Afrobeats At Notting Hill Carnival: A Mixtape

Pepper Coast delivers a mixtape to mark the inclusion of afrobeats floats in London's Notting Hill Carnival for the first time ever.

Carnival season was in full swing last weekend as hundreds of revelers got ready to whine up on the streets of west London during Bank Holiday at Notting Hill Carnival, Europe's largest street party.

The Notting Hill Carnival was founded in the late 1950s by Caribbean immigrants as a means to celebrate their heritage and ease racial tensions. Originally, the street party took place without permission of local authorities, and so, Carnival goers were met with brute force from the police in an attempt to quash the festivities. Police would violently clash with residents to break up the event which added to hostilities between authorities and the black community. Despite this, the community fought to keep Carnival alive and over the decades the event has grown into one of the world's biggest and most diverse celebrations with up to a million visitors, 38 sound systems and 50,000 performers which this year included big names like Sean Paul and Disclosure.

With its colourful costumes, steelpan bands, air horns and soca, Carnival is very much a celebration of West Indian culture, but has been embraced by many other communities as London's beautiful melee of cultures has had a great impact on the event, making Notting Hill Carnival one of a kind. Visitors can find foods from all parts of the world from the staple jerk chicken, rice and peas to Brazilian and Italian cuisine and listen to anything from dancehall to jungle, R&B, hip-hop, reggae, old school garage and grime. Now, with the ever increasing popularity of African artists such as Wizkid and London-born Fuse ODG, afrobeats have become well incorporated into carnival with sound systems and an afrobeats float playing smash hits from Africa's very best. This includes 'The Nigerian Corner' sound system with DJs, live PAs, stand up comedy and Nigerian food. However, the inclusion of afrobeats floats at Notting Hill Carnival also stirred up some controversy with many voicing their opinions that African music shouldn't be present at a Caribbean festival.

Despite all the drama Notting Hill Carnival is not one to be missed and for those who couldn't join the party, Okayafrica is here to help you warm up relive this weekends festivities with a special mix by Jamaican and Liberian DJ and visual artist Pepper Coast. Listen below for a taste of Carnival featuring a hot blend of dancehall, funky house, afrobeats and soca.


Burna Boy- Yawa Dey

Gaza Slim - Everything Fi Hold Him

Mavado - My League

Baby Tash - Nah Sekkle Down

Kaakie - Kumcha

Bodwese ft. Kofi Kinaata & Ramz Nic - Abrewa Borga

Kwamz & Flava ft. R2Bees -Wo Onane (remix)

Sticky - Jumeirah riddim

DJ Spen presents DJ Technic - Gabryelle

Macka Diamond - Lexxus and Benz

Applause Riddim

Denise Belfon - Wining Queen

Lil Silva - Different

Timaya ft. Machel Montano - Shake your bum bum (carnival mix)

Munnah - Celebration

Destra Garcia - Piece Ah Dat

Dotstar - Stick Up Instrumental

Togar Howard - Basima Basima

Grizzy & M Dargg - Look Like You (DJ Taey remix)

Sarkodie ft. Timaya - One Chance

Ericgeso - No Spacing

Apple - De Siegalizer

Girl Unit - Club Rez (Rizzla's club Cecile bootleg)

DJ Chuckie - Caribbean Drums

Iyanya - Kukere (Thirstpro remix)

Spooky - Coolie Joyride

Square One - Togetherness


Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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