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Ciara Says Tiwa Savage Inspired Her New Single 'Freak Me' After Fans Point Out Similarities

The singer gave Tiwa Savage a shoutout after fans noticed similarities between the Tekno-assisted track and Savage's "Before Nko."

On Friday, Ciara released her latest single "Freak Me," featuring Tekno.

Fans immediately noticed that the afrobeats-tinged song sounded very much like Tiwa Savage's 2015 song, "Before Nko" featuring D'Prince. In response, Ciara quickly took to Twitter to clarify Tiwa Savage's involvement on the track.

"Shoutout to Tiwa Savage in the inspiration and sample used in #FreakMe!" she wrote. "She's a beast! I fell in love with the melody when I first heard it in Africa 3 years ago."


Not everyone accepted Ciara's explanation, however, many called the singer out for "copying and pasting" Tiwa's song.






Ciara's "Freak Me" doesn't stray too far from the original song, so it's understandable that fans might think she simply copied "Before Nko," however, in addition to the use of the sample, Tiwa is also listed as a co-writer on the track.

if we're completely honest, we're partial to the original, but have a listen to both below and decide for yourself.



Ciara's new foray into afrobeat has garnered interest after the singer was seen dancing to the recently released track in Soweto. It looks like we can expect a South African-set music video for the single very soon.

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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