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Video Premiere: Akua Naru 'Tales of (Wo)Men' (Live In Session)

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Ghanaian-American multifaceted wordsmith — and "Okayplayer-to-watch" — Akua Naru comes through with another “Live & Aflame” session in Cologne alongside the DigFlo band. For the new clip she flips the title to her organic "Tales of Men" jam, performing it now with live flutes, arpeggio-ed guitar and a massive horn-section (stick through to 4-minute mark for that). Akua Naru's Live & Aflame Sessions, an inspired live revisit of 2011's The Journey Aflame, is coppable now. Stream it in its entirety below. Also, don't forget to check out Akua's Fela cover with ?uesto, Angelique Kidjo and Tune-Yards.

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(Youtube)

7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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