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Still from "Yaji" video (Youtube)

The 14 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Bas x Shane Eagle, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy x Dave, K.O, Falana, and 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 our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.


Yemi Alade 'Yaji' feat. Slimcase & Brainee

Yemi Alade's latest single, "Yaji," is an undeniable banger. From its massive guitar-lick-driven beat to the Slimcase and Brainee features, the song will undoubtedly be soundtracking a lot of nights and dance floors. Well, the star singer has just released the new video for "Yaji," which once again solidifies her spot as the Nigerian queen of music videos. The new dance-packed video stars off with Yemi blowing up a car, which is fair indication of how fiery and lively the rest of the gets. It was directed by Mr. C.

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Bas x Shane Eagle 'Ap3x (Remastered)'

"Ap3X," a song from Shane Eagle's EP Never Grow Up, released in December, just got a remix. The song, which is less than three minutes long and is titled "Ap3X (Remastered)," sees new verses from Dreamville MC Bas and Shane Eagle over the jazzy key-laden instrumental. Both MCs spit standout verses that touch on their success, their travel adventures and how rappers can't sound like them, among other topics. Bas is on his Milky Way European tour, which Shane Eagle will be joining for a number of dates in France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Germany and a few more.

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K.O 'Supa Dupa'

South African rapper K.O has been quiet since he released a 2-track EP, 2018's Two PieceTwo Piece, which featured Cassper Nyovest and AKA. He appeared on DJ Maphorisa's summer hit "Walk Yephara," but he hasn't released new music since June. On "Supa Dupa," Mr Cashtime raps about the plenty of snakes he has encountered in the game while pythons entangle themselves on his torso and limbs. He also reminds you that he's always supa dupa cleans when he pulls up.

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Falana 'Repeat'

Nigeria's own Falana continues to push powerful messages through her music and visuals—this time with "Repeat," the second single that's to come from her highly-anticipated EP, Chapter One. Falana explains to Hunger Magazine that the track digs deep into the commonalities of the human experience in our world (where change is a constant) and our need for community, spirituality and love. Directed by Hanna Raschl-McRonald with styling by Yomi Adefala, "Repeat" is a stunning ode to resilience, resistance and faith.

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Davido x DJ Neptune 'Démo'

Award-winning Nigerian artist DJ Neptune has enlisted Davido for his first official single of the year, "Dèmo.' The upbeat love song sees Davido singing enthusiastically about a woman that has caught his eye, as usual, over production from SperaochBeatz. The track doesn't stray far from typical Naija pop, but is still worth the listen, as it's a definite party-starter.

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Shekhinah x Wandile Mbambeni 'Wanted and Love'

Rising South African soul singer Wandile Mbambeni's new single "Wanted and Loved" features Shekhinah. The song is about wanting to be desired and loved. "Wanted and Loved" blends soul and R&B;, and merges two unique artists' traits. The acoustic guitar co-exists with buzzing synthesizers to create an atmosphere that's accommodative of the two singers.

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Burna Boy x Dave 'Location'

Burna Boy refuses to get off of our necks in 2019, and honestly we're not complaining. After dropping several dope collaborations in the first quarter of the year, the artist is back with his latest, and it's one of our favorites so far. The Nigerian artist links up with British rapper Dave for the chilled-out "Location," from the MC's debut album Psychodrama, which has received rave reviews.

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Odunsi x Raye 'Tipsy'

Odunsi drops the hotly-anticipated music video for 'Tipsy," The buzzing Nigerian artist's single sees him linking up with London singer RAYE over a alluring synths and minimal beat work. In the song, the artists play two sides of a story about drunken seduction as they call and text each other while out on the town.

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Santi 'Sparky'

Santi's on a bit of a roll, following-up the success of "Rapid Fire" with his new single "Sparky," which dropped a few weeks ago. The hazy and addictive new track, which was produced by Odunsi The Engine and Le Mav, now gets the visual treatment in the form of a striking, self-directed music video. The new video for "Sparky" cycles through the loss of someone and the many emotions that come from it: anger, despair, grief and ultimately, in this video, violence.

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Ssue x Teddy Ossei 'Fire! Fire! Fire!'

Ghana's Ssue comes through with a heavy dose of addictive vocals and percussion in her new single, "Fire! Fire! Fire!" The song sees the singer-songwriter connecting with Teddy Ossei of Osibisa for a dance floor-ready afropop banger that also serves as a warning. Don't get burned and listened to the new single above.

"Fire! Fire! Fire!" is available everywhere now.

