News Brief

Listen to Uno July’s New Introspective Single ‘I Am’

If you want to slow it down just a notch, "I Am" is definitely for you.

Save from dropping a few songs and a music video for the Reason-featuring "Guess What I'm Doing," it's been a quiet year for the member for the South African rapper Uno July.


"I Am" goes against the grain. It's December, and people are jamming to up-tempo light-hearted songs, but the MC, who's always been an outlier, drops a smoothie. "I Am" sees the MC spit introspective melodic rhymes over spacious keys, and a healthy bassline that feels like winter, over muffled drums.

"I am underrated, underpaid, with the undying belief that I'm the greatest," he raps. He closes the song by paying homage to his mother who has been supportive in his career: "I am en existence of my mother's daily prayers/ My backbone and confidante when nobody else cared." He tells his life story, citing being an underground mainstay with Ill Skillz, being a visionary, being flawed, and making sure to not lose focus through all hurdles.

If you want to slow it down just a notch, "I Am" is definitely for you.

Listen to "I Am" below or here.

Interview

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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