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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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Photo: Tjeerd Braat. Courtesy of Marieme.

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Bas, Ycee, Major League, Moonchild Sanelly, Niniola, Indigo Stella, Fireboy DML, Marieme 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.

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Still from YouTube

Watch Fireboy DML's New Music Video for 'Need You'

The buzzing Nigerian artist shares the video for the standout single from his debut album "Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps."

Buzzing Nigerian artist Fireboy DML has shared the music video for his latest single "Need You," one of the standouts from his warmly received debut album Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps.Laughter.

The track is an emotive love ballad, that sees the artist singing about the strong feelings he has for his partner over mellow guitar riffs. The song was produced by Pheelz.

The music video, directed by Clarence Peters, shows the artist and a love interest as they try and escape together, and later get caught up with the bad guy that's out to separate them. The events lead to a tragic ending for the couple. It's the fourth music video offering from Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps. "Of course, it's a tale of love—of finding it again, of learning that time is fickle and you have to treasure what you hold dear while you still can," wrote Fireboy about the song on Twitter.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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