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Okayafrica's Top Ten Nigerian Songs Of 2013

We run down Okayafrica's Top Ten Nigerian Songs of 2013 from Temi Dollface to Bez.


As Nigeria continues to be a hotbed for a new wave of popular music coming out of Africa, it only felt right to spotlight the Naija songs that grabbed our attention in 2013. From a Blackmagic slow burner to an Ice Prince head nodder, from Phyno's indigenous rap to Bez's alt-soul crooning, from the massive collabs to the first-looks, we bring to you, in no particular order, a run-down of our Top Nigerian Songs of 2013. Play on:

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SDC "Feel Alright"

The hip-hop duo made up of Ghost and Tec blessed us early in the year with their mid-tempo exposé on dealings with the opposite sex. Ghanaian producer DJ Juls laces the joint with a smooth highlife beat, which also features vocal help from DRB LasGidi crooner Boj and quotables from buzzing wordsmith Poe.

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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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