me Down.” It may just be the rasp in her voice or the specific ways she harmonizes, a similarity which this listener is only hearing for the first time.

“Me and You” is interesting for several reasons. The naked dembow beat may draw comparisons to Drake and Wizkid’s “One Dance” (rightly for wrong reasons), but the real likeness, if there’s any, is with “XO” by Beyonce.

The song's produced by Maleek Berry, who also provides the background vocals, his nasal singing voice adding good texture. The real interest here is in Savage’s songwriting which, as is elsewhere on the EP, is as precise as you’d expect from an experienced songwriter but never intimate enough to feel personal to her.

“It’s 6 in the evening, I’ve been in your arms all day/I don’t want to get away, your love dey make me stay" or  “It’s 2 in the morning, your eyes say come to me/the moon is the company, I love this your ecstasy,”

In both cases the specific timing promises some specific detail—whether real or imagined—but then followed by commonplace lyrics.

No fan is owed insights into any artist’s life but Savage’s tales of marital strife which played out in the media last year are noticeably absent in her lyrics and music.

Marvin Gaye found new completion on “Here, My Dear,” which was largely about the breakup of his marriage to Anna Gordy. Beyonce also found hers in Lemonade, made even more special by the big apology that is 4:44.

Perhaps these heights, or depths, are still to come for Savage or may not be at all, which is also fine, but there sure is scope for more.

This spoilt listener isn’t complaining though. Each song on Sugarcane is well produced and well-written and of course well sung.

Full marks all round.

Tiwa Savage's 'Sugarcane' is available now.

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Black Twitter's Reactions To Meghan Markle & Prince Harry's #RoyalBaby Announcement Are Too Funny

Congrats are in order, but first to Black Twitter for continuing to hold it down with the jokes.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the Duchess and Duke of Sussex, have been the internet's brief moment of mindless, happy news since they became engaged, then married earlier this year.

Kensington Palace took to Twitter again this morning to announce that the couple will be expecting their first bundle of joy next spring.

Since the LA-native and former star of Suits made her way into the royal family, Black Twitter has had no shame sharing their hilarious thoughts and commentary, and the pregnancy announcement has been no different.

Have a laugh and take a look at some of our favorite reactions from them below.

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People Aren't Happy About Kanye West Visiting Uganda, Comparing Himself to Fela

The rapper is being called out for visiting President Museveni after his treatment of Bobi Wine. Seun Kuti also reacted saying, "the spirit of Fela Kuti isn't anywhere near Kanye West."

By now you've heard that Kanye West delayed the release of his new album, Yandhi, to finish recording in "what is known as Africa."

"He wants to draw inspiration from the earth there," TMZ quoted Kanye as saying two weeks ago. "I felt this energy when I was in Chicago," Kanye mentioned then, "I felt the roots. But we have to go to what is known as Africa. I just need to go, to find out what it's really called, and just grab the soil."

Well Kanye has now made it over to Africa, more specifically, Uganda. His trip follows a now infamous White House meeting in which he hugged Donald Trump saying "I love this guy right here."

Kanye was first shown in a live video from Uganda dancing to Mystro and Wizkid's "Immediately." The clip was shot and posted by Bankulli, who used to work with D'banj when he was signed to GOOD Music and now works with Mystro.

Kanye and his wife Kim Kardashian also met with Ugandan President Museveni. The President said he and the rapper held "fruitful discussions" about promoting tourism and arts.

Kanye gifted President Museveni—a man who is accused internationally of overseeing the torture and unjust imprisonment of musician and opposition politician Bobi Wine—a pair of white sneakers.

Museveni has called the reports of torture against Bobi Wine "fake news."

Apart from that, Kanye has been posting several periscopes of his rants. Many of them are titled "Mind Control" and the longest of them has him declaring himself to be the "the best living recording artist."

In that same video, Kanye says he has the spirits of Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and Tupac Shakur "flowing through him." Billboard has the full transcript if you really feel like your mind needs that.

Naturally, given his current embracement of Donald Trump and, in association, far right politics, many people aren't happy with Kanye visiting Uganda (or anywhere on the African continent) and meeting with Museveni.

Seun Kuti replied on Instagram writing, "Erm erm on behalf of the Kuti family , I want to state that the spirit of Olufela Anikulapo Kuti isn't anywhere near Kanye West. Ziggy Marley over to you. 🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂 Ebro come get ur boi before I #getthesax"

See some reactions below.





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Family Demands Justice In Killing of Unarmed Nigerian-American Man Chinedu Valentine Okobi

Black lives matter.

Chinedu Valentine Okobi, a 36-year-old Nigerian-American man died on Wednesday, October 5 after being tasered by police officers in Northern California, the LA Times reports. Okobi was unarmed at the time of his killing.

Okobi, who suffered from mental illness—according to his sister, Ebele Okobi, Facebook's Head of Public Policy, Africawas reportedly running in and out of traffic in Millbrae, an area south of San Francisco, when he got into a "struggle" with an officer who approached him, says San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Four other cops were called in, and one shot a Taser gun at Okobi as he was being taken into custody. Okobi was later taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

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