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10 albums you should listen to this week

This week, Moh Alileche pays tribute to Algeria; Magic System honors the Zouglou culture; Rocé and Amaro Freitas highlight great figures of African descent, while the Omnivore Recordings label glorifies the Ethiopian reggae singer. Elsewhere, Karen Nyame KG promotes the music of the African diasporas, as does Etanan with Jamaican reggae. 7liwa further establishes himself in the world of Moroccan trap music and,  Finally, KiDi and Chinese Kitty pay tribute to carnal pleasure.

Envolée Zougloutique
Magic System

Magic System pays tribute to the streets of Anoumabo, south of Abidjan and to zouglou culture. The aim was as follows: “To launch a message of hope to the youth and awareness especially relating to environmental protection.” A real work of societal criticism, Magic System seeks to raise awareness around immigration struggles, improve education and comment on the disappearance of certain icons. With the African nature of this project, the group plans to tour 14 countries on the continent “to be in communion with all the fans.”

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Humanity is Falling Apart
Moh Alileche

Based in the United States, the Algerian musician explores the musical cultures of the Amazighs, the indigenous people of North Africa. He sings in his native Tamazight language, and plays the traditional mandol, a stringed instrument used widely in Kabyle and Chaabi music. For this new album, recorded in November 2019 in Algeria, Alileche injects a touch of folk, especially beautiful alongside Dahmane Ben Dahmane on violin, banjo and mandol and  Karim Hamzaoui on piano.

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The Return Of Jack Sparrow
Ethiopian & His All Stars

Omnivore Recordings is back with unreleased singles from the Jamaican reggae legend Ethiopian, real name Leonard Dillon. Dillon started his career under the pseudonym Jack Sparrow and demonstrated a timeless mastery of rocksteady. The U.S. record company returns to the soundscapes he delivered alongside the group The Ethiopians, following stings singing with The Wailers, Bob Marley’s famous reggae group.

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Poings serrés
Rocé

With Algerian and Russian roots, the rapper is following in the footsteps of his father Adolfo Kaminsky, a resistance fighter and anti-colonialist who fought for the liberation of all oppressed peoples. With this new release, Rocé honors the great figures of Africa and the Diaspora with a profoundly pan-African spirit. A true work of memory, this EP calls upon the emancipating souls of the Algerian emir Abd el Kader, the Afro-American activist Angela Davis and the Burkinabe president Thomas Sankara.

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Sensei II
Karen Nyame KG

The British artist has concocted an EP made up of 100% positive vibes. Karen Nyame KG transports us in a whirlwind of joy, blending desire, love, party and sexuality, while evoking serious subjects such as women’s emancipation. For this project, she collaborated with Aymos, Mista Silva, Taliwhoah and Toya Delazy. With a soundscape situated between afrobeats, funk, gqom and R&B, Karen Nyame KG seeks to highlight the musical cultures of the African diasporas, giving the impression of a return home, as perfectly illustrated on “Africa.”

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Sankofa
Amaro Freitas

This is Amaro Freitas‘ most personal and accomplished project, mixing Afro-Brazilian rhythms, from samba to maracatu while passing through frevo jazz, funk and the musical heritage passed down via his evangelical education. The name of the album refers to the Adinkra symbol of a bird known as Sankofa, whose head is turned backwards. It is a symbol that had meaning for the Akans of Ghana and Ivory Coast, Amaro explains: “The symbol of the mystical bird, which flies with its head backwards, teaches us the possibility of returning to our roots, in order to realize our potential to move forward. With this album, I want to bring a memory of who we are and pay homage to the neighborhoods, names, characters, places, words and symbols that come from our ancestors. I want to celebrate where we come from.”

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Pamoja
Etana

The Jamaican singer, nominated in 2019 for Best Reggae Album at the Grammy Awards, has released a new album. Here, she evokes the power of love on “Legacy,” Black pride on “Melanin” and self-love on “Natural Beauty.” She joins forces with many artists, including Alborosie, Damian Marley, Fiji, Naiboi, Nandy, Patrice, Stonebwoy, Vybz Kartel, Wezi and Wyre.

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Weld Fatima II
7liwa

The Moroccan rapper, who defines himself as an “Amazigh Muslim who comes from Andalusia,” continues to explore the trap landscape, blending upbeat melodies, with dark and disenchanted lyrics. He evokes the struggles of the migrants of the Strait of Gibraltar in “Batal l3alam,” as well as his support for Palestine with “QUDS,” a reference to the holy land of Jerusalem. Bo9al, Issam and XXXRAYS are also present on the project.

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The Golden Boy
KiDi

The Ghanaian Afropop artist has released a new album, fresh off the  Artist of the Year award at the 2021 Ghana Music Awards. He defined the project, which marks a a symbiosis between Afrobeat, R&B and reggae as follows: “I am really hoping this Golden Boy project takes me to the next level of my career.” Here, he is surrounded by Joey B, Kuami Eugene and Patoranking, evoking 2.0 sexuality, daddy issues as well as spirituality.

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SMD
Chinese Kitty

The Guyanan pays tribute to carnal pleasure on her new album, SMD, a title reflecting a masochistic abbreviation. With lyrics like “I don”t fuck for free,” she recalls the feminist researcher Paola Tabet’s concept of “economic-sexual exchange.” Her new music features French Montana, Fivio Foreign, LightSkinKeisha, Dave East and Chanel.

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