Wizkid & Dj Spinall.

The 11 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month

Featuring Olamide, Yemi Alade, Adekunle Gold, Simi, Tekno, Wizkid, DJ Spinall and more.

True to band wagons and people who jump on them, South Africa's gqom takeover of Nigerian pop is now in full swing, with even more impressive efforts being made by an increasing number artists, of which three outstanding ones make the cut this month.

March also sees the release of long touted projects by Mr. 2Kay (Elevated) and Dammy Krane (Leader Of The Street)—as well as It's Complicated, the surprisingly excellent EP by Wale.

Read on for our selection of the best Nigerian pop releases of March.

Yemi Alade "Bum Bum"

Pitched confidently between dancehall and galala, "Bum Bum" is taken from the pot of gems that is Black Magic, Yemi Alade's superb third album.

Adekunle Gold "Ire"

Adekunle Gold's "Ire" is the satisfying result of plaintive singing and lofty songwriting whose spirituality calls out strongly, as is expected from one of Nigeria's most philosophical singers.

Juls, Moelogo, Siza & Dj Tunez “Oshey”

The second excellent marrying of sensitive songwriting and elegant production between Juls and Moelogo off his Ojekoo EP, after the delight that was "Eji Owuro" off Juls' Leap Of Faith.

Tekno "Yur Luv"

Doubly impressive is that Tekno has also produced what is already a fine, fine song which doesn't veer off his established template of mellow live overtures.

Mr Real “Legbegbe”

The streets of Durban and Lagos merge on this near-perfect grafting of Nigerian pop on South African house.

Kheengz “Alhamdulillah” ft. Ice Prince

Trap-Hausa gains concrete grounds on this collabo by Kheengz and Ice Prince on what, in truth, is a brag-swag masquerading as a thanksgiving.

Sean Tizzle “Belinda”

The very idea of a Sean Tizzle and KrizBeatz collabo is the potent blend it turns out to be on "Belinda," a delightful highlife confection by the consistently impressive but still underrated Tizzle and ace producer, which ought to get the replays it deserves.

Reminisce “Problem”

It was always going to be interesting to hear Reminisce's take on gqom considering his rich gruff voice and Street King persona of which he does a good job on "Problem."

Wizkid & DJ Spinall “Nowo”

The high-level of song creation Wizkid continues to operate on may never become boring or repetitive—and long may it continue. To think that he's said to have bags of the stuff vaulted from release.

Simi “Complete Me”

Who else, better than Ms Mild Mannered, could posit a show of vulnerability as a show of strength?

Olamide "C.Ronaldo"

The one where Olamide, once again, deploys the gruff charm in his Lagos Roadman voice to rich depths, albeit over production from the top layer of South African house.


7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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