popular
(Image courtesy of the artist)

Jelani Blackman Blends UK Grime and R&B In His New EP

The Average Joe EP sees the rapper reflecting on his life: what it's missing and where it's going.

The first thing that will strike you when pressing play on this EP is the impossibly deep baritone of Jelani Blackman's voice. Apparently he makes it higher when speaking normally in order for people to hear him. The rapper, whose lineage combines Ireland, Sierra Leone and Barbados, just did a surprise drop of his new 5-track EP Average Joe, the follow-up to 2018's LockJaw EP. Blackman was born in London and grew up in the golden era of grime music—the influence of which has left its stamp on every single track though his vibe has more of an R&B lean.


Lyrically, Average Joe is a heartfelt album that reads like a diary. Blackman clearly uses his art as a method to sort through his feelings and his life rather than to imagine or create new worlds. A running theme is a sort of nostalgia for things he never knew, lamentations for people and places he's aware he's missed out on. Second track, "Brixton", is a kind of simultaneous love-letter and break-up note to the city he was born in but separated from—along with his father—when he was two. He doesn't know the city at all, and it doesn't know him; yet it is an integral part of his identity. Much of Average Joe explores Blackman's ideas about identity, race, gratitude, self-love and patience.

Jelani Blackman - Brixton (Official Video) www.youtube.com


The music, however, is a little more hard to pin down. Some tracks have dark, heavy-hitting beats that feel like the late hours of a party you should have left long ago ("Cheers") while others sound like a blend of early 2000's Timbaland and a bedroom piano session ("Nobody's Son"). Every track has an element that hits at some electronic manipulation that pairs well with his voice, giving a bit of a modern edge to something that sounds somewhat ancient.

Average Joe, dropped via Blackman's own label 18 Records. Stream it below and listen for yourself.




popular

Davido's Fiancé, Chioma Rowland, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

The Nigerian musician made the announcement via a heartfelt Instagram post on Friday.

Chioma Rowland, the fiancé of star Nigerian musician Davido, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The artist shared the news via Instagram on Friday, writing that he and 31 people on his team decided to get tested after returning back to Lagos from abroad. While he and the rest of his team received negative results, Rowland's test came back positive.

"Unfortunately, my fiancé's results came back positive while all 31 others tested have come back negative including our baby," wrote Davido. He added that they both showed no systems, but would be self-isolating as a safety measure.

"We are however doing perfectly fine and she is even still yet to show any symptoms whatsoever. She is now being quarantined and I have also gone into full self isolation for the minimum 14 days," he added. "I want to use this opportunity to thank you all for your endless love and prayers in advance and to urge everyone to please stay at home as we control the spread of this virus! Together we can beat this!"

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Juls Drops New Music Video for 'Soweto Blues' Featuring Busiswa and Jaz Karis

The Ghanaian-British producer heads to South Africa for the music video for the amapiano-inspired track.

Heavyweight Ghanaian-British producer Juls shares his first offering of 2020, and it does not disappoint.

The producer enlists South African music star Busiswa and London's Jaz Karis for the jazz-inflected "Soweto Blues," which also boasts elements of South Africa's dominant electronic sound, Amapiano. The slow-burner features airy vocals from Karis who features prominently on the 3-minute track, while Busiswa delivers a standout bridge in her signature high-energy tone.

"The song dubbed "Soweto Blues" is a song depicting the love, sadness and fun times that Soweto tends to offer its people," read the song's YouTube description. The video premiered earlier today on The Fader. "The energy is amazing, the people are lovely and I've found a second home — especially the vibrancy of Soweto," the producer told The Fader about his trip to Soweto for the making of the video "Jaz Karis is singing a love song, which is symbolic of my new love of Soweto and I'm honoured to have worked with Busiswa whom I have been a fan of for a long time."

Fittingly, the music video sees Juls traveling through the township, taking in its sights and energy. The video, directed by Nigel Stöckl, features striking shots of the popular area and its skilled pantsula dancers.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Image courtesy of YouTube.

YouTube's Online '#Stay Home... #WithMe' Music Festival Will Keep You Entertained This Weekend

Watch Reekado Banks, Gigi Lamayne, Asa, Skales and other African artists perform live this weekend as part of YouTube's online music festival, 'Stay Home #WithMe'.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo by Annie Risemberg / AFP via Getty Images.

Malians Heading to Voting Polls Despite Coronavirus Outbreak

The Malian government has announced that the parliamentary election scheduled to take place this weekend will continue.

Malians are set to head to the voting polls this coming Sunday in spite of the coronavirus outbreak and a raging jihadist conflict.

AFP reports that President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced that the parliamentary election would continue "in scrupulous respect of protective measures."

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.