Kasi Rap Meets Trap in Red Button’s New EP ‘Dark Knights’

Listen to Red Button's new EP.

Soweto-born rapper Red Button's latest EP sees the MC and producer updating his sound while still maintaining his kasi rap roots.


The 8-track Dark Knights consists of songs that mostly lean towards trap sonically, and by way of the auto tune on most of the raps. Red Button is still spitting witty punchlines, similes and metaphors, and deploying his great storytelling skills.

Thematically, Dark Knights is light-hearted with a some moments of intensity. The song "Mlindoms (P.R.O)," in which the MC raps about his late mentor, Pro(Kid), isn't somber. It's more a celebration of the Soweto hip-hop legend than it is a lament. The song merges the grit of kasi rap sonically (the beat is reminiscent of "Bhampa" by Pro) with the melodic raps of new school rap.

Red Button has been going through some changes as an artist ( think of songs like "Usabani" and "Life"), and Dark Knights is yet another step forward in his journey. For the longest time, the MC was mostly compared to Pro, as his style resembled that of the late legend. But it's great to watch him grow more towards himself.

Features on the album include the likes of sFs, Mad On Dough, and MarazA among others. The latter spits yet another stellar guest verse on "Jabu Pule."

Listen to Dark Knights below and/or download it here.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.