8 South African Albums and EPs to Stream Right Now

Here are 8 South African albums and EPs to stream while staying home.

It's clear to a lot of people that the lockdown enforced to curb the spread of Covid-19 won't be over anytime soon. With many countries around the world discovering new cases of the virus, governments have placed their countries on lockdown, encouraging everyone to stay at home.

Below are some South African releases that came out in April and May that we recommend. From Priddy Ugly's fittingly titled Lockdown Extended to ASAP Shembe's spiritual debut album Amarekere and Focalistic's lively raps on Quarantined Tarantino, among others, we bring you 7 South African albums and EPs to stream while staying home.

​Priddy Ugly 'Lockdown Extended'

Priddy Ugly's voice shapeshifts from high-pitch to baritone over Wichi 1080's pulverizing basslines. Priddy Ugly's playful character and unique flows keep finding new ways to connect with Wichi's production. The pair has been formidable since the release of Priddy Ugly's You Don't Know Me Yet EP in 2016. On Lockdown Extended, things aren't different.

​ASAP Shembe 'Amarekere'

ASAP Shembe's debut album spans 11 songs. Brevity is necessary for a project that's dense with personal stories told using different techniques. ASAP Shembe's vocals carry his message with the urgency and sensitivity it deserves and the decorated contemporary production makes it palatable for the modern listener.

​Spoek Mathambo 'Tales From The Lost Cities'

Tales From The Lost Cities is already being hailed by critics as one of the most important albums of 2020. Spoek Mathambo's raps tap into the zeitgeist by touching on issues such as land reform, poor governance, student riots and other ills faced by South Africans today.

Focalistic 'Blecke'

One of South Africa's exciting hip-hop artists Focalistic gifts fans with another mash-up of amapiano production and his minimalist raps. Focalistic hasn't had a misstep thus far, and Blecke is yet another impressive entry in his growing catalog.

​Elizee 'BLK SHP'

Newcomer Elizee released an EP that caught the attention of both music lovers and fellow artists. BLK SHP is a collection of emo raps and whizzing vocals a la 6Lack. The EP strikes a balance between self-introspection and self-assurance—a cognitive dissonance many people can relate to.

​Buli' 'Blue'

Blue is a collection of mostly instrumental tracks by electronic music producer Buli. The production is defined by airy pads that make Blue a monolithic hypnotic listen that could act as a pleasing escape from reality in these trying times.

​Focalistic 'Quarantined Tarantino'

In Quarantined Tarantino, Focalistic manages to strike a balance between his hip-hop roots and his recent flirtations with amapiano and kwaito. His interpretation of the beats he picked and the usage of Pitori slang are some of the factors that differentiate him from his counterparts.

​popsnotthefather 'NNNN'

popsnotthefather challenges his listeners with the sonically diverse NNNN (an acronym for "Not Now, Not Never"). NNNN reveals an artist with a knack for experimentation and has nothing to prove to anyone.

Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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