Music
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Stormzy, Yaw Tog, Kwesi Arthur "Sore" (Remix)

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (March)

Featuring Yaw Tog x Stormzy x Kwesi Arthur, Gyakie, M.anifest x Vic Mensa, Stonebwoy and more.

This month in Ghanaian music has been quite a busy one, and it looks like things have finally kicked off in full swing. With several international collabs, full-length projects, and more, March has been filled to the brim and overflowing with good music. Here we bring you the best of Ghanaian music of March. Check them out below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


Yaw Tog, Stormzy & Kwesi Arthur 'Sore (Remix)'

Young hip-hop star Yaw Tog issued the much-awaited remix of his monster hit single "Sore", this time joining forces with UK rapper Stormzy and Ground Up star Kwesi Arthur. Currently sitting at close to three million views on YouTube, this is the biggest hip-hop song of the season.

Gyakie & Omah Lay 'Forever (Remix)'

The lines continue to fall in place for emerging singer Gyakie, who delivered the official remix to her chart topping single "Forever". This time around she tapped Nigerian singer Omah Lay, giving new life to the still spreading smash hit, now a pan-African affair.

M.anifest 'No Fear' ft. Vic Mensa & Moliy

In one of the hardest records to drop so far this year, rapper M.anifest teamed up with American rapper of Ghanaian descent Vic Mensa and emerging vocalist Moily. Together they deliver the rap joint of rap joints, with M Dot and Vic trading lyrically charged verses, and Moily gluing the mix together with her silky but striking vocals.

Kofi Jamar 'They Don't Know'

Following his mega hit "Ekorso," rapper Kofi Jamar finally came through with his next single. The GADOne Records act went solo on this drill record titled "They Don't Know", once again showcasing his anthem making ability over the 808-heavy Trino production.

E.L 'Wavs'

This month rapper E.L delivered a full length project, his third studio album titled WAVs, an acronym for "West African Vibes." The 13 tracks embody a melting pot of genres by the talented rapper, singer, and producer, and all his talents come into full display both in the booth and on the production boards. With only four guests the album isn't big on features, but the melodic collaboration with rising Nigerian singer Oxlade and the stellar guest verse by Mavin Records rapper Ladipoe are very remarkable entries.

Pappy Kojo 'Logos II'

And another album! This month rapper Pappy Kojo dropped his debut album, a 15-track body of work titled LOGOS II. Featuring a star-studded list of musicians from across Africa and beyond, the likes of Joey B, Sarkodie, Fameye, Adina Thembi, Kofi Kinaata, Kiddblack, Magnom, Kelvynboy, Busiswa, RJZ, Phyno and more all come through on this afrobeats focused multi-genre album, which is definitely worth the listen.

Niro Walter 'Focus'

Accra based singer and songwriter Niro Walter presented his debut project, simply titled Focus. Having 13 songs with no features, Niro took the opportunity to showcase all he has to offer, dishing an abundance of melody in his throaty tenor vocals. With Ksmithmajik, Limber, David Acekeyz and Supa Gaeta behind the production boards, Focus is a balanced project that is well worth your time.

Stonebwoy 'Strength and Hope'

Ghanaian singer Stonebwoy came through as well, taking a break from the dancehall and afrobeats he's best known for to issue a conscious reggae tune titled "Strength and Hope". His rendition of the "Victory Rock Riddim," "Strength and Hope" is one beautiful tune.

Kweku Darlington 'Sika Aba Fie' ft. Yaw Tog & Kweku Flick

On this one budding Ghanaian lyricist Kweku Darlington recruited his fellow drill rappers, Kweku Flick and Yaw Tog on this brand new record titled "Sika Aba Fie." Translating as "money has come home," "Sika Aba Fie" is a fun, singalong drill record.

Medikal ft Kuami Eugene 'Oseiyie' 

Rapper Medikal is another Ghanaian act who dropped a project this month, a 5-track EP titled Amazing Grace. Quickly gaining traction off the project is this cut featuring singer Kuami Eugene, titled "Oseiyie." The Lynx Entertainment superstar blessed the afrobeats single with the "Kuami effect," resulting in a vibrant bop that is likely to be a chart topper in the days to come.

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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