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Odunsi rare.

The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

The best music of the week featuring Odunsi, Anatii, Olamide, Afro B, Quavo x Davido and many more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.


Odunsi 'rare.'

Odunsi The Engine is the young producer and singer from Lagos who is at the forefront of the burgeoning 'Alté' scene. He represents the new generation of artists in Africa who are shaping their own sounds by drawing inspiration from different cultures, genres and styles. Finally, after all the teasing, Odunsi has dropped his high-anticipated debut album titled rare. The album is 13 tracks long and includes the infamous "Alté Cruise" as a bonus track.

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Anatii 'Iyeza'

Iyeza is a masterpiece. It's music for the soul, with Anatii providing an intensely healing listen, which is fitting, considering the album title literally means "medicine" or "anti-dote." There are elements of everything from gospel, maskandi and mbhaqanga to hints of Afropop and hip-hop. Anatii follows the path taken by South African artist such as Mashayabhuqe KaMamba, Sjava, Mlindo The Vocalist and Bongeziwe Mabandla in fusing elements of traditional South African music with newer sounds.

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Afro B 'Shaku Shaku' feat. Team Salut

The wait is over. Afro B has been teasing fans and listeners alike with his follow-up single to "Drogba (Joanna)" lately on social media and it's finally here to dive into—exclusively on OkayAfrica. "Shaku Shaku," another banger produced by Team Salut, is not your typical song utilizing one of the most popular afrobeat dances of 2018. Afro B effortlessly visualizes what happens when a woman's shaku mesmerizes a man to want to be more than her dance partner for the night.

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Olamide 'Bugle'

Olamide delivers unfiltered bars on his latest single "Bugle." The Nigerian rapper who released the colorful music video for his single "Motigbana" in August, is back with a gritty rap song that reminds us why he's one of the most celebrated MCs to come out of the Nigerian music scene. He shows off his rapid wordplay as he raps in his signature Yoruba and English flow over production by PheezOnTheBeatz. Unlike his previous releases, the focus of "Bugle" is purely Olamide's rap capabilities—the rapper drops line after line atop the track's mid-tempo beat.

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Vintage Sudanese Jazz 

The Scorpions & Saif Abu Bakr's long-forgotten album, Jazz, Jazz, Jazz, is credited as being one of the key releases from Sudan's jazz scene. Recorded in 1980s Kuwait, the rare 10-track album showcases a unique fusion of styles and is now getting it's first official reissue from Habibi Funk. "The music is a unique combination of incredible horn arrangements powerfully performed, a vigorous drummer contributing a funky backbone and Saif uniting those elements," Habibi Funk label owner Jannis Stuertz tells OkayAfrica.

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Quavo x Davido x Normani 'Swing'

Just a few weeks ago we got wind that Davido would be featured on Quavo's new album, Quavo Huncho. The anticipated LP is here and everyone (including ourselves) dug right into the song "Swing," which also features former Fifth Harmony member Normani. "Swing" is a groovy, afrobeats-lite track that was produced by French Montana, Murda Beatz and G Koop (the instrumental gives us "Unforgettable" vibes). As Normani holds the reigns of the track with her strong voice and Davido gets the job done with his brief verse, you'll hear all three croon about swinging and being sexually open.

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Vato Kayde 'Lost Hills' feat. AKA & Gator

South African DJ and entrepreneur Vato Kayde's single "Lost Hills" has been given the visual treatment. The song, which dropped in July and features AKA and Gator, is an undeniable trap banger standing on slippery bass squelches. Its music video, which is directed by Nape Phasha, plays out like an action packed movie of some sort. Be prepared to see gunfights, flashy cars and stashes of money, the way you would see in mafia movies.

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Moozlie 'Vatel' feat. Kid X

"Vatel," the lead single to South African rapper Moozlie's recently released debut album Victory, packs some serious heat. The MC laces a vintage kwaito beat with her customary flair and larger-than-life personality. Lunatik, who produced the song, channeled legendary kwaito producer Mdu. Just like most of Mdu's productions, the beat is key-laden and the production is clean, with not much going on, but it still sounds full.

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Madame Gandhi 'Bad Habits'

Madame Gandhi is the project of LA-based musician and activist Kiran Gandhi, who you may know as the former drummer for M.I.A. and Kehlani. Kiran has been releasing electronic tracks with the aim of elevating the female voice, the latest of which is "Bad Habits"—a percussion-driven meditation about improving yourself inspired by Fela Kuti. The track, which was co-produced by Madame Gandhi and Dallas up-and-comer Zach Witness (who produced Erykah Badu's But You Caint Use My Phone), is now getting a beautiful new desert visual that we're premiering here today.

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Aewon Wolf ‘Choose Love’

Durban artist Aewon Wolf is releasing his last album under his current moniker, next year in March. Choose Love, his new mixtape is a prequel to that album. In true Aewon Wolf fashion, Choose Love showcases his diversity­ from production styles to vocals. He raps and sings, and is potent at both.

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HHP '#FGTBB'

South African hip-hop veteran Hip Hop Pantsula aka HHP aka Jabba is back with a new 5-track EP. Titled #FGTBB (an acronym for "Feels Good To Be Back'), the EP finds Jabba, who now goes by the name Jabba X, in his best form in years. Just as the title suggests, Jabba is feeling good, and it shows in the five songs on the EP.

MCskill Tha Preacha 'The 9th Chapter'

Nigerian rapper Mcskill ThaPreacha comes through with the 11-track album The 9th Chapter. Dig into these Naija hip-hop joints above. The 9th Chapter is available everywhere now.

Trope École Tude 'Oyiwane'

Lastly, from Sahel Sounds, "Sweet and sublime recordings from elementary school group in Northern Niger from the 1980s. All-girl group accompanied by their instructor on the acoustic guitar, recalling Guinean folk and early Ali Farka Touré."

Follow OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week.


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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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