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.
“Ewele” - Gemini Major (feat. Dunnie & Focalistic)
South African record producer Gemini Major is back with another house tune. Assisted by rapper Focalistic and Nigerian singer and producer Dunnie, “Ewele” addresses the lost opportunities and failed plans in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the trio vow to dive in headfirst at any chance they get.
“Ghetto Vigilante” - Uche B & Kwesi Arthur
Ghanaian-Nigerian music producer Uche B enlists Kwesi Arthur and his unique voice for “Ghetto Vigilante”, the first single off his debut EP. Uche B’s production skills thrive on a variety of sounds, and this track is no different. As the name implies, “Ghetto Vigilante” features a grimy beat and hood-friendly lyrics, with the pair creating a street anthem “for the culture.”
“Love Me” - Juls & Niniola
Juls continues to whet appetites and build steam on the road to his debut album. “Love Me” featuring Niniola is an Afrobeats throwback. Heavy on the jive and swing that dominated the earlier versions of the genre in the ’80s, the song is accompanied by a short film directed by Ray Fiasco.
“Question” - Burna Boy & Don Jazzy
Ahead of his impressive show at the O2 last weekend, Burna Boy shared his nostalgic new single, “Question”, featuring Don Jazzy. Over the veteran’s production, Burna directs questions at his haters, who he continues to prove wrong with his success. The video, directed by TG Omori, is a colourful reminder of days gone by, with shots of children at an old barbershop evoking nostalgic memories.
“Loving is Harder” - Johnny Drille
Johnny Drille’s debut album is slated for release on the first Friday of September, and after years of waiting, his fans could not be more pumped. To prepare our earbuds, he has dropped “Loving is Harder”, the first single off the project. Over mellow production, he sings about the fear of losing a lover, his distinctive piercing voice carrying the intensity of the emotions over the beat. As a standalone track, it is a beautiful rendition. As a signal of what is to come with his album, it has us asking what beauties he has in store for us.
“+234 (Daily Paper)” - PsychoYP
Abuja’s premier MC is back with his fourth album, Euphoria. A testament to his determination to blur the lines around genres, the tape features a melding of bashment, drill, electronic music and traditional hip hop. “+234 (Daily Paper)” is a part-grime, part-drill number on which he relishes in his status as a baller and top artiste. Addressing attention from women, the music business and his continuous rise in the game over a hard-thumbing beat, the track is PsychoYP at his braggadocious best.
“Weapon” - Rotimi ft Fireboy DML
Musician and actor Rotimi’s full-length debut album All or Nothing is finally here. Filled with an array of sounds and influenced by all the places he lays claim to, the project is explained by the title, really. On “Weapon”, he enlists the help of Afropop star Fireboy DML. Over a groovy beat, the pair exchange raunchy lyrics about the sex appeal of a woman they’re interested in: “Confessions of a killer/ Murder she wrote/She no come for real love/But she love taking souls.”
“Bena” - Jinmi Abduls
Jinmi Abduls’ latest EP Little Lagos is an ode to his city. The opening track “Bena” is a catchy tune dedicated to a love interest. It is no surprise that this little documentary begins with a track about love, one of the city’s strongest currencies. It’s certainly one for your dance playlists.
“Offend Me” - Bella Alubo ft Blaqbonez
For her latest single, Bella Alubo hires the services of rapper Blaqbonez. The song addresses a relationship that fails because her partner refuses to reciprocate energy. This energy is fitting for Blaqbonez and his well-publicised brand of love-hating. The rapper does justice to the beat, his flow complementing Bella Alubo’s voice over a smooth rhythm.
“Fly” - Zamir ft Mannywellz
Afrotrap magician Zamir’s sophomore tape is here. Evenly split between party bops and romantic melodies FLOWERBOI4000 is Zamir at his comfortable best, effortlessly gliding through the different sounds and collaborations. “Fly”, featuring singer and rapper Mannywellz, is a hood romance cut. Produced by Tochi Bedford, the artists exchange bars about being in love with a “fly” babe over a grainy guitar and drums.
“Kogbede” - CDQ & Wande Coal
Um, I'm going to be honest here. CDQ on an amapiano beat is not something I expected to hear or write about. And while this combination is a little unorthodox, it works. Reminiscent of his performance on Masterkraft’s “Indomie” and assisted by Wande Coal’s evergreen vocals, CDQ spazzes on the beat, giving us a groovy tune in that unique way only he knows how to.
“Mood” - Wizkid ft Buju
Just when you thought Buju’s 2021 could not get any better, it did. Ever since Wizkid announced the deluxe version of his record-breaking Made In Lagos album, fans have expectantly looked forward to this collaboration, and it doesn’t disappoint. Bringing the smooth vibes Made In Lagos encapsulates, the pair ride the beat with chemistry so tight it doesn’t feel like their first time together. “I’m in a big mood” is probably the next phrase to become a staple of Instagram captions, but we don’t mind. If our pictures and lives look and feel half as good as this song does, we’ll be having a swell time.