Your weekly dose of the best new sounds on the continent!
We're still living in a pandemic and its endless resulting effects, but at least we've had an ample serving of tunes to keep us company. Each week, the B.Side staff will round up a guide to the hottest songs on the continent. Dig in and enjoy.
SuperSmashBroz x BUJU x Moliy - “Sweet Body”
The Brixton-born and raised Nigerian American DJ/production duo, better known as the SuperSmashBroz, delivered the deluxe edition of their excellent 2020 offering, Black Soap, this week and nestled in the first three tracks is the incredibly subtle “Sweet Body”. With BUJU producing a trademark melodic hook and songstress Soliy doing her best Amaraae impersonation, the product is an infectious sleeper, achieved by a blend of inflections the brothers create so consistently.
Kida Kudz (feat. Bella Shmurda) - "Ball Till We Fall"
This surprisingly potent attempt at slick lyricism over a percussive-led bounce works exceptionally well in the favour of Kida Kudz, whose feature selection has to be given praise for the sheer amount of versatility he possesses. Very few artists have the street appeal to make a song with Bella Shmurda and have a two-year-old underground hit with Santi at the same time. The upbeat rhythm provides enough room for both artists to shine with Bella Shmurda afforded a full verse to express satisfaction with his recently acquired fame and success, stunting on haters bilingually.
King Promise - "Slow Down"
Showing off his diverse R&B influenced palette, the Twi and English-performed “Slow Down” has an uptempo, arguably pop feeling to it, eliciting King Promise’s innate ability to find his feet in most dynamic sounds. Powered by Killbeatz’ percussion-heavy approach, the introduction of a violin shortly before the drop displays the level of intricacy put into the record, which is why it is our Afro-R&B pick of the week.
Elaine - "Right Now"
Savvy South-African R&B songstress Elaine marks her return to the scene with a polished slow burner titled “Right Now”. Off the back of her impressive 2019 debut record, she sticks with her favored blend of the R&B that made her an instant success, presenting a clearer picture of exactly what message has in store for audiences. Proclaiming her need for focus, she shakes off any potential distractions in favour of a one-minded pursuit of success with lyrics like “can’t afford to lose right now, I’m in my bag right now.”
Tay and Sute Iwar - "Swayy"
The Iwars continue to push the envelope for progressive, Nigerian-made yet globally appealing R&B/Soul records. With “Swayy” the brothers produce a cacophony of drums and strings, backed by a breathy hook courtesy of Tay and notable rhyme schemes by Sute. The lead single to Sute’s upcoming 199X album does not sacrifice an immaculate bounce for lyrical supremacy and we are grateful for it.
Smallgod, Headie One & O’Kenneth (feat. Kweku DMC & LP2Loose) - "Sinner"
Ghana delivers yet another intercontinental drill anthem, touching base with one of London’s certifiable drillers, Headie One. The Asakaa banger was created by Ghanian rapper Smallgod, in collaboration with his fellow natives O’Kenneth and Kweku DMC and UK drill lords Headie One and LP2Loose. Charging between Twi and strongly enunciated British English, all parties produce one of the more memorable moments in a growing list for the Ghanian drill scene. Anchored by N64 production, the visuals are a perfect representation of the extent to which the culture has been aggregated and localised, creating an entirely new beast.
Olamide - "Rock"
Possibly the most industrious amongst the top crop of Nigerian legacy artists, Olamide returns with an infectiously whimsical new record as the lead single to his tenth full-length studio album, UY Scuti. “Rock” seems to recreate some of the magic from 2019’s Totori and he achieves it without the aid of Wizkid or ID Cabasa, recruiting Eskeez in his stead and rap-singing in Yoruba over both verses and the hook. Olamide, at his fluid best, has a buttery smooth flow – which most of his audience is unaccustomed to as he rarely utilizes it. But, on the rare occasions when he does, the results are astounding. Sure to heat up with a slightly older crowd, the expectations for the single permeate multiple demographics due to the sheer amount of XP points Olamide possesses. Long may it last.