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Sjava. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Sjava Says Future and Young Thug's Music Has Zulu Melodies, And He’s Right

Spot. On.

South African ATM (African Trap Music) artist Sjava's appearance on Black Panther The Album is one for the books. Through it, he introduces the ATM subgenre to the world. So does his Ambitiouz Entertainment labelmate Saudi on the song "X," featuring ScHoolboy Q and 2 Chainz, on the same album.

Sjava's music is trap but it draws influences from many South African genres like maskandi, mbhaqanga and traditional gospel, among others.

Speaking to Ebro on his Beats 1 show last week, Sjava said when he first heard trap music in 2013, it sounded familiar.


"When I listened to trap," he says, "I felt like I'd heard this before. I've heard these melodies all my life. It's just that now they are in English. When I heard trap, the melodies to me were too traditional. Because at the end of the day, we are all from Africa, it's just that they are overseas and all of that. Somewhere somehow, we are still linked within the music."

Ebro then asked the artist what trap song he feels is the most African, to which Sjava answered:

"Young Thug's 'Wyclef Jean.' On the hook, the way he did, that's straight up… there's a church, it's called Zion church, they are very good when it comes to music, the churches even have albums, very musical, Zion churches are very musical.
"So I think Future and Young Thug, they are the ones that have the melodies that I'm talking about, they are very African and very Zulu."



Listening to that Young Thug song again, Sjava has a point. The drawls and dilatory melodies do resemble those of the Zion church's music. Future's the same.

Listen to the whole interview here and revisit Sjava's gold-certified masterpiece Isina Muva below.

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These Are The 10 Hottest South African MCs of 2019 According to MTV Base

Nasty C tops the list of MTV Base's Hottest MCs list for 2019.

After a discussion that spanned over two episodes that aired yesterday and today, MTV Base has finally released the full list of their annual hottest MCs. Nasty C, who many felt deserved the number one spot last year, is leading this year.

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South African Opera Singer Pretty Yende Receives Italian Knighthood

The South African-born international opera singer has been awarded the Ordine Stella d'Italia for her work in building extraordinary relations between Italy and other countries.

International opera singer Pretty Yende is South Africa's golden girl.

The award-winning artist is the recipient of the Ordine Stella d'Italia or The Order/Knight of the Star of Italy for her work in building extraordinary relations between Italy and other countries. The award was recently given to her by the Italian Consul's Emanuele Pollio in Cape Town according to TimesLIVE.

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Burna Boy. Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage (via Getty Images).

The 20 Best Nigerian Songs of 2019

Featuring Burna Boy, Rema, Tiwa Savage, Zlatan, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Teni, Davido, Lady Donli and many more.

2019 was another huge year for Nigerian music.

Zlatan's presence was ubiquitous and powered by the zeal for zanku, a dance which is now de rigueur. Rema led the charge for a group of young breakthrough artists that include Fireboy DML and Joeboy. They all represent an exciting crop of talents that point the way forward for Nigerian pop.

Burna Boy's new dominance, built around his excellent African Giant album, delivered on his rare talents, while the long wait for Davido's sophomore album, A Good Time, paid off in satisfying fashion. Simi's Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. 1 announced her departure from her longterm label. Tiwa Savage also made a highly-discussed move from Mavin Records to Universal Music Group. Meanwhile, Yemi Alade exuded female strength with her latest record, Woman of Steel.

Not to be left out, Wizkid sated demands for his fourth album with a new collaborative EP following a year of stellar features that included his presence on Beyoncé's Lion King: The Gift, an album which also boasts Tekno, Mr Eazi and Tiwa Savage. Mr Eazi also notably launched his emPawa initiative to help fund Africa's promising up-and-coming artists.

Asa returned in a formidable form with Lucid, while buzzing artists like Tay Iwar, Santi, and Lady Donli all shared notable releases. Lastly, the beef between Vector and M.I climaxed and sparked a resurgence of Nigerian rap releases from Phyno to Ycee, PsychoYP and more.

Read on for the best Nigerian songs of 2019. Listed in no particular order. —Sabo Kpade

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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OkayAfrica Presents: 'The Adinkra Oracle' December Reading with Simone Bresi-Ando

We're back with another Adinkra reading from Simone Bresi-Ando to help guide you through the end of the year—and the end of the decade.

It's the a new month and that means we're ready for a new Adinkra reading from Simone Bresi-Ando to help you navigate your December.

After cleansing the space, Simone will pull five Adinkra Ancestral Guidance Cards from a deck of 44 Adinkra symbols—these cards help to channel information, messages and direction from your ancestors using Adinkra symbols when read correctly. Remember, as Simone says, "these readings tell you what you need to know and not necessarily what you want to know—our ancestors are emotionally pure."

Simone gives a general reading of what December has in store to help you know what actions and thoughts are necessary to get the best out of the month. This is a special installment as it also guides you through the end of the year—and the end of the decade.

Watch below.

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