News Brief

OkayAfrica's Weekend Guide

There’s a deluge of cool events happening across Africa and the diaspora this weekend and OkayAfrica’s weekend guide is where you’ll find them.

There’s a deluge of cool events happening across Africa and the diaspora this weekend and OkayAfrica’s weekend guide is where you’ll find them.


NEW YORK CITY—The International African Arts Festival will host its opening ceremony Libation on Sunday, June 4. This year's event will be a tribute to ancient and modern Ghana in honor of the country's 60th year of independence. The event will feature performances by Blitz the Ambassador and the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater. Get more information on this event, here.

BROOKLYN—The Brownsville Heritage House will host its monthly "Pan-African Experience" night on Saturday, June 3. The organization describes the event as "a monthly celebration of our Black heritage where music, games, discussions and performances mingle." Find more info on this event, here.

PHILLY—The 10th annual Roots Picnic is going down this Saturday, June 3 at Festival Pierre at Penns Landing. There will be performances by Michael Kiwanuka, Tunji Ige, Solange, Pharrell and more. Get your tickets here.

JOHANNESBURG—The monthly Soweto Arts and Crafts Fair takes place this Saturday at the Soweto Theater. The event is a platform for local artists to sell and display their work and gain exposure in the process. There will be food, drinks and handcrafted goods available for purchase. More on this event, here.

JOHANNESBURG—The Word N Sound Poetry League will kick off this Saturday at Market Theater in Newtown. There event is a search for the cities most talented poets, "The 'classified experiment' seeks to produce the deadliest, bravest agents of change the poetry scene has ever experienced, says the organization. Read more about it here.

LONDON—The African Gospel Music & Media Awards take place this Saturday, June 3 at Stratford Circus Arts Centre in London.

"Join us at the African Gospel Music & Media Awards 2017 #AGMMA2017, a night of celebration, elegance and rewarding and appreciating excellence in gospel music and affiliated. This night will feature some of the most accomplished and some up-and-coming-gospel in a night of exuberant praise," reads the event's description. Check here for more details.

What to Listen To:

For a playlist of the best songs that came across our desk this week, check out OkayAfrica’s Weekend Playlist, featuring tracks from Davido, 2Baba, RedRed and more. You can stream it below.

Interview

Sarkodie Is Not Feeling Any Pressure

The elite Ghanaian rapper affirms his king status with this seventh studio album, No Pressure.

Sarkodie is one of the most successful African rappers of all time. With over ten years of industry presence under his belt, there's no question about his prowess or skin in the game. Not only is he a pioneer of African hip-hop, he's also the most decorated African rapper, having received over 100 awards from close to 200 nominations over the span of his career.

What else does Sarkodie have to prove? For someone who has reached and stayed at the pinnacle of hip-hop for more than a decade, he's done it all. But despite that, he's still embracing new growth. One can tell just by listening to his latest album, No Pressure, Sarkodie's seventh studio album, and the follow-up to 2019's Black Love which brought us some of the Ghanaian star's best music so far. King Sark may be as big as it gets, but the scope of his music is still evolving.

Sonically, No Pressure is predominantly hip-hop, with the first ten tracks offering different blends of rap topped off with a handful of afrobeats and, finally, being crowned at the end with a gospel hip-hop cut featuring Ghanaian singer MOG. As far as the features go, Sark is known for collaborating mostly with his African peers but this time around he branches out further to feature a number of guests from around the world. Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs, the crème de la crème of rap in America and the UK respectively all make appearances, as well as Nigeria's Oxlade, South Africa's Cassper Nyovest, and his fellow Ghanaian artists Darkovibes and Kwesi Arthur.

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