News Brief
Seun Kuti at Felabration. Photo: OkayAfrica.

Seun Kuti & Fatoumata Diawara Will Perform Live at the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony

Catch them live this Sunday.

The 61st Grammys Awards are coming up this week and, despite their continued use of the questionable "World Music" category, a lot of our favorite African artists are nominated this year.

It's now been revealed that Seun Kuti and Fatoumata Diawara, who are both in the running for an award, will be performing together at the prelude to the 61st Grammy Awards.

The Nigerian afrobeat torchbearer and Malian star singer will be playing live at the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony taking place Sunday, February 10 at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. from 12:30–3:30 p.m. PT. The show will be streaming live on the Grammys official website.


They'll be joined by the prelude host Shaggy and additional performers like singer/songwriter Snatam Kaur, trumpeter Craig Morris, and dance/electronic duo Sofi Tukker. Plus, Ángela Aguilar, Aida Cuevas, and Natalia Lafourcade who will connect to perform the Mexican classic "La Llorona."

Damola previously broke down the Grammy nominations here:

This year, four out of the five nominees for the category are of African descent, including Seun Kuti and his band Egypt 80 for Black Times, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for her album Fento, Niger-born Tuareg musician Bombino for the album Deran, and the Soweto Choir, who performed at OkayAfrica and Global Citizen's Next 100 Summit in Johannesburg just last week, earned a nomination for their album Freedom.

We're rooting for all of these musicians, but it'd be nice if they weren't all lumped into one category, considering they all have very different sounds. We also hoped that with the massive cultural impact of afrobeats, that one of the genre's big names would have made the cut. It's clear that the Grammys remain behind on fully recognizing the talent coming from the continent.

Hip hop has been recognized in a major way this year with the two most nominated artists of 2019 being Kendrick Lamar and Drake with eight and seven nominations respectively. Lamar earned a Best Album nod for his work on the Black Panther soundtrack, which featured a slew of South African artists including Babes Wodumo, Yugen Blakork and more.

The 61st Grammys Awards take place this Sunday, February 10.


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(Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Rejoice! WhatsApp Places New Restrictions on Chain Messages to Fight Fake News

To combat the spread of misinformation due to the coronavirus outbreak, users are now restricted from sharing frequently forwarded messages to more than one person.

The rise of the novel coronavirus has seen an increase in the spread of fake news across social media sites and platforms, particularly WhatsApp—a platform known as a hotbed for the forwarding of illegitimate chain messages and conspiracy theories (if you have African parents, you're probably familiar). Now the Facebook-owned app is setting in place new measures to try and curb the spread of fake news on its platform.

The app is putting new restrictions on message forwarding which will limit the number of times a frequently forwarded message can be shared. Messages that have been sent through a chain of more than five people can only subsequently be forwarded to one person. "We know many users forward helpful information, as well as funny videos, memes, and reflections or prayers they find meaningful," announced the app in a blog post on Tuesday. "In recent weeks, people have also used WhatsApp to organize public moments of support for frontline health workers."

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Images via Getty

Burna Boy, Angelique Kidjo, Trevor Noah & More Earn 2020 Grammy Nominations

Wizkid, Shatta Wale and more were nominated for their work on Beyoncé's 'Lion King: The Gift' while Mr Eazi earned a nod for his contribution to Bad Bunny and J Balvin's 'Oasis.'

The 2020 Grammy nominations have just been announced, and it looks to be a standout year for African artist.

Burna Boy has earned his first-ever nomination in the (albeit dubious) 'Best World Music' category for his celebrated album African Giant. Speaking with Grammy.com about the vision for the album back in August, the artist said: My vision is just to...shine a light on a place and on people and a situation and everything that there hasn't been a light on for a long time."

In that same category is three-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo for her album Celia, which pays homage to the late Afro-Cuban legend Celia Cruz. Burna and Kidjo worked together on the track "Different" from African Giant.

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Sarkodie Hits Hard With His Latest Single 'Sub Zero'

The Ghanaian heavyweight rapper shows up with the fire bars over an Altra Nova-produced beat.

Sarkodie has dropped a new aggressive track in the shape of "Sub Zero."

"Sub Zero" follows the star Ghanaian rapper as he throws back criticisms that have come his way from other rappers with his own ice cold flow. The new track was produced by Ghanaian beatmaker Altra Nova and mixed by PEE On Da BeaT.

"Sub Zero" follows Sarkodie's turn-up single "Bumper," which dropped bak in February.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

8 South African Hip-Hop Battles We’d Love to Watch

After Tweezy and Gemini Major's battle, we'd like to see these ones next.

Last week, Gemini Major and Tweezy, two of South African hip-hop's super producers hopped on the trend of the Instagram Live beat battle started by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, amidst the lockdown enforced to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much to the delight of fans and industry mates alike, Tweezy and Gemini Major showcased their best productions, with many realizing and marveling at the fact that they're the two foremost producers responsible for multiple hits in the South African hip-hop industry for the past 10 years.

South Africa's hip-hop scene has a wide range of producers who have shaped the sound of the country's scene over the years since the 90s and 2000s, to the current crop. Taking that into account, we bring you eight pairs of producers we would like to see go against each other in an IG Live beat battle.


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