Aewon Wolf Preaches Subversion and Freethinking in His New Album ‘The Return’

Aewon Wolf releases 'The Return' after a two-year hiatus.

Aewon Wolf has always preferred to sprinkle some pop in his hip-hop, as can be heard in his previous releases. His latest project, The Return, his first in two years, boasts some pop-leaning songs like "Thando Lwami," "Something Special," "Cool Kids" and others are all glazed in the customary top 40 chart sheen through the use of glossy synths and pads alongside other contraptions.

The artist, however, manages to throw in messages of subversion and his refusal to conform to the norms of the mainstream industry. For instance, in the song "Cool Kids," he pokes fun at the zeitgeist of popular music and distances himself from the "cool kids." He raps:

Sorry, bro, I don't sip on lean/ I'm not a smoker, I just eat my greens/ I swerve clean off the controversy/ which makes me vegan to the beef"

A series of skits between some of the project's songs give context to Aewon's headspace. A few years ago, the Durban artist took a break from the mainstream music industry as he felt it didn't comply with his values.

The skits which are titled "Joe Publicist" involve a man who works in the music industry and is talking to the artist about his music—he questions his new direction and tells him it won't cut it in the game, commends him for potential hits in the project and gives him some advice.

Read: Future Africa Wants to Make Traditional Sounds Cool Again

The song "Situations" sees Aewon muse about the current state of affairs in South Africa and the rest of the globe. In it, he talks about xenophobia and incompetent politicians among other topics. The statements he makes on the song come with caveats that point towards optimism. For instance, in the second verse, he croons, "I don't trust no politician, but I pray for them to find the wisdom to take care of those that believe in them." He reveals himself as a free thinker, an individual who doesn't believe in the laws and rules that are put in place by the establishment.

In true Aewon Wolf fashion, on The Return, there are distinct songs that listeners will fall in love with sometimes without even paying attention to the messaging. Which is a great feat as artists who make socially conscious music don't always make listener-friendly songs.

Aewon Wolf is a member of The Wolf Pack and is one of the most prominent artists from Durban. He has worked with both established and up-and-coming artists from across the country and has a discography that is always growing.

Stream his latest project The Return below:

Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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