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The 13 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Simi, Stonebwoy, Riky Rick, Olamide, Wizkid, La Même Gang 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.



Simi 'Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1'

Nigerian star Simi has dropped her 13-song sophomore album, Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. 1. The highly-anticipated record sees Simi showcasing her vocal skills and penchant for writing the type of sweet and addictive melodies that have made her a star. Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. 1 features collaborations with fellow Nigerian artists Patoranking, Maleek Berry, Falz, and her husband Adekunle Gold. Most of the production is handled by Oscar with other songs being handled by Vtek, Legendury Beatz,and Sess.

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Stonebwoy x Beenie Man 'Shuga'

Stonebwoy, one of Ghana's major dancehall names, links up with Jamaican legend Beenie Man for this new single, "Shuga." The song is built on stuttering synth hits and beat work produced by Ghana's StreetBeatz. Stonebwoy and the "King of Dancehall" connect over the energetic rhythm, each delivering their own verses—add one more track to the many stellar cross-Atlantic musical collaborations that have been going on for years, in particular between West Africa and Jamaica.

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Riky Rick 'You And I' feat.. Mlindo The Vocalist

South African rapper Riky Rick's latest single "You and I" sounds like a chapter from Riky's past; he raps about messing up his relationship with his cheating ways. The video shows Riky partying it up with strippers in the club while his bae and their kids struggle to reach him on the phone. "You and I" features the singer Mlindo The Vocalist who's gained popularity in the past few years for his nonchalant singing style and the relatable stories he tells mostly in his language IsiZulu.

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Olamide 'Spirit'

Nigerian star Olamide comes through with his latest single, "Spirit." The new track sees the rapper switching gears, this time offering up a more low-tempo groove than we're used to hearing from his singles. In "Spirit," he links up with frequent collaborator and producer Pheelz over a relaxed afro-fusion beat as he sings, "I have refused to downgrade from god to human, spirit is high." The song is a noted change from Olamide's usual style, showing that the YBNL chief has quite the versatility in his arsenal and can deliver over a more afro-pop leaning tune.

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Larry Gaaga 'Low' feat. Wizkid

Larry Gaaga recruits Nigerian superstar Wizkid for his latest single, "Low." The new song, which is produced by BlaqJerzee, pairs a sparse beat with smooth synth keys and Wizkid's delivery about keeping things "on the low." It comes paired with a brand new music video, directed by Mr. Moe Musa, that shows Wizkid and Larry Gaaga in a pristine white room as they perform the song along with some company.

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La Même Gang x Kuami Eugene 'This Year'

La Même Gang come through with their first single of 2019 with the uplifting new track, "This Year." The new single features three members from the Ghanaian rap collective–RJZ, DarkoVibes, and $pacely—linking up with fellow buzzing Ghanaian artist Kuami Eugene over production by MogBeatz.

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Blaklez 'DMX Prayer' feat. Reason 

In Blaklez's latest single, the Pretoria MC does some self-introspection and reflection. He looks back at the tough come-up days and hopes for a better tomorrow as he navigates the present and its complications. Blaklez shares the key-laden trap instrumental with Reason, who he has collaborated with before, most notably on the equally introspective 2016 single "Freedom Or Fame Reloaded," which also featured the late rapper Pro

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Rotimi 'Love Riddim'

Nigerian singer and actor Rotimi (from Starz hit show Power) comes through with "Love Riddim," an addictive afro-fusion concoction tailor-made for your upcoming summer nights. "I wanted to create a sound that was different. Something that was of me yet reminiscent of my favorite artists like Craig David," Rotimi mentions in a press statement. "It's feel good music that you can't help but dance and wine to." Look out for his new EP, Walk With Me, dropping on May 24.

"Love Riddim" is available now

NewAgeMuzik 'Polaroid'

NewAgeMuzik are a London-based duo with the aim of taking afro-fusion to the future. The UK group, made up of Kamo and Prince, are set to drop the new S.O.N.E. / Sounds of a New Era EP tomorrow, which will featured singles like "Dance For Me" and this new jam. The new music video for EP standout "Polaroid," a slow-burning and addictive song that showcases NewAgeMuzik's modern spin on the UK afro-fusion sound.

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Lady Moon & The Eclipse 'Global Warning'

Brooklyn-based outfit Lady Moon & The Eclipse, who we've previously covered for their blend of RnB and afrobeat, are back with the new single, "Global Warning." The song and music video, which we premiered for Earth Day, is a head-nodder anchored by a heavy funk bass line and led by vocalist Lady Moon's (Ngonda Badila) lyrics about our drastically changing environment. The new video, directed by James Kwan, is a shape-shifting affair that cycles through colorful animated drawings and collage-like scenes of Lady Moon dancing in front of different habitats.

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Terri 'On Me'

Wizkid's "Soco" was no doubt a major hit and kicked off the music career of its standout feature, Terri. The latest signee to Wizkid's Starboy crew, the young musician looks set to continue delivering hits that showcase his immense talent. His latest music video for "On Me", proves just that.

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BCUC 'Isivunguvungu' feat. Saul Williams

BCUC (Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness) connects with none-other-than Saul Williams for their lively, bass-lead single "Isivunguvungu." The new single comes from their upcoming album, The Healing, which will share the same format as BCUC's two previous records (two long songs and one short one). The forthcoming release, due May 10, was produced by Buda Musique and recorded in Paris at Studio Pigalle. It will also feature a track with Femi Kuti.

The Healing is available for pre-order now

Ssue 'Don't Talk' feat. Ian Jazzi, Blackup & Lady Jay

Ghanaian artist Ssue drops another fire track with the booming single "Don't Talk," which features additional help from Ian Jazzi, Blackup and Lady Jay.

"Don't Talk" is available now

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


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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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