Audio

DJ Maphorisa’s ‘BlaqBoyMusic’ EP Is a Great Cocktail of Gqom & Trap

The EP features K.O., Moonchild Sanelly, A-Reece, Wichi 1080, Bontle Smith and more.

South African artist, producer, DJ and serial collaborator DJ Maphorisa's latest EP BlaqBoyMusic showcases his diversity. After producing hits for Drake, Kwesta, Shekhinah, and lots more, he ticks more names off his bucket list.


The opening song "Walk ye Phara" is a posse track featuring DJ Raybel, K.O., Moonchild Sanelly and ZuluMakhathini. It's straight gqom, something reminiscent of Maphorisa's smash hit from last year, "Midnight Starring." Moonchild does her thing with a sexually charged verse, as usual. But it's K.O. who steals the show. He sounds at home over a gqom instrumental, which is unfamiliar territory for the rapper. But, for a rapper with one of the most solid flows in SA hip-hop, it's not an unexpected feat.

"Walk ye Phara" will be the last dance song on BlaqBoyMusic until the closing song "Dali," which features Lerato Kganyago and KayLow. It's a cute, heart melting, lovey-dovey track that is both calming and bouncy.

The rest of the project is mostly trap—the bass knocks and the 808s rattle. All songs are curated collaborations, consisting of artist combinations that you wouldn't get anywhere else but here.

Read: The 11 Best South African Trap Producers

Wichi 1080, who you should know as Priddy Ugly's producer, appears on two songs. And both songs that he is featured on bear his signature eardrum-wracking bass line. The producer is also forging his lane as an artist, with an upcoming project in the works.

"She Needs It" is a family gathering as A-Reece brings out his goons from the collective he's part of, The Wrecking Crew.

Every featured artist brings it, but it's Lucasraps who dominates and steals the show with most of his verses. For example, on "Amo," he kills that triple time flow, which is so prevalent in hip-hop it's the standard. But that doesn't mean all rappers excel at it the same.

But this gathering is for more than just rappers and house artists. The singer Bontle Smith, on "Money Calling," provides laidback R&B vocals over cloud trap production.

BlaqBoyMusic is a great gift for a fan of new school rap, with a few diversions that you'll either bump over and over again or skip for your preferred sound. It's a great listen that brings you collaborations you otherwise wouldn't have had for a long time to come.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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