Audio

The 4 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Check out the best tracks, videos, mixtapes and releases that came across our desks this week.

At the end of the week, we’ll be highlighting the creme of the crop in music and rounding up the best tracks, videos, mixtapes and releases that came across our desks throughout the last few days.


Check out this week’s selections below.

May D recruits Akon and Davido

Mister May D returns with his new single "Hustle," a catchy track built on sparkling keyboards and a booming beat. The Nigerian singer pulled out the big guns for this one, recruiting Akon and man-of-the-moment Davido to join him on the track.

May D shines with his on-and-off auto-tuned verse but, for our money, Davido has the best bars on this one. May D's people mention to Okayafrica that the single is "afrobeat meets trap" and will released on his forthcoming album.

The return of Baloji

Congolese-born, Belgium-based rapper & producer Baloji dropped some of last year's hand-down best music videos—a stunning love letter to the Congo and his politically-steeped Kinshasa dance video.

After some unfortunate label limbo, Baloji's now signed with Bella Union and is marking the occasion by sharing the throwback dance video for "Spoiler."

"[The video was] shot on film in Kinshasa with four generations of Congolese musicians, from Bakolo Music International (the late, great Wendo Kolosoy’s musicians) to Malage De Lugendo of the popular '70s band Zaiko Langa Langa, as well as singer Klody Ndongala who became famous in the '90s singing in La Vie Est Belle alongside Congolese star Papa Wemba," Baloji tells Okayafrica.

Kojey Radical's celebration of struggle

Kojey Radical is one of the London musicians redefining the Black British experience. The UK-Ghanaian spoken word artist and rapper drops yet-another completely stunning music video with "Gallons."

“‘Gallons’ is the kind of record I want played very loudly at my funeral,” Kojey Radical tells Dazed Digital, “It’s how I feel every time I see my brothers get stopped and searched or when I hear about another person of colour amount to nothing more than commemorative hashtag. ‘Gallons’ is a uniting of class, it’s a celebration of struggle. The conversation doesn’t die when you kill us. Seeds of positivity will ensure that the beauty in all our differences will come together and grow for future generations.”

Vic Mensa confronts police shootings

Vic Mensa's new video for "16 Shots," the latest single from his new EP There's A Lot Going On, sees the Chicago rapper tackling a sadly all-too-familiar subject nowadays.

The video follows Mensa as he's beaten, tased, and eventually shot by police officers. The Ace Norton-directed music video is spliced with dash cam footage of the shooting of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police in 2014, the tragic event that inspired the song.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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