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5 albums to discover this week

This week, Kojey Radical gives a Reason to Smile narrated by his Ghanaian mother, Cruel Santino (formerly Santi) is back for an alté revival, Pappy Kojo drops some of Ghana’s finest raps, Tim Lyre gives some alté backup featuring guests like Prettyboy D-O, and Somi pays tribute to Mariam Makeba with an album and stage performance coming soon. And new music from Swordman Kitala, Sylvère, RZA, and Omizs.

Reason to Smile

Kojey Radical

UK rapper of Ghanaian descent unveils his debut album “Reason to Smile” narrated by his Ghanaian born mother musing about her son’s upbringing and speaking to the difficulties of a London winter after making the courageous decision to move abroad. The album, though fitting as a concept piece, has enough funk, horns, hip-hop and groove for several projects. Teasing the project with super smooth cuts like “War Outside” featuring Lex Amor and the super funky “Payback” with London rapper Knucks. We spoke with Kojey on the eve of the release about the project (feature coming soon) who told us about his artistic vision, dual identity, and new sound “space and bass” that defines his debut.

Listen here.


Cruel Santino

The prodigy of Nigerian alté is back with his long-awaited sophomore album, Subaru Boys: FINAL HEAVEN, almost three years after the release of his breakthrough project, Mandy & The Jungle. Following the footsteps of that first album, Cruel Santino, formerly known as Santi, sets his new project in a conceptual universe largely inspired by the aesthetics of Japanese anime. The album includes 21 tracks entirely co-produced by the Nigerian artist, with notable appearances from Koffee, Amaarae and Skepta to name a few. 

Listen here.

Logos Hope

Pappy Kojo

The well known and talented Ghanaian rapper Pappy Kojo has just released the sequel to his debut album Logos II, entitled Logos Hope. It’s a 6 track EP in which the rapper pays tribute to his childhood in the coastal city of Takoradi with his distinct laidback flow. He’s joined by great figures of African rap/Afrobeats such as Medikal and Quamina Mp.

Listen here.


Tim Lyre

Promising talent emerging from the new alté wave, Nigerian artist Tim Lyre wants to “worry less” on his eponymous debut album. Tim Lyre has been working on this first album since 2018, so this 9-track album is a long time coming for the Lagos-based singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. Tim Lyre knew exactly how he wanted his album to sound, which is why he invited strong voices from the Nigerian scene (Prettyboy D-O, Lady Donli, MOJO AF), the UK with Lex Amor and his fellow Brooklyn-based rapper DAP The Contract. 

Listen here.

Zenzile: The Reimagination of Miriam Makeba


Singer, songwriter and actor Somi Kakoma composed a musical tribute to the late “Mama Africa” Miriam Makeba. “This album,” she writes in the liner notes, “is my attempt to honor the unapologetic voice of an African woman who inevitably made room for my own journey and countless other African artists. In short, I owe her. We all do.” Originally meant to tour stages as a musical, the project was postponed due to the pandemic. With features from Grammy-winning vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Angelique Kidjo, Msaki, and pianist Nduduzo Makhathini, the project is a worthy tribute to the late pan-African hero, released on her birthday no-less. 

Listen here.

This week we also listen to: