Music
Photo by Sabelo MKhabela

You Are Going to Love Riky Rick’s ‘Stay Shining’ EP

Riky Rick bares his soul while making you dance on his latest EP, 'Stay Shining.'

South African rapper Riky Rick loves you, and he wants you to be your best. But he's also not shy to remind you that he dresses better than you.


On his latest EP, Stay ShiningStay Shining, King Kotini opens up about seriously personal issues, like missing his private life which celebrity has stripped him of. He raps on "Joy," the opening song after the ominous "Jordans Intro":

"I had a dream about last night/ I'm really missing my past life/ Ain't got no love for the fast life/ I remember walking in the mall without people begging for pictures/ Baby mama mad 'cause I'm travelling over Christmas/ the other day, my son called me by my stage name/ I thought it was funny, it took a moment for me to think about it and understand what it means."

"Joy" is an oxymoron because the instrumental, which has kwaito and bubblegum influences tells you to hit the dancefloor, yet Riky pours is heart out, it's so hard to dance.

The song is microcosm of most of the project, as Riky tells his story, holding very little back, over music that induces happiness with catchy rhythms and hard-hitting 808s.

To prove that Stay Shining isn't just a collection of random songs, Riky's guests drop fitting verses. A-Reece on "Pick You Up," gives us a glimpse into a tumultuous time from his recent past, recording his debut album Paradise. He raps, "Funny thing about this whole shit, making Paradise was a living hell/ I don't even have a clue how the album did , but I know I'm doing well," over reserved synths and a big bass line.

Nasty C reflects on fake friends, his place in the industry and shares some advice from his father ("I reconciled over my father over some good food/ He told me nothing could travel slower than good news") on the Tshego-assisted "Vapors."

That's before Riky gives us yet another extremely personal account of his glamorous life, regretting missing his mother's birthday and looking richer than he actually is:

"I thought life is easy after you blow up
I guess life is harder when you grow up
I'm stressed out, I'm thinking about what to do
When I started rapping, it wasn't about the moves
It was about copping sneakers and macking honeys
Now it's all about hype and making money
And plus I got the text man tryna take it from me
I'll probably never make a real million in this country
I know a lot of rappers who bubbling in the hood
I'm in a nice house, they struggling in the hood
So when they see me shining, they thinking I'm good"









On Stay Shining, Riky is introspecting when he isn't telling you he dresses better than you—which is highly likely to be true. After gracing the cover of GQ Fashion earlier this year, hanging out with A$AP Rocky and rocking Gucci like it ain't a thing, the rapper is the trendiest among his counterparts. And we are totally here for it.

Songs like "Stay Shining," "Buy It Out," and "Buy It Out Remix," see the man loosen up a bit and celebrate himself. While "Murdah" is a love song that, sonically, fuses afrobeats and dancehall by way of Davido and Gemini Major.

On "Buy It Out Remix," Riky enlists an array of fellow fashion killer rappers: J Molley, Frank Casino, KLY, Stilo Magolide, YoungstaCPT, Frank Casino, and the father of South African new school rap Da L.E.S (Riky introduces him as "the OG of this swag shit," which is an undisputed fact). We are seeing few and fewer posse tracks in South African rap, and Riky just gave us one to debate over who had the best verse.

Stay Shining is a balanced body of work that shows us different sides of Riky Rick, just like his 2015 debut album Family Values did. And he keeps the music interesting and varied without trying too hard.

Listen to Stay Shining below, and buy it on iTunes.

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Photo still via TIFF.

Watch the Striking Trailer for 'Farming'—Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Directorial Debut

This is a must-watch.

The trailer for Farming, Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's directorial debut, is here.

"Between the 1960s and the 1980s, thousands of Nigerian children were farmed out to white working class families in the UK," the trailer begins. "This is the true story of just one of them."

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Politics
Image by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr.

#IStandWithIlhan: Supporters Rally Behind Ilhan Omar Following Racist 'Send Her Back' Chant

"I am here where I belong, at the people's house, and you're just going to have to deal,"—Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Social media continues to rally behind Representative Ilhan Omar, following a series of racist remarks targeted at her and several other congresswoman of color by President Donald Trump.

The president doubled down on his racist rhetoric during a re-election rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, attendees began chanting "send her back," referring to Omar—echoing anti-imigrant remarks that the president tweeted last week, in which he wrote that four congresswomen of color: Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib should "go back" to where they came from.

This is far from the first time that Omar has been on the receiving end of racist and Islamophobic attacks and referred to as un-American on account of her Somali heritage.

READ: Op-Ed: In Defense of the Black Boogeyman

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Sir Elvis in "Loving Man" (Youtube)

6 African Country Musicians You Should Check Out

Featuring Sir Elvis, Jess Sah Bi & Peter One, Emma Ogosi and more.

With Lil Nas X's EP going straight to number on the American charts, it seems like country music revival is taking over 2019 and beyond, thanks to its unlikely fusion with trap music. It only makes sense that black people are reclaiming the genre, as country was actually partly created by black American artists and heavily influenced by gospel music.

On top of that, plenty of lesser known black artists and bands are making country, or country-infused, music. This is especially the case in Africa, where the genre has been around for a few decades and an increasing number of musicians are gaining momentum. By gaining popularity in Africa, country is coming back to its roots, as country guitar and the way of playing it was originally inspired by the banjo— an instrument that African slaves brought with them to America.

Country music has a strong appeal across the African continent for several reasons: the similarity with many African instruments and the recurring lyrics and themes about love, heartbreak and "the land." At the heart of it, country music has an appeal to working class people all over the world who feel let down by the people that were supposed to help them.

Country music is played regularly on the radio in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi but yet, the artists featured are overwhelmingly white and American. African country singers do not get the respect they deserve or are seen as anomalies. With the growing number of them making country music, here is a list of the ones you need to listen to right now.

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