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:


Interview: Adekunle Gold Channels Refreshing Truths Into Afropop

Adekunle Gold achieves an artistic freedom that most mainstream artists don't have through a smooth balance of introspection and club bangers.

A few years ago, Adekunle Gold broke out into the scene with a refreshing way of carrying himself, presenting his art and speaking his truth with music. His debut single "Sade" started this journey of chart topping releases, sold out shows, and the constantly evolving sound that graces African airwaves. Gold's self assurance made him stand out from the very beginning, as his sound was delivered with intent, compassion, and stuffed with personal truths.

Not many artists are willing to try new things with their music, and in order to maintain mainstream success, some cling to one sound, one image and direction often crafted from fragments of their first hit. These artists get stuck trying to recreate a capsule in time, while true artists are open to the dynamic of change, and the necessity of renewal.

Adekunle Gold is one of a handful in his profession who draws on a spectrum of experiences to make honest music which is consistent with the self-revelations of a growing man. This has become his biggest strength, allowing him to craft contemplative songs like "Sade" and "Oreke" and still create afropop magic like "Something Different"

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