Africa In Your Earbuds

AFRICA IN YOUR EARBUDS #76: Teju Cole x Chief Boima

For our latest AIYE, Nigerian-American author Teju Cole and DJ Chief Boima showcase the West African & Caribbean sounds heard out in NYC.

For our latest Africa In Your Earbuds, Nigerian-American author Teju Cole continues where his 'One Night In Lasgidi' mixtape left off.


Instead of Lagos, Teju's new selections—which are expertly mixed here by Chief Boima—soundtrack one of his nights out in New York City. "For a Lagosian like myself," he explains in his accompanying original short text, "New York City is a continuation of Lagos." 

Get lost in Teju Cole and Chief Boima's AIYE #76 mix of Nigerian, West African, and Caribbean sounds below and read Teju's thoughts about the his nights out in NYC underneath. 

One Night in New York City

It’s a trick title, of course, since there’s no single “one night in New York City” that can stand in for them all. There are sixteen million nights in New York City every night. But it’s also true that “one night in New York City” might make people think of the downtown scene of the '70s, or CBGB, or The Factory.

They want you to think New York at night is white people doing white people things, the same way they fooled the world into thinking Sex and the City, Friends, and Seinfeld represented this place. Or, if black, then we are talking about African-American culture: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem, jazz clubs in times gone by, and the glory days of hip-hop.

But we all live in a highly particularized “now.” I’m thinking now about something the novelist Aleksandar Hemon said, if he was the one who said it, if my memory is correct. He’d written something, in his brilliant and unconventional way, and an editor had said, “Actually we don’t say it that way.” Hemon had responded: “Well, now we do.”

What is one club night in New York City? Highly subjective. Mine are many and varied. But more and more, they’re neither white nor, in any simple way, black. What they are is Nigerian, and West African, and African. They are Caribbean, and African-American, and black diasporic, all mixed up together.

This playlist reflects one such night, crammed largely with recent Naija pop. In a strange sort of way, for a Lagosian like myself, New York City is a continuation of Lagos, and it’s only logical that my New York City playlist continues seamlessly where my Lagos playlist ended.

With each passing year, there are more and more spots in the city where this precise combination of sounds—Afrobeats, hip-hop, coupé decale, dancehall, ndombolo, and R&B—is the order of the night. Are you in Bed Stuy or Harlem or Victoria Island? It gets hard to tell. Just about everyone in the crowd has a flexible foot in some other world.

These, by the way, are the places where you meet the most insouciantly gifted dancers in town. If someone is tempted to say that maybe that’s not really classically New York City enough, I’d spin Hemon’s line and say: now it is.

Shout out to the brother Chief Boima for his mixological ear and his international heart.

Catch Chief Boima playing with Kondi Band at Transmusicales Festival in Rennes on November 30.

AIYE #76 cover artwork by DJ Underdog.

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Photo credits: Deeds Art

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.

It has been a fantastic year for Tems. The Nigerian singer, producer, and songwriter achieved a platinum record for eternal banger Essence, her collaboration with fellow Nigerian superstar Wizkid, an MTV EMA nomination for Best African Artist, a billion worldwide video views, and over 350 million audio streams. Not to mention featuring on Canadian rapper Drake's blowout album Certified Lover Boy, the singer has also sold out every show she's booked.

The release of Tems's sophomore EP If Orange Was a Place solidified her place amongst the greats and it was received with gusto by fans and international audiences. A month after the release the Afrobeats singer has graced fans with a sultry music video to go along with equally as tantalizing lead single Crazy Tings. Conceptualized by the multitalented Tems, and directed by UAX, the music video follows a sensual Tems as she sings about needing space from a lying partner.

International audiences continue to rave over the songstress, with Tems delivering an impressive US TV debut on late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! this month. Essence continues to top international charts. While becoming the official song of the summer, the track peaked on the Billboard 100 Top 10, becoming the most Shazamed song in the United States and was remixed by Canadian musical heavyweight Justin Bieber, becoming the first song written by Nigerian artists to hit No.1 on Urban Radio.

Tems has been producing consistent hits since her debut in September 2020, and a year later, the singer's immense talent is securing her reputation as a world-class superstar.

Check out Tem's music video for single 'Crazy Tings' below

Tems - Crazy Tings (Official Video) www.youtube.com

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