J.Derobie in "Poverty" (Youtube)

The 15 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month

Featuring Pappy Kojo, Medikal, Kwesi Arthur, J.Derobie, Maame Yaa and more

From a defiantly feminist anthem to a gospel-tinged rap ballad, from a new dancehall sensation to yet-another dance banger that is sure to spawn numerous remixes, the start of 2019 has served up a bounty of afropop from Ghanaian artists.

Read ahead for our selection of the best Ghanaian pop songs of January. —Sabo Kpade

Medikal 'Omo Ada'

"This no be azonto, this no be alkeyda / this one I don't know, we dey go with the flow" instructs Medikal on this unabashed house banger doing the most with a few words but choosing to dexterously jam-pack syllabuses as a guest on "Meshye Bi" with label mate AMG Armani. —Sabo Kpade

Pappy Kojo 'Balance' feat. Joey B & Nshorna

Balance is the equivalent of 100 fire emojis, and that is no exaggeration. This song right here is an infectious hip-hop joint by rapper Pappy Kojo, featuring frequent collaborator Joey B and producer-artist Nshorna Muzik. A bouncy bed squeak beat laced with bars full of catchphrases and quotables, the song became an instant anthem on release. This Altra Nova produced joint has restored Pappy's shine within mainstream Ghanaian rap, and we can't wait to hear what other bangers he has for us this year. —Nnamdi Okirike

Pappy Kojo displays ease and charm on "Balance," his double time trap flow a perfect fit for swinging yet sturdy production by NOVA. —S.K.

Kwesi Arthur 'Open Your Eyes'

Kwesi Arthur urges a love interest for closer consideration, his efforts so far in vain. The pleasant afroswing beat allows for decent singing with any complex emotion summed up in one line: "are you joking or can you really not get me out of your head?" —S.K.

Magnom 'Big Body' feat. Nshorna Muzick

Artist and producer Magnom released the official video to his single "Big Body" featuring Nshorna Muzick this month and the video to this afrobeats joint definitely stands out. "Big Body" is a single from Magnom's upcoming project, a joint mixtape with Nshorna featuring songs with azonto-style afrobeats—basically a nod to a past era in Ghanaian music. The video for "Big Body" is a fun animated clip that sees the two artists playing a retro style shooter video game, whereas a reward for their courage their characters encounter, you guessed it: a big body. —N.O.

Darkovibes "Obra" feat. Mac

Darkovibes earns his name once again un "Obra" on account of the brooding trap beat and muffled, treated vocals helped by an alert Mac M. —S.K.

Boiiisam "9-5" feat. Adi Virgo

Singer Boiiisam is another new face in the Ghana music industry, and he made his official video debut with this song titled "9-5," featuring Ghanaian dancehall singer Adi Virgo. "9-5" is a smooth afro-dancehall tune where the singer serenades his love interest in suave afropop star fashion. The dance party themed 4k visuals are sleek, complimenting the song perfectly, all in all delivering an enjoyable package from the buzzing newcomer. —N.O.

Maame Yaa 'Proud Slay Queens' 

What a clapback! Maame Yaa Jackson's response to "Proud Fuck Boys" by Tulenkey and Eddie Khae is frank and hilarious about women's treatment of the questionable men in their lives. Bang on point. —S.K.

Worlasi 'Pawa'

Talented Ghanaian rapper and singer Worlasi starts the year by dropping a new song titled "Pawa," after having released only one song throughout the whole of 2018. The song, a smooth but groovy afrobeats tune produced by Lexyz, sees the artist asking God to give him the "Pawa" to face the stresses of life. From the look of things, Worlasi's brand emphasizes quality over quantity, and this joint right here is a perfect example. —N.O.

KaySo 'Flourish (amen)'

An evergreen theme of triumphalism gets a new look by KaySo, whose new single (and insistent title in brackets) could easily rouse a church, party or market crowd in equal measure. —S.K.

J.Derobie "Poverty" feat. Mr Eazi

J.Derobie is a newcomer to the Ghana music scene whose debut single "Poverty" has had considerable impact. What was just a mobile phone video clip became a complete single and video after his entry was shortlisted into Mr Eazi's "Empawa" program. Poverty is a dancehall song addressing the struggles of life, complete with patois lingo. The song has been endorsed by Jamacian dancehall heavywights Popcaan and Kranium, as well as several top Ghanaian musicians since its release, and the video's views are still steadily climbing. J.Derobie might just be the underdog of the year, and he delivered to us not just a unique story, but an unforgettable tune as well. —N.O.

Flat song title aside, J.Derobie sounds like the real deal in voice, cadence and feeling. The faint shrill in his singing appears genuinely interested in the emotions it is conveying especially one about the pains of growing up poor. —S.K

Sarkodie "I Know" feat. Reekado Banks"

A solid, uplifting chorus from Reekado Banks is the perfect serving for Sarkodie to sermonise with trademark gusto on lofty topics of self believe, endurance and triumphalism. S.K.

