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Ibeyi, Laolu Senbanjo, Warsan Shire Featured In Beyoncé's 'Lemonade'

Beyoncé’s 'Lemonade' HBO special was packed with references to afro-diasporic religion, afrofuturism and southern gothic tropes.

Screengrab from Lemonade

Okayafrica favorite, the Nigerian visual artist Laolu Senbanjo’s work plays a major role in Lemonade—the extended video from Beyoncé that premiered tonight on HBO—with body-painted dancers in his signature afromysterics style taking up a portion of the hourlong event. His Yoruba-influenced markings even adorns Beyoncé at one point.


The Laolu Senbanjo adorned dancers in Apathy. Screengrab from Lemonade

We were expecting that. What we didn’t expect was another member of the Okayafrica family, Lisa-Kaindé of Ibeyi, looking stark in black and white, two minutes in. Lisa-Kaindé and her sister Naomi made a few more cameos throughout the night—sitting in a tree and on steps alongside Chloe x Halle, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya and Queen B herself.

Still from Lemonade

Overall, Lemonade is packed with references to afro-diasporic religion, afrofuturism and southern gothic tropes. Some of the scratchy voiceover and long shots of Yoncé walking among the ruins of Fort Macombe, Louisiana give it a True Detective Season 1 feel. Not the first time the Beyonce/Jay-Z/True Detective link has been made. In Lemonade, however, it's more like True Detective meets Toni Morrison’s Beloved.

Other parts feel like brooding indie films meets Knowles-family home movies. Still others are more like conventional R&B videos set on a city street where our hero smashes car windshields to what sounds like a reggae cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Maps” before driving over everything in a monster truck.

The rest of Lemonade is a montage of Mardi Gras Indians, bayou lounging, candomblé and blues guitar. The music has more roots and gospel feel than what we’ve been given lately. It’s fitting.

There’s also a unmistakeable verse from The Weeknd AKA Abęl Tesfaye and everyone’s favorite mopey British crooner James Blake.

Beyoncé quotes the poetry of Somali-British poet Warsan Shire on several occasions throughout Lemonade.

Beyoncé and Serena have an incendiary chemistry. Screengrab from Lemonade.

There is also a cameo from the unmistakeable Serena Williams who will give you goosebumps when you see her and Beyoncé dancing in the same frame.

Also spotted are the model Chantelle Brown-Young and the star of Beasts of the Southern Wild Quvenzhané Wallis.

A full twelve-track Lemonade album was released at the end of the HBO special, featuring full versions of a number of the songs featured in the video and appearances by Jack White, The Weeknd, James Blake and Kendrick Lamar. You can listen to the album via Tidal here. Check out the tracklist below.

Beyoncé Lemonade Tracklist

1. Pray You Catch Me

2. Hold Up

3. Don’t Hurt Yourself featuring Jack White

4. Sorry

5. 6 Inch featuring The Weeknd

6. Daddy Lessons

7. Love Drought

8. Sandcastles

9. Forward featuring James Blake

10. Freedom featuring Kendrick Lamar

11. All Night

12. Formation

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Sarkodie "Bumper" (Youtube)

Watch Sarkodie's New Music Video For 'Bumper'

A dance-heavy clip for the Ghanaian star's turn-up single.

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, which features the likes of Donae'o, Idris Elba, Efya, Mr Eazi, Stonebwoy, Tekno, Maleek Berry, King Promise, Kizz Daniel and several other artists.

OkayAfrica spoke with the artist in November, following his win for Best International Flow at the BET Hip Hop awards. "[The album] is just about love amongst black people and it's 90 or 80 percent based on relationships," he said.

Watch the new music video for Sarkodie's "Bumper" below.

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Stormzy performs during The BRIT Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage) via Getty Images.

Watch Stormzy's Powerful BRIT Awards Performance Featuring Burna Boy

The night saw the British-Ghanaian star run through a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head.

The BRIT Awards 2020, which went down earlier this week, saw the likes of Stormzy take home the Best Male trophy home and Dave win Best Album.

The night also saw Stormzy deliver a stunning performance that featured a medley of songs from his latest album, Heavy Is the Head. The British-Ghanaian star started things out slow with "Don't Forget to Breathe," before popping things off with "Do Better" then turning up the heat with "Wiley Flow."

Stormzy nodded to J Hus, playing a short bit of "Fortune Teller," before being joined onstage by Nigeria's Burna Boy to perform their hit "Own It." Burna Boy got his own moment and performed an energetic rendition of his African Giant favorite "Anybody."

The night was closed off with a powerful message that read: "A lot of time they tell us 'Black people, we too loud.' Know what I'm sayin'? We need to turn it down a little bit. We seem too arrogant. We a little too much for them to handle. Black is beautiful man." The message flashed on a black screen before a moving performance of "Rainfall" backed by his posse.

Watch the full performance below.

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K.O Releases ‘Killa Combo’ Featuring Zingah, Loki, Tellaman and Mariechan

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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 up-and-coming rapper Loki was a top priority as he is the first signee under the label.

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Twice As Tall World Tour. Flyer provided by Atlantic Records.

Burna Boy Announces 'Twice As Tall' World Tour Dates

The Nigerian star will be playing shows across North America and Europe this summer.

Burna Boy is hitting the road again.

Following the celebrated release of African Giant—which came with nominations at both the Grammys & BRIT Awards and a trophy for Best International Act at the BET Awards—the Nigerian star will be embarking on a long run of shows that will take him across North America and Europe.

The Twice As Tall World Tour will kick off in May in Atlanta, and will see Burna Boy playing concerts across the US, Canada, Norway, France, Portugal, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and more locations.

You can check out the full tour dates for Twice As Tall World Tour below and revisit Burna Boy's performance for Okay Acoustics.

Tickets are available now.

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