Rolling Afropop / Afrobeats 2021

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Seeing how established and vital African pop is on ILM (and not only), let's be among the first to start off the new year !
I assume we will have a separate thread for the South African scene(s) and that breastcrawl will curate a Spotify playlist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcbGePUukKA
L.A.X. - Go Low (from his Nov. album)

Nabozo, Saturday, 2 January 2021 22:26 (one year ago) link

And because it seems that music does not like frontiers, here's a Nigerian song incorporating amapiano

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FtuXxKikNk
Zinoleesky - Kilofeshe

He's a new guy chaperoned by Naira Marley.

Nabozo, Tuesday, 5 January 2021 19:53 (one year ago) link

This is a year old but I kinda love it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN8OwvaHLU4
Ethic Entertainment feat. Konshens - Figa

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 20:06 (one year ago) link

that’s Kenyan gengetone, right? another blind spot there

but yes, one of the big musical stories of last year was amapiano taking root outside of South Africa. watch this blow up further in 2021. in Nigeria homegrown piano is all over the charts right now. lots of producers (including some of the biggest names) are taking a stab at it.

case in point: the biggest song in Nigeria right now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFX9cruEfoo
Rexxie ft. Mohbad • KPK (Ko Por Ke)

another big one besides the Zinoleesky, that’s providing Phyno with his biggest hit in ages:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YrjQz_zncY
DJ Kaywise ft. Phyno • High Way

this is not exactly a smash, but it should be - I love it to pieces, such a sticky hook!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnN1JeKowTU
Eltee Skhillz ft. Niniola • Lucy (Remix)

(this one is actually produced by a SA producer, Eternal Africa, who works with Naija artists as well)

Did we do Tanzapiano yet?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hIka4cx_-U
Rayvanny ft. Diamond Platnumz • Woza

can’t wait for the “Jerusalema”-biting video!

(actually we did: I posted Marioo’s “Mama Amina” with Sho Madjozi & Bontle Smith on the Amapiano thread last month, but “Woza” is more interesting to me because the amapiano is incorporated in the bongo flava here)

...for contrast, some of that nu classic (convential?) Naija “afrobeats” sound:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dE1mygXWOE
Runtown • If E Happen For Lagos

...and this, from Ghana:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zOz0R4z_9A
Darkovibes • Crazy People

(from his latest EP The Cornerstone. I nominated his Kpanlogo album from last spring for the EOY, it’s very groovyvibeywavey)

...and oh yeah, in 2021 afropop will go even more global:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gijs__G364g
Mr Eazi ft. J Balvin • Lento (prod. Killertunes)

so excuse me for being on a roll, *BUT*:

that L.A.X track Nabozo posted is a great example of how thoroughly amapiano has permeated Naijapop in just one year. it’s not overt amapiano, like the Zinoleesky, Rexxie and Kaywise tracks, but it’s unthinkable without it.
(the same can probably be said about that Darkovibes track, although it’s possible I’m hearing things)

I’m constantly updating my (quite possibly unique) Spotify playlist for tracking and tracing amapiano’s influence on (with a few exceptions, so far) West African pop. I’m now at 99 tracks, but I’m sure I will come across many more, it’s become hard to keep up:

🇳🇬🇬🇭🇿🇦NAIghaPIANO🎹🎹

(my criterium is: if I feel the track wouldn’t have sounded like it does without amapiano I’m including it. it’s likely not everyone will agree with all of my choices. I welcome comments and suggestions!)

Nabozodamus:

I assume we will have a separate thread for the South African scene(s)


yes, it’s in the works

and that breastcrawl will curate a Spotify playlist.


yes, as soon as we’ll have a decent number of posted tracks

Very curious in the new year abt the scene from Angola

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Tuesday, 5 January 2021 22:41 (one year ago) link

have you heard any good stuff from there recently? I’d be very curious to hear them

them, it...

I did a dive midway last year and found some stuff I dug, need to do a follow up, there was def a distinct sound

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVkpPRu77Js

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Wednesday, 6 January 2021 00:52 (one year ago) link

Ah cool, that’s the track that came up last year in our convo about Angolan kuduro and “Afro House” in the Dance Music Nobody Talks About thread.

For the record, we’re talking about:
DJ Malvado & Nelo Paim ft. DJ Habias & Nad Beatz • Amingas

🔻🔻Could everyone please label the tracks they are posting?
It makes it so much easier to search for something, and as with all internet links, there is every chance these YouTubes (or Soundclouds or whatever the case may be) will become broken at some point (in a couple of years perhaps, or you know, next week, it happens all the time), and then we won’t have anything left to go on.🔺🔺

...and oh yeah, in 2021 afropop will go even more global

about that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-GX9bpT3MI
Nao ft. Adekunle Gold • Antidote (produced by Sarz)

(thanking ufo for the alert)

(hope to be able to put up the Rolling SA thread tomorrow btw)

No hits, but a few things that caught my attention lately from some "minor" artists:
- IcePrince feat Tekno - Make Up Your Mind. It's no "One Leg Up" but decent single from last year, I like the saxophone.
- Mmzy - Wildin. New guy, not fully convinced by Animal despite the interesting somber tone / sax, but I like Wildin.
- Barry Jhay - O Ga Ra. This is from 2018, I had never heard of the guy. Warm stuff, I like that flute.
- Ecool - Sobente. Nothing particular, a little slow, but competent.

The DJ Spinall album (Grace) is noteworthy if you're looking for a consistent set of songs (and you don't think albums are overrated)

Ok I'll post something officially
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngZIp43W3ws
Runtown - If E Happen for Lagos

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtqzVHK-MfM
DJ Tunez & Olamide - Require (more Amanaija)

Nabozo, Tuesday, 19 January 2021 21:04 (one year ago) link

Oops, I checked the whole 2020 thread and forgot to check here: Runtown already posted :/ O Ga Ra actually late 2019, not 2018.

Nabozo, Tuesday, 19 January 2021 21:22 (one year ago) link

(redacted)]

okay so i've been to busy to nom this year but will try to put in a ballot on the train home tomorrow afternoon. what have you guys been voting for so far?

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:17 (one year ago) link

*too

Too busy to spell, it seems

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:17 (one year ago) link

(i feel like this is the tread where all the people i have similar tastes with tend to come together, so feel free to mention all genres)

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:19 (one year ago) link

honestly I'm trying to take the poll less seriously this year -- ilm massive isn't what it once was and that's fine, I don't need to get upset about it. But vote for Koffee's "Lockdown" and you'll make me happy longneck :)

rob, Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:26 (one year ago) link

I will!
Wait... so no one nom'd any of the Scorpion Kings albums? Just the Kabza solo? No vote splitting then, I guess. Lol.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:29 (one year ago) link

Trying to free up some time to post more music this year. ilm massive may not be what it used to be (mea culpa), but you guys are still trustworthy when it comes to new music.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:32 (one year ago) link

ha to be clear, that def wasn't aimed at anyone round here! I still get a ton of enjoyment and value out of the board, just less so the eoy poll than times past

rob, Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:44 (one year ago) link

Tru dat

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:48 (one year ago) link

A lot of really great stuff this year - even quite a few albums(!) - but i don’t expect much of it to enter the list. I’m listening to breastcrawl’s nom’d SA tracks right now and am amazed at how many great tracks I’ve missed even though I’ve been listening to SA stuff all year.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Thursday, 21 January 2021 23:53 (one year ago) link

so otm -- it was an overwhelmingly abundant year and I can't pretend I heard much more than a fraction. weirdly I feel like albums is where there might be some afropop consensus? iirc I voted for Wizkid, Tiwa, Amaarae, and Azana...might be forgetting something else too. I nommed the uneven Burna but can't remember if I had room for it

rob, Friday, 22 January 2021 00:03 (one year ago) link

I prefer the Davido to the Burna tbh but not sure if it was nom’d? Didn’t see Niniola either? Oh well. Will vote for Wiz and Tiwa, the best of the bunch.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 22 January 2021 00:13 (one year ago) link

hm might be worth double checking the Davido, there was def some enthusiasm for that. also I didn't care for it, but I would assume the Fireboy DML was nominated

rob, Friday, 22 January 2021 00:16 (one year ago) link

guys, you’re catching me at a bad time...

