First Listen: South African Rapper ByLwansta Has Your New Break-Up Jam

ByLwansta releases his first single since his solid 2016 EP.

Gifted South African rapper ByLwansta released a solid EP, Your Absolutely Right, last year, which made our list of the best South African hip-hop releases of 2016.

“Oh Well," his latest song, which we are premiering here, is his first release since the EP. The new single sees the rapper spit theatrical rhymes over flamenco strings and a deep bass line courtesy of Johannesburg-based producer 808x.

The smooth song, according to the rapper, can be looked at as a continuation of YAR or a bonus track from the project.

“Oh Well" is a song the emcee wrote after breaking up with his girlfriend, who he wrote about on the song “Grey" from YAR.

“On the song, I take the listener through a tour of my pain and anxiety," says ByLwansta in an email to OkayAfrica. “Like, I'm literally dealing with it at that very moment, then out of the blue you hear my girlfriend's vocal as an ad-lib, and from the listener's perspective, I assume they'll be like, 'wait, what?' But it's there to show how we got through it, and I'm just making art and, it's fucking beautiful."

Being the all-round artist ByLwansta is, the song's artwork, which the rapper designed himself, has a bit of meaning behind it.“It's based off a picture taken nonchalantly by Kayte Grant. The orange background links the release to YAR," he says.

Listen to “Oh Well" below and download it here.

Follow ByLwansta on Twitter, Facebook and SoundCloud.


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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