Made In Lagos Deluxe
The undisputed star of Afrobeats returns with a deluxe version of Made In Lagos, his fourth album released in 2020 and considered an instant classic. The project marked a sensual ode to his hometown and immediately seduced the Starboy’s worldwide audience, surprised by the album’s impressive maturity and refinement in an industry usually fueled by quick hits. Wizkid adds four ultra-sexy songs to his Afro-disiac tracklist, and features young Buju and a certain Justin Bieber respectively on “Mood,” and on the remix of “Essence.”
Describing their music as “tradi-moderne,” Mamaki Boys is a Nigerien trio made up of Aziz Tony, Bachou Issouf and Salif André. On Patriote, their new project reissued by Sahel Sounds, the band sought to “put the tradition in rap, ancestral dance, the things that our grandparents did in the village.” The project’s six tracks, released only locally in 2007, blend local instruments like duma and kalango with the rappers’ almost ragga-like flows, all the while retaining a vein of politicized hip-hop. “Kagani Kagani,” for example, demands a reparation of minerals, oil, and uranium rights from their colonizers, while “Komando” uses war cries to inspire artists to keep on speaking out.
hold me when it’s cold: a mixtape
hold me when it’s cold: a mixtape is a project born out of months spent in confinement, in the middle of the South African winter. Una Rams has put all the emotions and moods he has felt during this strange and intense period into this record. The project, his second full-length release since Wavy Baby (2018), tracks the longing he felt for romantic and physical intimacy as well as the isolation and the cold that stayed with him for weeks. The young South African alternative scene, represented here by artists like Muzi, Blxckie and Langa Mavuso, has joined him in this therapeutic process with a sweet and heart-warming result.
Ethiopian Hit Parade Vol.2
Following the 2016 release of Ethiopian hit parade vol.1, Francis Falceto and Heavenly Sweetness continue reissuing the Ethiopian hit parade series on vinyl. Following about fifty singles, the late Amha Eshèté, who passed away this year, collected his best work in 1972 and released a series of singles on albums that have become mythical (and unobtainable in their original press); the first four volumes of Ethiopian Hit Parade were released between 1972 and 1973. Volume 2 is now available as a reissue, featuring songs by the legendary Getachew Kassa, Mulatu Astatqé, Alémayéhu Eshété and many others.
With Side A, the London rapper delivers a short and intense EP, which exposes the scope of his talent on five tracks. Able to rap with ferocity on “Ziamonds!” and to sing with tenderness on “No Caroline,” it seems that Ato doesn’t put any limit on his artistic expression. The originality in his sound is also due to the particularly versatile and almost robotic instrumentation.
Return To The Beginning
Return To The Beginning is a journey back to the early days for South African producer Da Capo, compiling both new and unreleased songs dating back as far as 2008. With the majority of tracks being instrumental, his skill as a producer shines through: the beats are spacious enough for him to express himself through haunting chants (“Sabir”), robust drumming (“Zone Out”) and strobing synths (“Indigo”). The project is characterised by a uniformity that points to a producer who has not only found his voice but sustained it in the highly competitive South African Afro-house scene.
The Abuja-born rapper drops a new EP that confirms his reputation as an up-and-comer to be reckoned with. While he engages in both rap and Afrobeats, YP made the choice here to display his trap talents. Surrounded by the proud representatives of the young Nigerian, British and even South African rap vanguard, he delivers a remarkable hip-hop performance on nine tracks, influenced as much by Atlanta trap music as by UK drill, the subgenre overtaking global hip-hop.
3 Th3 Album
“The 3 years it took making this debut of mine has been a hell of a journey and every time I’ve thought in the worst ways, I always remember that there’s actually people in the world that genuinely love and respect what I do,” Not3s says about 3 Th3 Album, the London rapper’s third project and debut LP. Here, positivity has won over pessimism, and the artist expresses this feeling on every track. From rap banger “One More Time” to the sweet Afropop sound of “Sugar,” Not3s proves that he knows how to make dance music, and that the English Afroswing scene has a bright future ahead of it.