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5 albums to discover this week

This week, Blaqbonez with the good rap, deadly tunes, an African family reunion, Blxckie goes hard, and a deep dive into maloya.

Young Preacher


The Nigerian rapper is here to preach the good word and good rap on his second solo album Young Preacher. After two EPs, and the Sex Over Love project in 2021, Blaqbonez is back with even more energy. Efficient on 14 afrobeats-infused rap titles, the Chocolate City talent isn’t a rookie anymore. The first single “Back In Uni”, produced by Jae5, gave a fair idea of this new opus, full of humour and Nigerian pop references. Blaqbonez is confident and self-assured. He doesn’t hold back on anything. He samples Youssou N’Dour, and even Summer Walker on “Fake Nikes”, featuring South-African rapper Blxckie and Ghanaian alté voice Amaarae. He even mimics Zinoleesky on “Fashionnova”. But Young Preacher is an inspired album and original, showcasing the rapper’s ability to rhyme and switch flows on diverse beats, leaving you wanting more. 

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Baiser Mortel

Lala &ce, Low Jack

Death itself visits mortals on Baiser Mortel (translated Deadly Kiss), the second act of an original production spearheaded by Parisian art center La Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection. Last year, Lyon-raised rapper Lala &ce and Britanny-born composer and electro beatmaker Low Jack played four sold-out dates of the eponymous show. The Baiser Mortel opus is the soundtrack of this exploration of demise, love, and spirituality. The charismatic Lala &ce embodies the great reaper on Low Jack’s eerie, intense and alternative beats. Supporting roles on this album include another Lyonnaise talent, the RnB singer Jäde, as well as Boukan Records duo Le Diouck and Bamao Yendé. It also casts futuristic cloud trapper Rad Cartier and bubblegum rapper Babysolo33, making Baiser Mortel a mystical experience, which you might want to risk your life for.

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Toumani, Family & Friends

Toumani Diabaté

The Malian Griot master Toumani Diabaté releases his tenth project: Toumani, Family & Friends, the wonderful family reunion of some of Africa’s most prestigious artists. The exceptionally gifted kora player invites musicians from all around the continent. In his home country, he harmonizes with prodigy balafon player Néba Solo on the ballad “Life” and offers the joyful anthem “Yako” with Fatoumata Diawara. In Ivory Coast, for instance, he’s joined by the great Meiway, looking for true love on “Nadine Sankaré. Mythic group Magic System touches on immigration on “Kana Ta”, featuring Sidibé Diabaté, Toumani’s son. Tiken Jah Fakoly always gives conscious reggae on “Les Faux Marabouts”. Toumani Diabaté explores countries, genres, and generations on 14 songs reflecting the talent of this one-man orchestra.

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The Durban trap lyricist and producer offers his fourth EP, following his debut album B4Now in 2021. THE4MULA is a short trap gem in 8 songs. Blxckie goes hard for 21 minutes, flowing seamlessly through the bass-heavy instrumentals, making it sound like one long surprising track. From the get-go, “plug call [freestyle]” is charged, confident, and the project never loses momentum. Even the rookie South-African guests manage to keep up. The bouncy anthem “werrkk” features newcomer Mench. Young female rapper Scumie is impressive on “investigate”, also featuring K1llbrady. THE4MULA is high-speed, only slowing down the tempo towards the end of the EP with hit singles “Khupuka”, and “Kwenzekile” featuring Madumane and Chang Cello. A solid recipe, cementing Blxckie’s talent as one of South-Africa hottest rappers. 

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Grèn Sémé

Five years after the Hors Sol, the Réunionese Carlo de Sacco and his band Grèn Sémé are back with Zamroza: a cosmic record that celebrates music without borders. “Without preconceived rules, I flee from any routine. To create my texts, my songs, I put myself to the listening, to the watchful eye… I glean from books, interviews, films, snippets of words, formulas, that I add to melodies… I scribble on my notebook, I write on my phone or my computer, I record memos, I tweak on Ableton… ” says Carlo of the latest project that expands into music cultures from around the world including maloya, indian music, electro, rock, French tradition and tribal trans. The songs are written to make listeners feel good, heal the soul and touch another aspect of the sounds of our Earth. 

Listen here.