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New Bell Music Showcases A Fresh Crop Of Cameroonian Rappers On 'Lord Have Mercy' EP

Cameroonian hip-hop label New Bell Music releases 'Lord Have Mercy,' a compilation EP featuring Jovi, Tilla, Reniss, Pascal and Shey.


The artists signed under Cameroonian hip-hop label New Bell Music have never been afraid to experiment. On their latest group effort, the 5-track compilation EP Lord Have Mercy, New Bell’s most recent crop of artists— Tilla, Pascal, and Shey— are joined by more seasoned names like labelhead Jovi and Reniss in a savvy blend of trap, reggae, dancehall, afro-pop and electro. An early forerunner off the project was Tilla's "Pantana,” which plays comfortably with genres such as dancehall in the backdrop of a highlife guitar riff on the chorus as Reniss’ voice soars and Shey pops in with a reggae hook.

>>>Download: New Bell Music's Lord Have Mercy EP

“Charger,” the second track on the EP, is a continuation of Jovi’s experimental trap-phase that started with “Et P8 Koi.” Jovi’s Pidgin-English rap is both serious and frivolous, and it's accompanied by a trap beat laced with an eerie bell toll. Jovi’s rap goes from repetitive, onomatopoeic, lyrical to sing-song in a way which highlights his artistic maturity as he experiments with genres and styles.

Pascal’s flow, accompanied by Shey on the chorus of the third track “Horsepower,” introduces these two artists to the world on a song that tackles social issues. The track's lyrical nature serves as a testament to the potential of both artists, as they switch comfortably between Pidgin-English and French.

Perhaps the most memorable song on the Lord Have Mercy EP is its title track. On it, Tilla's flow is laid back and lyrical with a touch of confidence, a testimony to her rapid evolution as an artist. Meanwhile, Reniss’ verse, which comes on a reggae beat laced with another memorable guitar riff, soars with such flow that her previous afro-pop performances are like a footnote. The song itself highlights New Bell's Pidgin-English catchphrase: “Any time we shoot we no di miss, Lord have mercy on the hater.”

The EP ends on a rather aggressive note, as the artists on the “Et P8 Koi Remix” indulge in a multilingual deluge of ego tripping, which at times sacrifices style in favor of content. It's important though to look at the track as a “concept song,” a continuation of the original with the addition of New Bell's Tilla and Pascal, alongside Teddy Doherty, Zayox, Mic Monsta, Inna Money, and Dareal.

Dzekashu MacViban is a freelance writer and journalist whose work has featured in IDG Connect and goethe.de/kamerun among other places. He can be found on Twitter @Dmacviban.

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Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images

Sudan Declares State of Emergency, As Military Dissolves Transitional Government

As the North African country edged closer to democracy, Sudan's military has seized power.

Sudan's military has seized power over the North African country, arresting multiple civilian leaders, including the current Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The power-sharing, unstable coalition, called the Sovereign Council, was created as a transitional government after the fall of dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019, in an attempt to move towards a democratic Sudan.

The Sudanese public has been split in recent weeks as groups protested for a military-run state, while others pushed for a civilian lead, democratic nation. Last week, the Prime Minister vocalized his plans towards a full transition to civilian rule, and his plans to have that body in place by November 17, echoing the voices of thousands of Sudanese demonstrators who showed up in hoards to demand that the promise of Sudan's pro-democracy movement be honored. But on Monday the PM and multiple government ministers and officials were placed under arrest, resulting in Sudan's top general's declaring State of Emergency.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said in a televised statement, "To rectify the revolution's course, we have decided to declare a state of emergency nationwide… dissolve the transitional sovereign council, and dissolve the cabinet." His statement came as soldiers fired live rounds at anti-military protestors, outside of the army headquarters in the capital.

Internet services were cut across the country around dawn and the main roads and bridges into Khartoum shut, before soldiers stormed the headquarters of Sudan's state broadcaster in the capital's twin city of Omdurman, the ministry said. After months of rising tensions in the country, army and paramilitary troops have been deployed across the capital city, Khartoum, with the airports and internet access being shut down. As a result of the coup, hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets, demanding the return of a civilian ruled and the transitional government, the BBC reports.

Demonstrators have spread to a number of Sudanese cities including Atbara, Wad Madani, and Port Sudan, and more are expected to attend the call for action. "We will not leave the streets until the civilian government is back and the transition is back," protest attendee Sawsan Bashir told AFP. While demonstrator Haitham Mohamed says, "We are ready to give our lives for the democratic transition in Sudan."


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