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Mr Eazi's "I No Go Give Up On You"

The 11 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (May)

Featuring Davido, Tekno, Little Simz, Mr Eazi, Wizkid and more.

Here are the best tracks that came out of the buzzing Nigerian scene in May.

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


DMW 'Mafa Mafa' feat. Davido, The Flowolf, Peruzzi & Dremo

Davido, Peruzzi, Dremo and The Flowolf dropped the track "Mafa Mafa" a few months back. The Nigerian artists have now released the accompanying visuals for the collaborative track which was produced by Davido's DMW record label. "Mafa Mafa" is the first official single of the year from DMW. The song sees the artists dropping rap verses back and forth in Yoruba with "Mafa" loosely translating to "Don't pull it." Produced by the talented Nakademus and directed by Director Q, the music video itself is a straightforward one that sees the artists doing their thing and having a ton of fun while they're at it.

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DRB Lasgidi 'Pioneers'

The trendsetting Nigerian collective DRB have released their highly-anticipated debut album, Pioneers. The 12-track album features a slew of notable guest features from Nigeria's youth culture-led alté scene, including Lady Donli, Tems, Odunsi (The Engine), Prettyboy DO, Santi and more, while the heavyweight Nigerian rapper Olamide appears on the track "Shomo." Consisting of members Boj, Fresh L and Teezee, the group named the album Pioneers, to reflect on their roles as "key figureheads within Lagos's rapidly expanding Alté scene." In the spirit of collaboration, the group also worked with young producers like Pheelz and GMK and enlisted the new wave Nigerian artist Edozie Anedu for the the album's standout artwork.

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Little Simz 'might bang, might not'

British-Nigerian rapper Little Simz shares her new EP, Drop 6, which she wrote and recorded within the last month of being on lockdown. The project sees the artist delivering witty, self-assured lyrics on tracks like "might bang, might not," "one life, might live" and retrospective lines on "you should call your mum." It features production from TDE's Kal Banx, OTG, Kadz and more, while singer Alewya features on the closing track "where's my lighter."

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Mr Eazi 'I No Go Give Up On You'

Mr Eazi is back with his latest track, 'I No Go Give Up On You," his latest song since the release of "Kpalanga" at the top of the year. The track, is a mid-tempo love song, with Eazi singing sweetly to his lover about his unwavering feelings for her. He released the track under his ever-growing emPawa initiative, with a humorous visualizer to accompany it. The song was produced by Blaq Jerzee.

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Gorillaz 'How Far?' ft. Tony Allen & Skepta

Gorillaz shared their latest song from their Song Machine series in the form of "How Far?"—a track that features the late afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen, who sadly passed away last week, as well as Skepta. "How Far?" is built on stuttering percussion, orchestral chords, and lead by Skepta's rhymes. In addition, Tony Allen's vocals come in around the 2-minute mark. "The track was written and recorded with Skepta in London just before lockdown and is being shared immediately as a tribute to the spirit of a great man, Tony Allen," a press release states.

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Yung L & Wizkid 'Eve Bounce' Remix

Wizkid joins Yung L on the vibrant new song "Eve Bounce (Remix)." The song is from Yung L's Juice and Zimm EP, taking its name from the fact that it samples Eve's 2002 hit "Let Me Blow Ya Mind.' The remix came about after a social media exchange between the the two Nigerian artists about making new music during quarantine. The afro-dancehall song is totally made for the summer, with its dance-worthy production and airy feel. It features a breezy second verse from Wizkid and a catchy hook that also interpolates Mario's "Let Me Love You."

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TEKNO "Sudden"

Heavyweight Nigerian artist Tekno returns with his latest track, "Sudden." The Spax-produced song relays a socially-conscious message that reflects current conditions in Nigeria that have been heightened due to the pandemic. "The song uses an upbeat tempo to shed light on the current socio-economic situation, corruption and poverty in Nigeria," reads a press release from the artist. "The singer and song writer talks about how 'all of a Sudden,' the prevalent situation has caused majority of Nigerians to plunge deeper into poverty and suffering, with nothing to eat."

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Kiienka "L.A. Girl"

Kiienka is a rising new rapper and producer coming out of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He recently dropped his sophomore mixtape, Spaceman 2.0, a largely self-produced affair that sees him delivering quick-paced melodic lines and rhymas over a mix of trap and R&B beats. Get into standout track "L.A. Girl" above.

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Terri 'Ojoro'

Star Boy's Terri recently dropped the new EP, Afro Series, which features the addictive lead single "Ojoro." This one's got some big replay value, watch the track's music video above.

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Tomi Agape "London"

British-Nigerian Alté singer Tomi Agape recently dropped her latest single titled "London". The smooth and mellow track is the second track set to appear on her upcoming EP due for release later this month. "London" follows the release of "This Way" which dropped earlier this year in March. British-Ghanaian producer Juls works closely with Tomi Agape on "London" to create a feel-good and laidback jam. The measured use of percussive instrumentals adds to the easy feel of the track which pays homage to the British city that has greatly shaped the artist's experience of music.

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Morien 'Maria'

Morien, real name Christoper Chike Ajah, is a fast-rising Afro-pop artist from Enugu, Nigeria. Currently signed to Etins Record, Morien's latest self-titled EP is a stunning Afrobeats offering from a new-wave artist who's easily set to follow in the footsteps of music heavyweights such as Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy and many others.

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Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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