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Kojey Radical & Juls "Normal."

The 11 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month

Featuring Sarkodie, E.L, Juls x Kojey Radical, Shatta Wale and more.

The robustness and invention of Ghanaian pop music are evident in a bumper month of song making—from the grafting of trap to highlife, to continued displays of rap virtuosity and singing flourishes.

Read ahead for our selection of the Best Ghanaian Songs of August.


Medikal "Yesu"

Medikal's "Yesu," featuring Phil Blak, is a stream of consciousness display of verbal virtuosity about self-affirmation and triumph over adversity.

Juls & Kojey Radical "Normal"

An excellent pairing of vocal delivery and sensible beat-making that went to even more complex depths on 2017's "Temperature Rising."

Adina Thembi "On My Way"

Pertinent life advice sung with beautiful vocal clarity and graceful flourish.

Sarkodie "Can't Let You Go" feat. King Promise

Sarkodie and King Promise share a beautiful ode to a long term partner, celebrating everlasting love and companionship.

Strongman in "Change" and "Wappi"

A state of the nation address made even more brilliant by the clever blending of highlife and trap; a more adventurous endeavor but no less satisfying than "Wappi" with Gamebwoy.

Shatta Wale "Ginger"

A hortatory epistle with a reassuring yet inconclusive maxim—"some people say life no be fair / me say life just be test"—from Shatta Wale.

Qwesi Flex & Patapaa "Dirty Yourself"

A house banger with a clear directive from Qwesi Flex and Patapaa.

DJ J Masta "Magic Remix" feat. Bisa Kdei, Skales & Praiz

An exemplar of afropop's synergy with American R&B by a stellar line up of Bisa Kdei, Skales and Praiz, each of which is affecting and memorable.

Kumi Guitar "Konkosa"

Highlife goodness by singer-songwriter Kumi Guitar, whose smooth vocal muscularity is as old fashion as it reassuring over present-day production.

GuiltyBeatz & Joey Boy & King Promise "Fire"

"Fire," a song-title-as-song-description that for once is well earned.

E.L "Dare To Dream" & "Yo Geng"

Technically astute and emotionally precise verses whose lofty title undersells turns of earnest self-examination and social commentary over production of which J Dilla would be proud. Equally impressive is "Yo Geng" on which E.L brag-swags with real charm about his personality and prowess.

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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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