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The 12 Best East African Songs of the Month

Featuring Diamond Platnumz x Omarion, Eddy Kenzo, Maia & the Big Sky, Blinky Bill, Sauti Sol, Khaligraph Jones and more.

With all the exciting and intriguing music coming out of East Africa these days, you've got to keep an eye out so you don't miss out on some good ones.

From well known bongo flava anthems to next-level Ethiopian rap, we've got you sorted with the best picks of March.


Diamond Platnumz feat. Omarion "African Beauty"

The king of East African pop just dropped his sophomore album, A Boy From Tandale, which for the most part is a collection of his many chart-topping singles. Produced by Krizbeatz, his latest single "African Beauty" exemplifies a new wave of Afro-pop music. It's also really great to hear Omarion singing so effortlessly in Swahili.

Buravan "With You"

Rwanda's fast-rising R&B artist Buravan dropped yet another heartwarming love ballad called "With You" this month. His forthcoming album is set to be released later this year and, if this single is anything to go by, it's surely going to have our hearts melting.

Fik Fameica "Property"

"She's my property/ My chapati / My bugatti/ My yoghurt." Lyrics like these have critics doubting Fik Fameica's talent. At the same time, there's no shortage of people enjoying his infectious luga-flow trap singles. The popular Ugandan artist remains on trend with his new banger, "Property," in which he brags about a woman in his life that he takes to be his property.

Eddy Kenzo and Heavy K "Yasolo"

The East meets the South once again with this monster collaboration between Ugandan superstar, Eddy Kenzo and South African mega-producer Heavy K. The song is as energetic and upbeat as one would expect from these two artists, and it can easily get you on your feet with its groovy African rhythms.

Rosa Ree feat. Billnass "Marathon"

With her funky style and prowess in the booth, Rosa Ree is one of Tanzania's most promising hip-hop acts. Her new single "Marathon" featuring Billnass is catchy and cool, and the young star continues to prove that she's a rising force in the region's rap scene.

Maia & the Big Sky feat. Blinky Bill "Pawa"

This month Maia & the Big Sky dropped "Pawa" featuring Blinky Bill, formerly of Just A Band. Blending soul and funk influences with the coastal rhythms of Kenya, this track embodies the lively sound of her latest album. Part of the music video, which we premiered here, is shot on top of K.I.C.C, one of Nairobi's most famous landmarks, and shows off the city's stunning skyline.

Aslay "Nibebe"

Tanzanian bongo-flava powerhouse Aslay's winning streak continues with his newest masterpiece, "Nibebe". The track's soul-stirring lyrics and enchanting violin strings will have you drowning in the feels.

Teddy Yo "Banchi Miknyat"

Ethiopian artist Teddy Yo is renowned for creating 'Guraggetone,' the local Ethiopian hip-hop style of music. The legend returns with a new single "Banchi Miknyat," a highly-infectious rap single from his newly released Arada, Vol. 2 album.

Stella Mwangi "10 Toes"

Kenyan-Norwegian rapper Stella Mwangi recently launched her independent record label, Badili Akili Music and "10 Toes" happens to the second single off the new label. The seasoned emcee proves she's still got it with this high-energy trap song in which she uses clever word-flow to tease her foes.

Jux "Fimbo"

Tanzanian R&B heartthrob Jux sings his way up the charts with "Fimbo," a mid-tempo performance that's quite easy on the ears.

Skat Nati "Sira"

Upcoming trap star Skat Nati represents a younger generation of Ethiopian hip-hop. You don't even need to understand the lyrics to know that this song is absolutely flames.

Sauti Sol feat. Khaligraph Jones "Rewind"

So far we can confirm that Sauti Sol's forthcoming Afrikan Sauce album is straight fire. This month they released their nostalgic single "Rewind" which features Kenya's most popular rapper Khaligraph Jones. The song reflects on the band's journey to success and the struggles they have faced to reach the top. This long-awaited collaboration is exactly what we needed to end the month on a high-note.

Film

Coming 2 America: New Yorkers in Zamunda

Coming 2 America: If one can sit through cringey "African accents" and take the elephants as hyperbole, they could score some laughs for nostalgia's sake.

Coming to America, originally released in 1988, is a cringeworthy watch in 2021. The cult classic opens with the song "Imbube" performed by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and shows the royal family of Zamunda living alongside elephants and zebras. Throughout the film, Africans are portrayed as savages who don't understand basketball, marvel at discarded glass and can't use mop buckets.

With its recently released sequel, Coming 2 America, which comes 32 years later, the film's original writers and director Craig Bowler had an opportunity to place the franchise on the right side of history. They try, but, for the most part, they fail.

Whereas Coming to America followed Africans as they navigate The Big Apple, in Coming 2 America, it's Americans who find themselves in Zamunda. They are the outliers whose slang, mannerisms and casual dress deem them the savages in a royal house of great mannerisms and dignified language.

Now the new king of Zamunda after the death of his father King Jaffe Joffer, still played by James Earl Jones, Akeem (reprised by Eddie Murphy 32 years later) finds himself in many similar situations that his father also faced in the original film. He gets to navigate outdated traditions he struggled against in his youth. Much like King Jaffe did when he used his power to allow his son to marry Lisa McDowell (still played by Shari Headley from the original movie) more than 30 years ago, Akeem has to exercise discretion while adjusting the royal rules that aren't aligned with the modern world.

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