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Burna Boy's Album Debut 'L.I.F.E'

Debut album from Nigerian rapper Burna Boy L.I.F.E (Leaving an Impact For Eternity).


They call him Burna Boy and he's back again. This time not with a throwaway single, but his full length debut L.I.F.E (Leaving an Impact For Eternity). We've taken note of Burna's rise, which has been a few years in the making. He's gained a nationwide following in Nigeria whilst simultaneously shunning trends and establishing a unique voice. It seems he fits in by being pointedly different, thereby creating a mainstream niche for himself. With the quality of his prior Burn Identity mixtape and subsequent singles, it would be an understatement to say his debut LP was highly anticipated.

L.I.F.E is led by singles "Run my Race," "Tonight" and "Like to Party," whose lyrics, tempo and delivery reveal everything you need to know about Burna's message. He's a young man having the time of his life, but after all, he's earned the right through struggle and sacrifice.

The partnership between Burna and producer LeriQ is something quite special and unusual in this day and age. When a producer guides an entire album, as LeriQ does on L.I.F.E, he transforms from a mere beatmaker to a thematic and musical co-director. We've seen such partnership prosper in the past in multiple instances — Michael Jackson/Quincy JonesTimbaland/Jay Z and so many more.

Burna navigates through multiple musical styles with his combination of Jamaican toasting and Nigerian sharp delivery and flow. The intrinsically Fuji feel on "Ma Loda Ma Motto" transforms into a radio friendly track with Burna's touch. The EDM tempo and rhythm of "Always Love You" almost tricks listeners into believing it's a Guetta construct, but alas it's Burna again with his easily recognisable voice over the track.

The Fela-esque chant ("I Never Tell You Finish") at the start of "Boom Boom Boom" is Burna's attempt to channel the late great through social commentary. Album peak, "My Cry," features Chocolate City royalty M.I Abaga on Burna's sobering account of the state of Nigerian affairs. For a gratifying moment, party rhetoric tones down and in its place arises a discussion of social issues — a specially crucial element of music in a country with issues as deep-rooted as they are in Nigeria. If just for one track, Burna lives up to the responsibility of using his stature and relevance as an artist to speak out on injustice.

Burna Boy's L.I.F.E - Leaving an Impact for Eternity is out now via Aristokrat Records.

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The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Juls, Busiswa, Davido, Nasty C, Olamide, Ethic, Bobi Wine 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.


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8 South African Albums & EPs to Stream While Staying Home

Let these South African releases from Bongeziwe Mabandla, Shabaka and the Ancestors, King Monada and others hold you down during lockdown.

This month saw a number of releases from South African artists. While the COVID-19 pandemic has taken money away from a majority of artists, this could be the best time for listeners to go through the new music that was released.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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