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Weekend Burners: Best Tracks of the Week

Stream the top modern African hip-hop music singles released this week.


Artwork: Folasade Adeoso

We realize our site cycles through an, at times, overwhelming number of videos, tracks, remixes and mixtapes from a deluge of African/diaspora artists that not everyone is familiar with — in fact, we've gotten a large amount of reader feedback stating so. With Weekend Burners we aim to address that by highlighting our choices of the best music content that made it on the blog throughout the week. Get 'em below straight from the Okayafrica bunker:

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Bombino & Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach Make Desert Rock For The Modern Ear

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AFRICA IN YOUR EARBUDS #42: RADIO TANZANIA

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Video: Oy ‘Market Place’

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Audio: Laura Mvula ‘Sing To The Moon’ [LP Stream] + Robin Hannibal Remix

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Video Premiere: Fore ‘Cherry Coloured’

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Video: Mauritanian Pop Experimentalist Mo Kolours’ ‘Promise’

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(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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