Featuring Sho Madjozi, Naira Marley, Stormzy, Kwesta x Rick Ross, GuiltyBeatz 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.
Sho Madjozi 'Kona'
South African rapper Sho Madjozi's debut album Limpopo Champions League turns one today. The artist treated her fans to new visuals for the song "Kona" from the project to mark the moment. The song leans towards Shangaan electro, and the artist gives it a fitting visual which showcases the famous xibelani dance and outfits. The visuals were filmed both in Sho Madjozi's village in Limpopo and Los Angeles. In the video, the artist implies that she broke down barriers. In the opening scene, she is told by a group of people that she won't succeed in Joburg wearing her traditional attire and speaking her language XiTsonga. Instead, she makes it Hollywood, as the scenes that follow were shot there.
Naira Marley 'Lol (Lord of Lamba)' EP
Nigerian artist Naira Marley has just dropped his much-anticipated EP Lord of Lamba. The 6-track project is a classic representation of the artist's signature upbeat sound. Young John and Mayorkun jump onto a couple of tracks with Naira Marley while the EP itself was produced by the likes of Killertunes, Studio Magik and Rexxie. Lord of Lamba comes just after we listed Naira Marley and Zlatan's "I Am Yahoo Boy", a track which "both disavows internet fraud and heartily embraces it", on our 20 Best Nigerian Songs of 2019 list.
Stormzy 'Heavy Is the Head' LP
British-Ghanaian rapper Stormzy dropped his much-anticipated sophomore album Heavy is the Head. The album comes two years after he released his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer. The 16-track project features the likes of Burna Boy, YEBBA, H.E.R, Ed Sheeran, Tiana Major9 and Headie One. Heavy is the Head features singles released before the album including "Vossi Bop", "Wiley Flow" and "Crown". His collaboration with Sheeran and Burna Boy on "Own It" also features on the album. The single dropped just before the rapper revealed in an interview that he had actually turned down Jay-Z's request to drop a verse on Sheeran's "Take Me Back to London" because he felt it "wasn't the right song" for them to work on together.
Kwesta 'I Came I Saw' feat. Rick Ross
Around this time last year, Kwesta shared images from a video shoot for a song that features Rick Ross. The South African rapper finally shared the song accompanied by a music video. "I Came I Saw" sees Kwesta and Rick Ross celebrate their differences as they share unique verses over a sample of "Township Funk," a South African house classic by Mujava. It's chopped up and placed between 808s and hi hats by the one and only Makwa, the producer behind some of Kwesta's biggest hits. The song's video was filmed in Kwesta's hood, just like most of his visuals. It was directed by Uncle Scrooch. The video shows various performance scenes of Kwesta and later Rick Ross, who actually pulls up in a black Porsche, wearing Air Forces as he says in his verse.
Blinky Bill 'Atenshan'
Prolific Kenyan artist Blinky Bill is back with the music video for "Atenshan," from his debut solo album, Everyone's Just Winging It & Other Fly Tales. In the album, Blinky reinvigorates his passion for experimental beat-making. He weaves African rhythms together with electronic cuts, hip-hop and funk in order to attain a hard-hitting, inventive and sublime body of work. With its towering horns and heavy percussions, "Atenshan" is a flamboyant centerpiece that will get the dance floor bubbling.
Wande Coal 'Ode Lo Like'
Nigerian hitmaker Wande Coal is back with his latest single, "Ode Lo Like," produced by Dapiano and Screwface. The song features a catchy chorus and horn-filled production with lyrics that touch on the often strange complexities of celebrity. Its title is a reference to a Nigerian phrase, that means "they like fools," as the artist explained to Rolling Stone. "It's a street [slang] generated for people taking advantage of entertainers and 'cool personalities' and seeing them as fools, and liking them because they are easily accessed and [they] easily give in. I'm saying: They love fools, but we are not fools—we know what we are doing."
B'wani 'Você Me Cuia Bwe' LP
Angolan artist B'wani shares his debut album Você Me Cuia Bwe. The new record sees B'wani cycling through a number of different influences including the Angolan-bred kizomba and zouk, as well as soul, afrobeats, and house, and injecting them with a hazy pop sheen. The highlight here is the album's title track. Get into it above.
GuiltyBeatz 'IYABO' feat. Falz & Joey B
Ghanaian producer GuiltyBeatz comes through with the first single from his upcoming Different EP. "Iyabo" is a head-nodder which features appearances from Nigeria's Falz and Ghana's Joey B. This one's for the holiday dance floors.
Andy S 'Docteur Du Micro ( Almighty's Homage)'
Rising Ivorian rapper Andy S comes through with the first music from her album, Le Rap N'a Pas De Sex, which means rap doesn't have any gender. The track "Docteur Du Micro" samples Almighty's "Le Dieu Du Swing." The rapper told The Fader the following about the video: "I went to Accra to shoot another video, and Yaw Phanta (the director) told me to play him some stuff and he decided he wanted to shoot another video for me. We saw a pharmacy and since the song is 'Docteur de Flow' and in one of the lines I said, 'they get sick every time they listen to me,' I thought it would be tongue in cheek to shoot in front of the pharmacy."
Ami Faku 'Ebhayi'
"Ebhayi" by Ami Faku is an ode to the South African singer's hometown of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. In the song, she sings about returning home and the comfort home provides for everyone. The song got treated to a fitting music video. The visual, which is directed by Nomakhomazi Dewavrin, documents Ami Faku's journey from the city of Joburg to Port Elizabeth. The singer can be seen catching up with loved ones upon her arrival as she cycles in the streets. The visual is relatable for many South Africans from small towns and villages across the country as they have to make their way back home every year in December for the holidays.
Vigro Deep 'Baby Boi' III
18-year-old house producer Vigro Deep released his album Baby Boi III on Friday. The project is released under Kalawa Jazmee, under license to Universal Music. Baby Boi III sees the producer carry on pushing the envelope and coming up with new ways to mix new and old sounds and making the country dance. His production leans mostly towards deep house, but elements of amapiano are littered everywhere on the album. The songs are made memorable by a range of vocalists who appear on a majority of the album, including the likes of Nokwazi, DJ Bucks and Sdala The Vocalist.
Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.
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