E.L 'Collect' feat. Kwesi Arthur

It is not an innuendo if it is explicit but E.L does an impressive job of drawing on all that excites about sexual suggestions in a playful and effective flow and a well sung hook. —S.K.

Wendy Shay 'All For You'

By turns raunchy and sensual, Wendy Shay's "All For You" is a near perfect afropop confection but is not included in the 10 songs that make up her confident debut album, Shay On You, which was released 15 days before. —S.K.

Dancehall singer Wendy Shay of RuffTown Records continues to release a steady stream of content, and this month she released a particularly sweet and infectious afrobeats tune titled "All For You," with fun and colorful visuals to match. The songstress continues to deliver in style, and we're definitely here for it! —N.O.

MzVee "No Be Say I Like You" feat. Ko Jo Cue

Using a time-honoured formula, "No Be Like Say I Like You" combines a catchy and simple hook by MzVee over an uncluttered beat that is well balanced by two effortless verses from Kojo Cue.S.K.

B-NA 'Slave'

B-NA is a new rapper whose age the best search on the internet puts at around 9-years-old. "Slave" is a song about maltreatment of children and shows impressive self-awareness and unusual precocity in the manner she adapts to the beat. More please. —S.K.

Still from "I Like" music video on YouTube

Watch the Music Video for Wizkid and Kojo Funds' New Collaboration 'I Like'

Here's another banger to add to your summer playlist.

Wizkid adds to his list of impressive collaborations with his latest "I Like," a breezy track from London-based rapper and singer Kojo Funds.

As the song's title implies, it's all about the two artists singing about all the things they like about their love interests. Kojo Funds opens the song with a catchy verse, describing his favorite qualities before Wizkid joins him on the second verse. "I'm just trying to be your one and only," Kojo sings on the chorus.

The mid-tempo track, produced by Rymez and G.A, has a light, early 2000's feel that makes it just right for easy summer listening.

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Watch Kirani AYAT's New Music Video for 'Shugah 2x'

A blend of South African house, Ghanaian highlife and afrobeat.

Buzzing Ghanaian act Kirani AYAT comes through with this brand new single and video for "Shugah 2x."

The new track is a bit of a departure from his signature Hausa-rap style, as he decides to tackle more electronic-leaning production.

"Shugah 2x is an experiment I did on my last EP Her Vibe Is Right," Kirani AYAT tells OkayAfrica. "I wanted to do something new from what I'm known for and that was the result, a blend between SA house, Ghana highlife and afrobeat."

The track comes accompanied by a sleek black-and-white video directed by Andy Madjitey. "It's a sexy song and that was the vibe I wanted for the video: sensuality, duality, movements, and flesh," the artist mentions.

Kirani AYAT dropped one of the standout videos of 2018 with "Guda" and continues in good form here with this new one. He more recently collaboarted with NiiQuaye and Akan on the highlife-fusion track "Twa Wonan Ase."

Watch the new music video for "Sugah 2x" below.

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Still from NPR's Tiny Desk Concert

Watch Nigerian-American Rapper Tobe Nwigwe's Tiny Desk Concert

Joined by his wife and seven-week old daughter, the Houston-based rapper brings his Southern sounds to NPR's Tiny Desk.

Houston-raised, Nigerian-American rapper Tobe Nwigwe is the latest artist to grace NPR's TIny Desk Concert Series.

The artist performed a 5-song medley, backed by a full band and four talented backup singers. The artist was also joined at the desk by his wife Fats Nwigwe and their seven-week old daughter.

READ: Tobe Nwigwe Is the Southern Rapper Making "Purpose Popular."

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Here Are All the Samples In Burna Boy's 'African Giant'

This video breaks down all the African Giant samples & interpolations, including songs from Fela Kuti, Magic System, Naughty By Nature, D'banj and more.

Since it dropped, Burna Boy's highly-anticipated album African Giant has been making waves and getting played on constant rotation all over the place.

The 19-track album, which includes features from Angelique Kidjo, Damian Marley, Future, M.anifest, Jorja Smith, Jeremih and more, sees the buzzing Nigerian star delivering several addictive shades of his signature afro-fusion sound as he blends in influences from afrobeat, dancehall, hip-hop, RnB and more.

Listeners have also been spotting some of the many samples and interpolations used across African Giant and now, Sample Chief, a platform for African music knowledge, has put them all together in video form.

Read: Sample Chief Selects 5 of Their Favorite Samples

The samples and interpolations across African Giant include the use of Fela's "Sorrow, Tears & Blood" and Angelique Kidjo's "We WE" (in "Anybody"), Naughty By Nature's "Jamboree" (in "Collatelral Damage"), Magic System's "1er Gaou" ("On The Low"), plus many more from the likes of Stereoman, Ududo Nnobi, Blak Ryno, and D'banj.

Check them all out below courtesy of Sample Chief.

Keep up with Sample Chief by following them on Twitter and Instagram.

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