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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.




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Wizkid Spoils Fans By Dropping the Music Video For 'No Stress'

Oh, you thought he was done for the day?

All in a day's work! Nigerian superstar Wizkid is climbing his way further and further up the charts (and our lists of favourites) by releasing visuals to accompany track "No Stress," off of his freshly released album Made In Lagos.

It's hard not to move to the track on its own, and now we have a plethora of beautiful African women to virtually jam out with. The release of the second single off the high anticipated MIL album comes as Wizkid toyed with fans by simply tweeting "No Stress."

So far, the album has amassed over a million streams in under 24 hours on Boomplay. The 14-track album features music heavy weights including Burna Boy, Skepta, Damian Marley, H.E.R., Ella Mai and Terri.

The album was originally meant to drop two weeks ago, but with the political and social terror occurring presently in his home country Nigeria, Wizkid chose to delay it.

Watch the music video for "No Stress" by Wizkid below.

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