ILM 2020 EOY🔷AFROPOP NOMS

ILM 2020 EOY🇿🇦SOUTH AFRICAN NOMS

🎼is my posting in vain?🎼

sorry breastcrawl, it's cuz I don't have spotify

rob, Friday, 22 January 2021 00:32 (one year ago) link

i voted for the wizkid, azana, fireboy and tiwa albums, and simmy ("ngihamba nawe") and busiswa in tracks

ufo, Friday, 22 January 2021 00:34 (one year ago) link

Haven’t listened to the Azana album until now but it deserves my vote. Gorgeous stuff.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 22 January 2021 00:47 (one year ago) link

ok if the poll motivated you to listen to that for the first time, then I love poll

rob, Friday, 22 January 2021 14:21 (one year ago) link

If memory serves correctly I voted for 4 afropop albums and 4 tracks, but guess I should avoid naming which ones for spoiler purposes.

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Friday, 22 January 2021 15:28 (one year ago) link

a+ bop:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xopfgeXDlKA
Bankulli x Not3s • Foreign

(killer production by DJ Coublon)

get down, get down, get down / why piano wenza so? (breastcrawl), Saturday, 23 January 2021 16:40 (one year ago) link

breastcrawl* > tsj

*I voted for the album, but not the song

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Saturday, 23 January 2021 22:18 (one year ago) link

Omah Lay is a good example of the plateau problem I had with 2020 in general: so much sustained quality that I struggled to pick highlights from genres or even artists

rob, Sunday, 24 January 2021 16:49 (one year ago) link

"godly" >

J0rdan S., Sunday, 24 January 2021 17:03 (one year ago) link

really hope it places, it was my favourite Omah song so far, but I fear he is another one who might (have) be(en) vote-splitted away

get down, get down, get down / why piano wenza so? (breastcrawl), Sunday, 24 January 2021 17:10 (one year ago) link

*is* my favourite...

get down, get down, get down / why piano wenza so? (breastcrawl), Sunday, 24 January 2021 17:11 (one year ago) link

"godly" >

― J0rdan S., Sunday, January 24, 2021 12:03 PM (one hour ago)

lol I guess that might be true, but I basically liked everything I heard him on last year...and thus didn't vote for any of them sorry!

rob, Sunday, 24 January 2021 18:20 (one year ago) link

Really digging KPK

ILX’s bad boy (D-40), Sunday, 24 January 2021 22:43 (one year ago) link

mutual satisfaction guaranteed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAkcBuc-52o
DJ Spinall ft. WurlD & Niniola • Pure Water

(from Spinall's Grace album mentioned upthread)

Long Tall Arsetee & the Shaker Intros (breastcrawl), Thursday, 28 January 2021 15:14 (one year ago) link

I'd agree, with a bunch of caveats about my subjectivity: I'm def paying less attention than in past years and haven't warmed to many of those newcomers the way I did the previous cohort. Plus I more or less burned out on amapiano by the middle of the year, so naija turning to that sound doesn't exactly thrill me. But I do think there's been something a bit bland & empty about most of the afrobeats I heard this year; not necessarily bad, just forgettable & a little too vibey for its own good.

Sort of the exception that proves the rule(?): Tems' EP is one of the highlights of the year imo...all 18 minutes of it.

rob, Thursday, 2 December 2021 20:26 (one year ago) link

This mixtape from DJ ICHE of Kenyan club/drill/kuduro styles is pretty sick.
https://hakunakulala.bandcamp.com/album/nai-yetu-mixtape

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Friday, 3 December 2021 21:04 (one year ago) link

Tema EP is my AOTY.
I also love the Lojay EP and have played the new Wizkid tunes a lot. Rema’s output has been scarce but strong. And amapiano has had a GREAT year.
.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 3 December 2021 21:57 (one year ago) link

Rema lol

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 3 December 2021 21:57 (one year ago) link

Sorry, meant TEMS lol

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Friday, 3 December 2021 21:57 (one year ago) link

i liked the joeboy and laycon albums a lot

some great songs too, like bankulli’s “foreign,” “bloody samaritan,” that amaarae collab from the tiwa ep, and yeah, “replay” and “found” from the tems ep

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Friday, 3 December 2021 22:01 (one year ago) link

That Lojay EP is good yeah. voodoo, I'm not sure I've ever heard Laycon, any track recs?

a lowkey fave: Okyeame Kwame & Kuami Eugene's "Yeeko" posted somewhere waaay upthread

I heard Amaarae blasting out of someone's car in Montreal the other day, which made me very happy

rob, Friday, 3 December 2021 22:31 (one year ago) link

“wagwan” is the laycon track I usually turn to

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Saturday, 4 December 2021 02:11 (one year ago) link

Digging Niniola's new EP, "Lagos to Jozi", particularly the first track:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4JJCbNl5js

daavid, Monday, 6 December 2021 05:21 (eleven months ago) link

“wagwan” is the laycon track I usually turn to

― grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Friday, December 3, 2021 9:11 PM (three days ago)

uh this is dope, thanking you

rob, Monday, 6 December 2021 16:33 (eleven months ago) link

i think i got that rec from dog latin, so thanks go to him!

