News Brief

AKA’s Latest Song ‘Practice’ Is Straight Raps, No Auto-Tune

It's bars everywhere.

South African rapper AKA has been rapping less and less, in his efforts to become an overall pop star. But his latest song, "Practice," is, for the lack of a better word, raw.


It brings out the aggression of AKA of Altar Ego days. The beat leads with a droning electric guitar, and AKA laces it with battle-ready raps like, "ASAP with the bag, b/ Yeah, I rap, but they pay me like an athlete" and "Keep it sexy, flexy/ But taking it slowly never impress me/ That' why I got the game by the testis/ King Forbes that's how you address me."

The song is essentially an ad for Reebok, which AKA is in a partnership with. But he only namedrops the brand once on the song. The branding is more prevalent in the music video, which shows Supa Mega rapping as he walks in a building and eventually walks out onto the rooftop.

"Practice," will however, not appear on AKA's upcoming album, Touch My Blood, which is out June 15.

Watch the video for "Practice" below, and download the song here.


Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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