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Burna Boy in "Onyeka"

The 6 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Mr Eazi, Focalistic x Davido, Burna Boy, Nasty C x Ari Lennox and more.

Every week, we highlight the top releases 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.


Mr Eazi 'E Be Mad'

Mr Eazi has released his latest EP Something Else. While Mr Eazi describes this project as "the calm before the storm", the multi-talented musician does not disappoint. Something Else follows Mr Eazi's lead track "The Don" which was released last month. The second single, "E Be Mad,'' produced by Kel P and Jaylon, combines elements of classic Ghanaian highlife music with Mr Eazi's sonorous tenor to create a song he dedicates to "everyone who's in a long relationship and wants to take it further."

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Focalistic x Davido 'Ke Star' Remix

South Africa's genre-bending artist, Focalistic, has dropped the highly anticipated remix for his platinum single "Ke Star" which features Davido. This comes after Focalistic and Davido teased music fans on Twitter with a short sound clip of the "Ke Star" remix earlier in the week. The "Ke Star" remix follows from Focalistic's latest album Sghubu Ses Excellent which dropped in December last year.

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Burna Boy 'Onyeka'

Nigerian artist, Burna Boy, has come through big time with his latest music video for "Onyeka". The highly anticipated music video dropped over the weekend and does not disappoint. "Onyeka" is the fifth music video to drop from the Grammy-nominated album Twice As Tall which was released in August last year.

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Nasty C, Ari Lennox 'Black And White'

Nasty C recently shared the visuals for his single "Black and White" featuring American vocalist Ari Lennox. The single comes off Nasty C's latest album Zulu Man With Some Power. The video comes after the single was added on the Coming 2 America soundtrack and is reportedly tapped to be the leading single for the highly anticipated movie. The music video dropped right in the middle of the month of love to celebrate Valentine's day.

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Kranium 'Toxic' EP

Dancehal star Kranium has shared his latest EP, Toxic, a collection of 5 songs that dropped close to Valentine's Day. The new project is lead by the head-nodder single "Gal Policy," along with other notable tracks like "Block Traffic" featuring Rytikal and "Through The Window." Check it out above.

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Kashaka 'Shabbas Gospel'

Producer and artist Kashaka comes through with the captivating new single and music video for "Shabbas Gospel." The track sees the LA-based producer blending pitched vocals into a hypnotizing, bass-heavy beat. The single's music video was shot across Brooklyn, NY and features shots of our own Everyday Afrique party, which Kashaka regularly spun and had crows in a trance at. Get into the Patricia Gloum-directed video above.

Find out more

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


Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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