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Monday, 6 December 2021 16:46 (eleven months ago) link

alright that almost makes up for him trying to kill my alabaster deplume thread ;)

rob, Monday, 6 December 2021 16:51 (eleven months ago) link

Naira Marley has had a great year - while Coming is still my favorite, First Time In America is pretty undeniable too. It now has a video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fX2Tw7sPC8

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Wednesday, 8 December 2021 21:48 (eleven months ago) link

"wagwan" rules, thanks

ufo, Wednesday, 8 December 2021 22:25 (eleven months ago) link

I love that whole Laycon mini album from earlier in the year. Some real gems on it

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:18 (eleven months ago) link

All Over Me and Don't Want You Back are my faves off the Laycon album and I'll be nominating at least one of them for EOY.

Others:

Yeeko is fantastic.
Bounce by Rema is exceptional.
Overdose by Dunnie
Navy Kenzo - Nisogelee
Prettyboydo - Police n Teef
Kwesi Arthur - Baajo

I've enjoyed a fair bit of Afrobeats this year, but it was frontloaded

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:23 (eleven months ago) link

Checking out the Laycon album now

It's worth mentioning that Burna's "Kilometre" and "Question" are fantastic too

rob, Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:27 (eleven months ago) link

oh shit "All Over Me" is a jam, how did I miss this guy?

rob, Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:32 (eleven months ago) link

This mixtape from DJ ICHE of Kenyan club/drill/kuduro styles is pretty sick.
https://hakunakulala.bandcamp.com/album/nai-yetu-mixtape

― we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Friday, December 3, 2021 4:04 PM (five days ago)

sampled a bit of this too and it's pretty awesome

rob, Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:39 (eleven months ago) link

"kilometre" snuck up on me and it's now one of my fav burna songs. the hook pops into my head every few days

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:56 (eleven months ago) link

ha yeah based on mental play count it could be my SOTY

rob, Thursday, 9 December 2021 00:58 (eleven months ago) link

yup his best in a while

Spottie, Thursday, 9 December 2021 01:01 (eleven months ago) link

Glad you enjoyed that Rob, it's a great mixtape.

we need outrage! we need dicks!! (the table is the table), Monday, 13 December 2021 20:56 (eleven months ago) link

has anyone written anything about the globalization of drill? seems like a massive phenomenon that I see rarely mentioned anywhere (in english at any rate)

rob, Monday, 13 December 2021 21:02 (eleven months ago) link

Simon Reynolds did a big similar thing about trap a couple of years back

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Monday, 13 December 2021 22:29 (eleven months ago) link

there were a good amount of pieces that came out about ghanaian drill last year, which touched on the topic. like this one: https://www.complex.com/music/2020/10/inside-ghana-asakaa-drill-scene/

yaw tog's "sore" is a banger among bangers.

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 01:43 (eleven months ago) link

Missing breastcrawl, his eoy poll was a treasure trove. What are the songs I’ve been missing out this year to consider on my ballot?

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 03:57 (eleven months ago) link

All Over Me and Don't Want You Back are my faves off the Laycon album and I'll be nominating at least one of them for EOY.

Others:

Yeeko is fantastic.
Bounce by Rema is exceptional.
Overdose by Dunnie
Navy Kenzo - Nisogelee
Prettyboydo - Police n Teef
Kwesi Arthur - Baajo

I've enjoyed a fair bit of Afrobeats this year, but it was frontloaded

― Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin)

From these I really liked:

Laycon - all over me
Dunnie - Overdose

Don’t care much about the rest but Navy Kenzo beat could be something I’d absolutely love in the right context.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 05:54 (eleven months ago) link

Crayon - Too Correct (feat. Rema)
Masterkraft, Bella Shmurda & Zlatan - Hallelu
Omah Lay - Understand
Wizkid - Mood (feat. Buju)
Ice Prince - Kolo (feat. Oxlade)
Teni - Moslado
Burna Boy - Kilometre + Want it all
Davido & Focalistic - Champion Sound (rather South African tbh)
Stonebwoy & Focalistic - Ariba
Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe
Olakira - Summer Time (feat. Moonchild Sanelly)
Ayra Starr - Bloody Samaritan

In the worst case scenario, none of them will make my ballot, but they're still on the playlist

Nabozo, Tuesday, 14 December 2021 07:58 (eleven months ago) link

I've been asked to play "Afrobeat and Highlife" on NYE. I'm only adjacently familiar with that kind of stuff, so I'll probably stray into more modern territory; so these personalised lists are great.

