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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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Runtown. Photo courtesy of the artist.

How Runtown Got His Groove Back

In the past year, Runtown has had to look behind him to shed the ghosts of his former label. Now he's looking forward to more success.

In May of 2018 with two months left on his contract, the Nigerian popstar Runtown woke up one morning to news that his record label, Eric Many Entertainment, was suing him for damages worth N267 million. A potential local court injunction against him meant Runtown might face the possibility of being barred from making music until the suit was resolved. It was the the start in of a string of legal battles between the singer and his label that threatened his very existence as an artist.

As Runtown planned his next steps, his boss, Ukwudili Umenyiora was doing everything he could not to let him go. The suit was a ploy to get him to extend the contract, or reach a settlement that would allow the label to keep a stake in his future business. In the press, Runtown was lambasted daily by suspected paid agents of the record label.

After the record label tried to prevent a performance in Canada, and sent cease and desist letters to radio stations, asking them to pull Runtown off playlists, something cracked in his camp. His legal team mobilised. They launched an offensive, filing cases and petitions on many fronts across Lagos, Abuja and New York. His boss and aggressor, Okwudili Umenyiora, was arrested twice by the local police on petitions by Runtown. To stop the media harassment, Umenyiora signed a legal agreement promising to back off. With the coast clear, he could then focus on the music.

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Video still via YouTube.

'Ratnik' Is the Dystopian Nollywood Action Film You Didn't Know You Needed

Watch the dramatic teaser from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola.

A film 2 years in the making is yet another cinematic moment contributing to the growing diversity of subgenres in the Nollywood industry.

Ratnik is a dystopian action film from Nigerian filmmaker Dimeji Ajibola his production company Flipsyde Studios. The teaser recently dropped this month ahead of the official trailer—and from this 1-minute clip we're anticipating suspense, explosions, peculiar superhero characters and impressive vfx that we're seeing more of in Nigerian films.

Get into the teaser below.

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Music
Moonchild Sanelly. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Swiss Producer Dejot Enlists South African Leftfield Artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, RADIO 123 and More in His New EP ‘Uhujano’

Listen to Dejot's latest EP.

Swiss electronic producer Dejot has a fondness for South African and its musicians. "What was really surprising to me was the fact, that when I played my music, my demos or ideas, people started to dance immediately," says Dejot in an email to OkayAfrica. "I was really surprised, that there was something in my music that hit them and made them move. This is very different compared to Europe or Switzerland, where people mostly stand around and just listen to it."

Last year, Dejot produced the rapper Robin Thirdfloor's EP Bhotela in its entirety. He has also worked with Bongeziwe Mabandla. This year, for his latest EP, Uhujano, he enlisted South Africa-based artists Moonchild Sanelly, Waterlillyrose, Robert Machiri and the duo RADIO 123.

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