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Rema in "Beamer (Bad Boys)" (Youtube)

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Tony Allen x Hugh Masekela, Sarkodie, Rema, Costa Titch x Riky Rick x AKA 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.


Tony Allen x Hugh Masekela 'Slow Bones'

Nigerian afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen and South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela began recording together in 2010, along with producer Nick Gold. Through their London sessions they captured the "kind of South African-Nigerian swing-jazz stew" that will make up their upcoming album, Rejoice, as Allen describes it. Those recording sessions remained largely untouched until after Masekela's passing in 2018, which drove Allen and Gold to revisit the tapes of those original compositions. We premiered the latest single from the album, "Slow Bones," a head-nodding blend of Allen's afrobeat percussion and Masekela's trumpet melodies.

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Sarkodie 'Bumper'

Sarkodie comes through with the energetic new dance video for "Bumper." The new track is a high-octane affair that sees the Ghanaian star rapper delivering some standout rhymes and flows over an afro-fusion leaning production from Nigeria's Rexxie. The new video for "Bumper," which was directed by Monte Carlo Dream, follows a group of dancers as they show off their moves inside a barbershop. "Bumper" comes after the release of Sarkodie's latest album, Black Love.

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Costa Titch 'Nkalakatha' Remix feat. Riky Rick & AKA

Costa Titch caught the game's attention with his single "Nkalakatha." The idea of a trap version of a kwaito classic was always going to be bizarre at first. But Costa Titch's song is an undeniable banger that inspires mosh pits at shows. By now, if you haven't been living under a rock, you've heard the song's remix which features two of the country's biggest rappers AKA and Riky Rick.

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Rema x Rvssian 'Beamer (Bad Boys)'

Buzzing Nigerian artist Rema shares his first single and music video of the year "Beamer (Bad Boys)." The track is the first single since the release of his 2019 EP Bad Commando. Produced by Rvssianm, the song features a sultry, drum-heavy beat and a catchy hook in which a chorus of female voices sing of their love for "bad boys." The steely music video features several love interests and flashy cars as Rema moves through the city on an undisclosed mission. The video features crisp, scenic shots directed by Fxrbes.

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Ayanda Jiya 'Lover 4 Life' feat. Stogie T

On first listen, "Lover 4 Life" could be mistaken for a song about a person Ayanda Jiya is in love with. But pay close attention, you'll pick up she's paying homage to the artists who inspired her as a child, and she uses them as an entry point to tell the story of how she fell in love with music and chose the career path she's currently pursuing.

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Ajebutter22 'Ginger You' feat. Mayorkun

Ajebutter22 and Mayorkun team up to bring fans their newest track "Ginger You". The duo's effortless and laid-back collaboration is not only a legitimate banger, it's the perfect way to ease into the weekend. "Ginger You" is a classic Afrobeat number with a mid-tempo rhythm. Produced by Spaxx, the guitar instrumentals right at the beginning of the track in addition to the infectious beat, make for some really easy and enjoyable listening.

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K.O ‘Killa Combo’ feat. Zingah, Loki, Tellaman & Mariechan

The last time we spoke to K.O., he revealed that one of his goals for the year is to launch Skhandaworld, a newly launched imprint founded by the South African emcee. The first release from Skhandaworld has landed as the collaborative single "Killa Combo" which features an unpredictable lineup—alongside K.O, the rappers Zingah and of course Loki, alongside the singers Tellaman and Mariechan (from Jamali).

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King Lekan 'Lagos Riddim'

King Lekan comes through with his eye-catching single and visualizer for "Lagos Riddim," the latest track from his forthcoming project titled, Sounds From Lagos. The single blends Nigerian highlife and modern afrobeats influences for a feel-good instrumental you'll have on repeat.

"Lagos Riddim" is available now

Tabansi Studio Band

Tabansi Studio Band's 4-track record Wakar Alhazai Kano & Mus'En Sofua is a previously unheard and unreleased window into late 1970s, early 1980s Igbo and Hausa afrobeat—a rarer style than Fela's Yoruba/pidgin afrobeat. "The beats are laid down by the seven legendary Martins Brothers," a statement reads, "whilst vocals are courtesy of a multi-lingual Igbo legend, Prof. Goddy Ezike... whose half- century career has, like fine wine, simply improved his voice."

Tabansi Studio Band is available now

Amanda Black 'Ndizele Wena'

South African singer Amanda Black recently released visuals for her latest single "Ndizele Wena." The track is a love song in which she promises to stay with her lover through all the ups and down. The song was treated to a fitting visual directed by Joburg-based filmmaker Kuda Jemba. The clip shows performance scenes of the artist which intercut with a scene of a man and a woman who are thrilled by each other.

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Mr JazziQ & JazziDisciples 'Hello Mo'girl' feat. Focalistic & Busta 929

One half of the duo JazziDisciples, Mr JazziQ, has a new solo single. The song features Busta 929 and the rapper Focalistic. Focalistic has made a name for himself rapping over beats that are either pure amapiano or are inspired by the incumbent subgenre of house music in South Africa. In true amapiano fashion, the instrumental to "Hello Mo'Girl" is built over a deep bassline reminiscent of 90s and 2000s kwaito.

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


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Photo by Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

How Davido's 'FEM' Became the Unlikely #EndSARS Protest Anthem

When Nigerian youth shout the line "Why everybody come dey para, para, para, para for me" at protests, it is an act of collective rebellion and rage, giving flight to our anger against the police officers that profile young people, the bureaucracy that enables them, and a government that appears lethargic.

Some songs demand widespread attention from the first moments they unfurl themselves on the world. Such music are the type to jerk at people's reserves, wearing down defenses with an omnipresent footprint at all the places where music can be shared and enjoyed, in private or in communion; doubly so in the middle of an uncommonly hot year and the forced distancing of an aggressive pandemic that has altered the dynamics of living itself. Davido's "FEM" has never pretended to not be this sort of song. From the first day of its release, it has reveled in its existence as the type of music to escape to when the overbearing isolation of lockdown presses too heavily. An exorcism of ennui, a sing-along, or a party starter, "FEM" was made to fit whatever you wanted it to be.

However, in the weeks since its release, the song has come to serve another purpose altogether. As young Nigerians have poured out into the streets across the country to protest against the brutality of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS, "FEM" has kept playing with the vigour of a generational protest anthem. From Lagos to Abia to Benin and Abuja, video clips have flooded the Internet of people singing word-for-word to Davido's summer jam as they engage in peaceful protests. In one video, recorded at Alausa, outside the Lagos State Government House, youths break into an impromptu rendition of the song when the governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, tried addressing them; chants of "O boy you don dey talk too much" rent through the air, serving as proof of their dissatisfaction with his response to their demands—and the extortionist status quo.

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