I always think it would be great to have a mini Afrobeats poll (or maybe including soca/dancehall too since there seems to be a lot of crossover between posters more than anything else.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 10:19 (eleven months ago) link

Moka, the Lojay 7 Sarz EP a few have mentioned might appeal to you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4IEaUhIuCs

rob, Tuesday, 14 December 2021 14:48 (eleven months ago) link

thanks for that complex link, vc

rob, Tuesday, 14 December 2021 14:51 (eleven months ago) link

So are we going for Bounce or Soundgasm for EOY?
Both are wonderful, imo. Peace of Mind is a favorite too, but the two I mentioned are more likely to succeed.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 15:36 (eleven months ago) link

Also... looking past Essence, will you be going for Mood (mentioned above) or Anoti. Again, I love them both.

human and working on getting beer (longneck), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 15:37 (eleven months ago) link

Moka, the Lojay 7 Sarz EP a few have mentioned might appeal to you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4IEaUhIuCs

― rob

Ok yeah! This is sounding delightful.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 16:33 (eleven months ago) link

Some other songs which I really like:

Kwiish Sa - LiYoshona
Scorpion Kings x Tresor - Folasade
Omah Lay - Understand
Busta 929 - Mmapula

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 17:39 (eleven months ago) link

have you tried Tresor's new album Motion? I think Thrill and Dancing with the Moon were the early singles

I totally lost track of amapiano this year, but De Mthuda's "John Wick" came on my playlist last night and it's good

rob, Tuesday, 14 December 2021 17:41 (eleven months ago) link

I might definitely vote for Dunnie - Overdose. I’ve played it 5 times in the last 12 hours.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 17:43 (eleven months ago) link

Bounce is my track of the year in any genre so I'm noming it whatever

Yeah I love that Dunnie song. Really sweet

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Tuesday, 14 December 2021 18:36 (eleven months ago) link

Loke Loke by Oluwa Kuwait and Teni is also a sleeper hit in my listening. Every time it comes on I'm impressed by it.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Wednesday, 15 December 2021 00:56 (eleven months ago) link

Burna Boy and Wizkid have a song out called B. d'Or. I am sure Messi appreciates. It's totally perfunctory though.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 15 December 2021 19:28 (eleven months ago) link

spotify fed me this new amapiano remix of Angeliqe Kidjo's "Agolo" - by Da Capo's Touch? or something? It's lovely.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-wy0wyuoYQ

sean gramophone, Saturday, 18 December 2021 19:32 (eleven months ago) link

Nice.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 21 December 2021 15:28 (eleven months ago) link

i have regretfully late passed this whole thread but I just ran into Yeeko on the best-of-the-year nominations and I need ya'll to know this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSbi2Jvls7A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdJcmvQ0DFc

i cannot help if you made yourself not funny (forksclovetofu), Friday, 31 December 2021 00:01 (eleven months ago) link

idgi, what's the connection?

rob, Saturday, 1 January 2022 15:04 (eleven months ago) link

Wasn’t delirious released like a decade ago? I think it even made it to the ILM poll

✖✖✖ (Moka), Saturday, 1 January 2022 16:42 (eleven months ago) link

https://travelnoire.com/missed-afrochella-2021-heres-what-went-down-in-ghana?item=3

Brief look at afrochella 2021 with Wizkid and more

curmudgeon, Wednesday, 5 January 2022 17:56 (ten months ago) link

I suppose Yeeko does sound a bit like Delirious

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Friday, 7 January 2022 01:07 (ten months ago) link

two weeks pass...

rolling afropop 2022

rob, Friday, 21 January 2022 14:49 (ten months ago) link

four weeks pass...

xps, yes i definitely hear Delirious in Yeeko

i cannot help if you made yourself not funny (forksclovetofu), Saturday, 19 February 2022 01:12 (nine months ago) link


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