Becca x Ycee 'Magic'

Becca, the voice behind one of the best Ghanaian songs of last year, comes through with the new music video for "Magic." The new track and video see the Ghanaian star singer connecting with Nigeria's Ycee for an earworm of a romantic track produced by Adey.

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Rowlene x Gemini Major 'Runaway'

South African RnB singer Rowlene's new music video for "Runaway," featuring artist and producer Gemini Major, is a celebration of love. And what's more fitting than colorful walls as backdrops and dancing under the sun in Cape Town to celebrate a jolly relationship? "Runaway" is the latest single from Rowlene's 2018 project The Evolution Of a Robot: 2nd Generation, released under Nasty C's Tall Rack Records, which Rowlene is signed to.

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Dexter Story 'Electric Gurage'

L.A.-based producer Dexter Story's new album, Bahir, is set to feature influences from Ethio-jazz tonalities, Tuareg desert rock, funk, Somalian soul and much more. It's set to feature the likes of Sudan Archives, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, and others. Get a taste of the album, dropping March 15, in "Electric Gurage," a trot-paced excursion into a bouncing groove.

Mbakara x DJ Chicken 'Pata Logo Benz'

Get into Mbakara and DJ Chicken's booming hip-hop track "Pata Logo Benz," which is available on all platforms now.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.



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The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Adekunle Gold, EL x Joey B x Falz, Tiwa Savage, Tshegue, Afro B, Davido and 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 our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Cover of Mariam Makeba's album 'A Promise' and Lady Donli's 'Classic'

Sample Chief, a Go-To Platform for African Music Knowledge, Share 5 of Their Favorite Samples

From highlighting vintage Guinean records in rap songs to Nollywood references in afropop, Sample Chief wants to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level."

Samples are the foundation of just about all of our favorite songs whether we know them or not. For music lovers, discovering a rare song within a song can feel like stumbling upon a gem, leaving us to wonder what other musical treasures lie hidden in the songs we listen to regularly. Sample Chief is the digital platform dedicated to helping music nerds find these rare cuts by unearthing the African sounds at the heart of contemporary African music and other genres.

From rare Cameroonian-Nigerian samples on Tyler the Creator's Igor, to samples and interpolations of Nollywood movies in today's African pop, the primarily Instagram, Twitter and YouTube-based platform aims to be an "all-knowing wizard" that "shares African music intelligence on a deeper level," says Sample Chief's founder Ore Sami-Orungbe.

Sami-Orungbe, a Toronto-based student and DJ who runs Sample Chief with his business partner Sandrine Somé, decided to create the page after realizing that there were no solid outlets to go to for the discovery of samples both in and of African music. "I was on a plane listening to 'Sicker' by Niniola and thinking, 'there's a huge sample on it, (she samples "Alaye" by L.K.T) but is there a database I could go to if I feel like I've heard a song before and want to know where the sample came from? There wasn't. So I thought maybe I should fill the void." He adds that with Sample Chief, the goal is to "be a platform that brings a community of users together and opens up a space where they can share their knowledge of African music. We break down songs and highlight the influences, the samples, interpolations, and the references behind it."

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Darkovibes

The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Sarkodie, Cassper Nyovest, Elaine, Darkovibes, Stogie T, Phyno, C Natty, and 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 our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep reading... Show less
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Photo courtesy of CNOA

These Colombian Civil Rights Activists Are Fighting to Make Sure Afro-Colombians are Counted in the Census

When 30 percent of Colombia's Black citizens disappeared from the data overnight, a group of Afro-Colombian activists demanded an explanation.

It was the end of 2019 when various Black organizations protested in front of the census bureau—The National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (DANE)—in Bogotá, Colombia to show their dissatisfaction about what they called a "statistical genocide" of the black population. The census data, published that year, showed 2.9 million people, only 6 percent of the total population of the country, was counted as "Afro-Colombian," "Raizal," and "Palenquero"—the various terms identifying black Colombians.

For many years, Afro-Colombians have been considered the second largest ethno-racial group in the country. Regionally, Colombia has long been considered the country with the second highest number of Afro-descendants after Brazil, according to a civil society report.

Why did the population of Afro-Colombians drop so drastically?

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists protesting erasure of Afro-descendants in front of the census bureau.

