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'Queernomics' Is An Album About Being A Black Gay Man In South Africa

Listen to GYRE's latest record.

South African rapper GYRE released Queernomics towards the end of 2017. But because the Internet is such a vast space, the album only fell on our radar recently this year.

Queernomics is divided into five chapters: I am Human, Queer Sex, Love, Black. In each chapter, GYRE and his few guests explore the politics of being a black gay man in South Africa, not without flair and bravado.


He talks about white gays, the white gaze, racism, religion, and many other ills a young black gay man has to deal with in South Africa all with a convincing conviction in his delivery. The rapper's English and IsiZulu raps are equally potent.

Peep the wordplay on "Black Jesus": "White home run by a black man/ DAlines, man, you their puppet/ Helen back uzo Zilla/ Abantu bakho bayak'ziba" The album doesn't stop at ills, though.

On songs like "Premium Bottom" and "Eat My Ass," the rapper goes sexual. "Stereotypical when it comes to me/ I'm a black man who loves big black cock," he raps on the latter. Hearing sexual songs from a gay man's perspective is refreshing in a genre (and a world) that is still highly heterosexual.

Sonically, Queernomics reveals a rapper who is in touch with the times. The production on the album, which is handled by J-Word Audio, leans towards the trap side of life. It's characterized by big bass lines, a wide selection of synths, pounding kicks and 808 snares.

Queer rappers are becoming a force to be reckoned with in South Africa, with the likes of Mr Allofit, Andy Mkosi, Dope Saint Jude, among others making wavea. But Queernomics is the one body of work that shares the experience of queerness wholesomely.

Listen to the project below and follow GYRE on Twitter.

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Casanova, Davido & Tory Lanez' '2AM' Will Soundtrack Your Weekend

Flatbush meets Lagos and Toronto in this addictive new single.

Brooklyn rapper Casanova rolls through with an energetic new collaboration with Davido and Tory Lanez.

"2AM" sees the rapper going in over highly-infectious afrobeats-meets-pop beat work, in the same vein as we've heard from massive hits like "Unforgettable." The song was produced by 30 Roc.

The single features the star power of Davido and Tory Lanez which gives "2AM" the increased potential to be one of those huge new jams that'll be getting constant spins this year on both sides of the Atlantic (it's already got the top slot in Spotify's African Heat playlist).

The music video kicks off in Atlanta but eventually follows Casanova to Lagos, where he connects with Davido in Shitta. The clip was directed by Nigeria's Meji Alabi, the creative force behind many of your favorite afrobeats videos.

"2AM" is the lead single from Casanova's upcoming EP, Free At Last, which is due from Roc Nation/Def Jam Recordings on February 15.

We talked to Casanova below to learn a little more about this new collaboration and sound for him.

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Dive Into TOBi's New Music Video For 'City Blues'

The Nigerian-Canadian rapper delivers a solid jam.

TOBi is a Nigerian-born, Toronto-based rapper making music inspired by his early life move to Canada and the experiences around immigration and culture shock.

You might have previously heard his track, "Hidden Fences," closing out the finale of Insecure or gotten into his 2016 debut EP, FYi.

TOBi is now sharing the new single and music for "City Blues," which sees the rapper taking cues from Marvin Gaye's "Inner City Blues" over a beat produced by Free n Losh. It's the first taste we're hearing from his upcoming debut album due later this year.

"[City Blues is] written from one perspective within the African diaspora, pertaining to being caught between two worlds and reclaiming my ethnic identity," TOBi tells OkayAfrica. "Embracing my name has been a crucial part of my personal growth."

"I drew inspiration from the Shakespeare quote: 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts.' City Blues speaks about the many roles that a human takes on at once but from my perspective," he adds.

Get into it below.

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Issa Rae to Star In Murder Mystery Rom-Com, 'The Lovebirds,' With Kumail Nanjiani

Issa Rae isn't playing with us in 2019!

Issa Rae has added yet another exciting project to her growing list for 2019, and we're totally here for it.

The actress and Insecure showrunner is set to star alongside comedian and Silicon Valley star Kumail Nanjiani in the upcoming romantic comedy The Lovebirds, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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