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James BKS releases "Kusema" video ahead of debut album

The French-Cameroonian artist celebrates inner strength on new single.

“Kusema” means “to express” in Swahili. James BKS defines the track as an anthem for freedom, before adding: “It’s really special because it’s me rapping and singing for the first time. This song is about willpower and taking control. If people doubt your vision, that’s okay, they’re not supposed to believe it, but you are.” For the first time, the producer comes out from backstage to present himself as the main artist in the video.

The Son of the legendary Manu Dibango, James BKS links his African roots to the hip-hop culture in which he grew up in the United States. In “Kusema,” traditional Bikutsi rhythms refer to the Earth’s vibrations, while Swahili vocals and hip-hop form an explosive symbiosis.

“Kusema” is a cut from his debut album, Wolves Of Africa, which will be released this fall, featuring several music giants and rising stars from around the world. James BKS is known for his production work alongside Booba, Little Simz, Mr. Eazi, Talib Kweli, Soprano and Snoop Dogg. As for his much-anticipated debut, all will soon be revealed in the behind-the-scenes documentary BKS.

Find James BKS in our Songs of the Week playlist on Spotify and Deezer.