Last year, a crowd of activists gathered in Bogota to protest what they saw as erasure of Black communities in the Colombian census.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

In the latest national census report from 2018/2019, there appeared to be a 30.8 percent reduction of the overall group of people that identified as Black, Afro-Colombian, Raizal, and Palenquero, as compared to the 2005. After this controversial report, an Afro-Colombian civil rights organization known as the National Conference of Afro Colombian Organizations (CNOA), officially urged DANE to explain the big undercounting of the black population.

This wasn't a small fight. Representatives who hold the special seats of Afro-Colombians in Colombia's congress asked the census bureau to attend a political control debate at the House of Representatives in November 2019 to deliver an accountability report. "The main goal of doing a political debate was to demand DANE to give us a strong reason about the mistaken data in the last census in regard to the Afro population," said Ariel Palacios, an activist and a member of CNOA.

At the debate, the state released an updated census data report saying that, almost 10 percent of the Colombian population—4.6 million people out of 50.3 million—considers themselves Afro-Colombians or other ethnicities (like Raizal, and Palenquero). But despite DANE trying to confirm the accuracy and reliability on the latest census report it was clear that, for a variety of reasons, Black people were missed by the census. The state argued that their main obstacles with data collection were related to the difficulties of the self-recognition question, as well as security reasons that didn't allow them to access certain regions. They also admitted to a lack of training, logistics and an overall lack of success in the way the data collectors conducted the census.

How could they have counted Black populations better?

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists playing drums in front of the census bureau.

Drummers performing during a protest against the Colombian census bureau's erasure of Afro-Colombians from the 2018 census.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

These arguments were not reasonable for the civil rights activists, partially because the state failed to properly partner with Afro-organizations like CNOA to conduct or facilitate extensive informational campaigns about the self-identification questions.

"CNOA has worked on self-recognition and visibility campaigns among the Afro community and this census ignored our work," says priest Emigdio Cuesta-Pino, the executive secretary of CNOA. Palacios also thinks that the majority of Afro-Colombians are aware of their identity "we self-identify because we know there is a public political debate and we know that there is a lack of investment on public policies."

That's why it is not enough to leave the statistical data to the official census bureau to ensure that Afro-Colombian communities are fully counted in the country. And the civil rights activists knows that. They made a big splash in the national media and achieved visibility in the international community.

Thanks to The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a human rights organization, Palacios traveled to D.C to meet with Race and Equality institution and a Democratic Congressman. "We called for a meeting with representative Hank Johnson to talk about the implementation of Colombia's peace accords from an Afro-Colombian perspective but also to address the gross undercounts of its black population," says Palacios.

For the activists at CNOA, the statistical visibility of the Black population is one of their battles. They have fought for Afro population recognition for almost two decades. "Since the very beginning CNOA has worked on the census issue as one of our main commitments within the statistical visibility of the Afro-Colombian people," says priest Cuesta-Pina. Behind this civil organization are 270 local associations, who work for their rights and collective interests.

The activists want to raise awareness on identity. Because according to Palacios, "In Colombia, there is missing an identity debate—we don't know what we are. They [the census bureau] ask if we are black, or if we are Afro-Colombians. But what are the others being asked? If they are white, mestizo or indigenous?" Palacios believes that for "CNOA this debate is pending, and also it is relevant to know which is the character of this nation."

Afro-Colombian Populations and the Coronavirus

Afro-Colombian, Black, Raizal, and Palenquero civil-rights activists use mock coffins and statistics to protest erasure of Afro-descendants

Colombian civil-rights activist insist that undercounting Afro-descendants can have a real impact on the health of Afro-Colombian communities, especially during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

Photo courtesy of CNOA

Even though the state recently "agreed with to give us a detailed census report" and make a different projection with the micro data, says Palacios, now with the Covid-19 emergency, CNOA and the government has suspended all meetings with them, including cancelling a second congressional debate and the expert round table meeting to analyze the data.

Unfortunately, it is exactly in situations like the Covid-19 emergency where data analysis and an accurate census report would have been useful. According to the professor and PhD in Sociology Edgar Benítez from Center for Afro Diasporic Studies—CEAF, "Now it is required to provide a reliable and timely information on how the contagion pattern will spread in those predominantly Afro regions in the country and what is the institutional capacity in those places to face it," says Benítez.

He adds that this information is "critical at the moment because the institutional capacity is not up to provide it at the current situation". That's why the Center for Afro Diasporic Studies plans to work with DANE information from the last census. According to Benítez, "We are thinking of making comparisons at the municipal level with the information reported in the 2018 Quality of Life Survey, in order to have a robust and extensive database as possible on the demographic, economic and social conditions of the black, afro, Raizal and Palenquera population in Colombia."









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