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Screen grab from "Killin Dem" video. (Youtube)

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Burna Boy, Zlatan, AKA, Davido, Yugen Blakrok, Afro B, Yemi Alade 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 OkayAfrica on Spotify and Apple Music to get immediate updates every week and read about some of our selections ahead.



Zlatan & Burna Boy 'Killin Dem'

Zlatan Ibile is having one hell of a start to his 2019 with the spread of his massive dance single, "Zanku (Leg Work)," and now, the release of the video for his Burna Boy collaboration, "Killin Dem." The single, which dropped late last year in anticipation of Burna's sold out show at the Eko Convention Center in Lagos, sees the two Nigerian acts going in over some highly-infectious beat work produced by Kel P. "Killin Dem" is a straight-up banger that seamlessly blends Zlatan's energetic 'zanku' style with Burna Boy's afro-fusion.

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Mx Blouse 'No Match' 

South African artist Mx Blouse hit the ground running in 2019. They just released a new single, "No Match," accompanied by a minimalist yet stunning music video. While in the song they rap about a person they're over, the video shows them alone in a canyon, performing under a partly cloudy sky. Maybe the underlying message is that they are better off on their own. Sonically, "No Match," which was produced by Albany Lore and Thor Rixon, references kwaito with traces of electronic and even jazz.

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RMBO 'Vibe' feat. Siya Shezi, Khaz Money & Scarface Manolo 

South African artist, producer and DJ, RMBO, who's also a drummer for the band BLK JKS, is releasing a project on the 16th of June, South Africa's Youth Day. "Vibe" is the first single to the project, which will be titled 20/20. The song features Siya Shezi, Khaz Money and Scarface Manolo (from the band RADIO 123), and is classic kwaito as you loved it in the 90s, from the slow tempo to the big bassline and the bounce that can't be described but felt.

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Yugen Blakrok 'Picture Box'

South African MC Yugen Blakrok is on a roll. Two months after releasing a music video for "Carbon Form," the first single to her upcoming album, she unleashes another video for the album's second single "Picture Box."The music video, which is shot in lowlight, shows Yugen rapping in a rotating living room while mysterious characters linger around. One of them stabs a TV with a spear. The production design and art direction of the video is deeply rooted in the afrofuturism Yugen Blakrok and her Iapetus Records label mates have proven to be fond of.

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Afro B x Yemi Alade 'Melanin' (Remix)

Afro B is starting the year strong with his remix to "Melanin", featuring Nigeria's very own Yemi Alade. Since the message of the Team Salut-produced track is all about celebrating black women and their beautiful melanin, it only feels right to hear a verse from her in all her glory. "This song is my way of showing my appreciation for all the Melanin queens across the world," Afro B tells OkayAfrica. "It felt like it was only right that invited another Melanin queen—Yemi Alade—to join me on this smoothed out Team Salut production."

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YoungstaCpt "Own 2019"

Every year, since 2015, South African lyricist YoungstaCPT releases a song as part of his "Own..." series. The latest, titled "Own 2019," sees the MC reflect on 2018, from the death of HHP, Pro and Ben Sharpa, his travels ("I performed in Dubai and shook hands with Nas"), and projects that impressed him last year. And, of course, he promises to own this year.

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AKA x Yanga Chief "Jika"

AKA and his frequent collaborator Yanga Chief are grown up versions of themselves in the music video for "Jika" (think Kanye West and 88 Keys on the video for "Stay Up (Viagra)"). And, as you might have noticed, some senior citizen love having a good time and just being life goals, AKA and Yanga do just that. AKA, sticking to the song's storyline, is wooing a woman who he says he wants to get old with.

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Nicole Musoni x Kaytranada 'Die With Me'

Rwanda-rooted, Montreal-based singer-songwriter Nicole Musoni links up with Kaytranada for this stellar new electronic R&B jam "Die With Me" off her upcoming EP, 7teen. "The song is a tale of taking a gamble in life, dropping everything in pursuit of something greater and more fulfilling," a statement from her camp mentions.

Revivolution 'Skyf'

One of the most solid rap crews out in South Africa right now, Revivolution just released a serious banger. The group are known for their backpack boom bap sensibilities, by way of street-centric bars and golden era production. In their latest single "Skyf," however, members Revivo, illy, Ferno, Tony and fusion take turns to deliver potent verses over a bass-heavy trap instrumental that leads with a recurring 8-bit tingle. It's always a pleasure hearing all these varied personalities together in one song.

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Davido x Zlatan 'Bum Bum'

Zlatan, the bubbling Nigerian artist behind "Zanku (Leg Workanku (Leg Work)" teams up with afrobeats giant Davido for the new club banger "Bum Bum." As you probably gathered from the title, "Bum Bum" is an ode to large derrières. The video makes this even more clear as several dancers show off their moves (and backsides)— with several hitting popular moves like the zanku and shaku effortlessly— throughout the video.

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Mash-Ups of AKA x Lupe Fiasco and Nalingi x Pharrell

DJ Supernova is on a roll with these mashups. Right after mashing up AKA and Kiddominant's "Fela In Versace" with Lupe Fiasco's "Kick Push" last week, the DJ dropped another unlikely combination of songs."Nalingi," Manu WorldStar's breakout pop crossover single was huge last year. The song, which combined pop and Afrobeats, resonated with many fans across the continent.


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


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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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Music
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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(Photo by Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images)

Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Culture
Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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