News

These American Artists Are Loving Nigerian Pop On Instagram

Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Jay Electronica, Drake and Jay Z are showing their affinity for Nigerian pop through a bunch of Instagram posts.


It's no secret that West African artists have been blowing up all over the American and European market for years now. A recent wave of new transatlantic collaborations has seen Nigerian and Ghanaian artists featured on tracks alongside some of hip-hop's biggest names — a trend that can be traced back to Akon's rise and Kanye West signing D'banj which has recently sparked joint efforts from Meek Mill and DavidoSarkodie and Ace Hood, Don Jazzy and Jay Electronica, Fetty Wap and Ayo, Rick Ross and P-SquareWizkid getting remixed by Drake and Skepta, and more. On top of the numerous collaborations, we've come across some Instagram gems of artists like Swizz Beatz, Alicia Keys, and Jay Z showing their affinity for Nigerian pop, check them out below.

Swizz Beatz jumping on Wizkid's "Ojuelegba" wave.

Alicia Keys also getting in on the action. 

This song makes me happy🌟🌟🌟 #goodvibes @wizkidayo 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A video posted by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on

Then, water dancing to Skales' "Shake Body." 

#AKwaterdance with you-know-who on the adlibs 😂😂😂😂😂👯👯🐠🐠🏊🏽💃🏽

A video posted by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on

And the couple dancing to L.A.X and Wizkid's "Caro."

Happy Feet jamming @wizkidayo

A video posted by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on

Jay Electronica in Don Jazzy's studio while recording "Get Down."

Studio Session with rapper extraordinaire Jay Electronica @THETALENTEDMRFLOWERS #SMD #RocNation @Rocnation

A photo posted by Don Dorobucci (@donjazzy) on

Davido linking up with Future in Atlanta.

OBO X HENDRIX 😈

A photo posted by Davido Adeleke (@davidoofficial) on

(North American) Drake repping the cover art to his Wizkid remix alongside Skepta.

@wizkidayo @skeptagram

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

And, of course, H.O.V.A. and Ice Prince.

🙏 #Roc The story Loading... Ice|Hov

A photo posted by Panshak Zamani (@iceprincezamani) on

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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