Audio

AKA Reminisces About His Ex on His Latest Single ‘Sweet Fire,’ And It's Pure Flames

Can't even front, "Sweet Fire" is a potent pop record.

Just before 2017 ended, AKA tweeted to his more than 2 million followers that him and his bae Bonang Matheba were calling it quits.


On his new single, "Sweet Fire," Supa Mega seemingly seeks closure from the relationship. He bears his soul, reminiscing about how the relationship started, and talks about how he feels now that it has ended:

"I remember when I used to love you/ Now I'm finna burst your bubble/ All the bad bads gon sub you/ Every mami in the streets tryna cause trouble."


"Sweet Fire" sees the rapper return to his forays into pop, which he took a break from when he released "StarSigns" with Stogie T earlier this week.

While AKA's pop attempts have been hit-and-miss, with this single, he seems to have found his pop voice. "Sweet Fire" sounds like money.

The artists shows just enough vulnerability to make the song emotive, yet he sings with such verve, it becomes such a pleasing piece of music.

"Sweet Fire" is the first single to the artist's third studio album Touch My Blood. It's promising to be yet another gem in his impressible discography.

Listen to "Sweet Fire" below, and download it 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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