5 Nigerian songs you should listen to this week

Featuring Simi, Terri, Adekunle Gold, Omah Lay, Davido, Dremo and many more the coronavirus pandemic has gotten everyone worked up and it hasn’t gotten any better with the increase in the number of cases daily.

As the global pandemic continue to affect the way we live and keeps limits to what we could do, we have selected songs we feel would lighten up the tense moodHere’s our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks

Simi “Duduke”

Unless your living under a rock, there’s no way you wouldn’t have heard Simi’s melodious voice on “Duduke” produced by Oscar. The song being the number one song in the country at the moment seemed like a unique love song at the time of its release, turned out to something much deeper. It’s accompanying visuals gave listeners a deep understanding of the message Simi is trying to pass across.

The song which has beautifully written lyrics speaks about the bond between a mother and her unborn child; it shows that a mother’s love is unconditional and unwavering.  Notwithstanding, the song can also be enjoyed by everyone including lovers so you don’t have to be a preggo or a mother to vibe to the song.

Adekunle Gold “Something Different”

Everyone’s baby, Adekunle Gold switched genres again with the release of “Something Different” which was produced by Blaize Beats. The track sees Adekunle woo his lover in a more gentle and sexy manner. The tune is a blend of highlife and Afropop with a dash of highlife and jazz. The beat accompanied by trumpets and Saxophones is one sound that the eastern folks can relate to and can also be enjoyed by all.

Starboy Terri – “Ojoro”

The Starboy act dropped his first single “Ojoro” off his “Afroseries” album as well as the accompanying visuals for the addictive afrobeat track. In the video, we see an innocent and bashful Terri fall victim to his lover’s shady schemes. She absconds with his cash on serval occasions and leaves him to find any means to pay bills for their dates. The video’s superb storytelling makes it exciting to watch without ever getting bored. The young star proves to be a force to be reckoned with and it is evident that he is taking steps to be the next big thing after his boss, Wizkid.

DMW – “Mafa Mafa” featuring Davido, The Flowolf, Peruzzi and Dremo

Davido Music Worldwide recently dropped the visuals to this trending street pop anthem and it’s back to been the sound of the Town once again. “Mafa Mafa” is the perfect song that would give you both the street and posh vibe. A record that would bring out hidden dancing style and that leg work you have been playing in your head. The DMW/30BG guyz did justice to this one here, A must listen for self turn ups.

Dremo – “Mabel” featuring Davido

DMW rapper, Dremo took this track from his newly released project, ‘Codename Vol.2’. The track ‘Mabel’ which had the Boss – Davido on it is most fans favourite off the album. With high demand for the visuals Dremo Drizzy served us with the official music video just last week. The crispy video directed by Director Q brought the Afropop / Rap record into the heart of so many.

SOURCE: List compiled and first Published by TooXcusive. Read original publication here

Freestyle feel: 2Baba featuring Tiwa Savage is the sound we want to hear

As part of our lockdown features, we have a Weekend Freestyle to keep you off the lockdown mood and a short note for your vibe swings.

2Baba has undoubtedly gain his places as one of the most versatile and talented musicians to come out of Africa, featuring almost on any genre you put him on and always comes out great.

With more than 20 years in music, the 44 year old Nigeria artist is undoubtedly one of the most talented freestyles in the continent.

He features the Nigeria power song lady, Tiwa savge in a freestyle session powered by uduX.

Note
This lockdown has been on us and has given us more reasons to understand that we can do better together than we can do apart, in fact, if there is nothing else this pandemic has taught us, it is the fact that we need each other to survive, and we cannot win the fight by standing against each other.

KeiyaA’s lockdown listening: ‘Hope for black Americans lies in the art we make’

‘I’m trying to focus on the positive side of being in isolation, which is forced introspection’ … KeiyaA. Photograph: Chris Spivey

I’m in my apartment in New York, and I’m trying to focus on the positive side of being in isolation, which is forced introspection. I just released my album, and so I would have been forced to be introspective regardless, because after you release a body of work and it starts getting critiqued by the general public, that creates a whole lot of dysphoria about yourself. But isolation has further forced me to process it: what have I just created? I’ve also been able to practice and flex my cooking – I’ve been making a lot of stews; I roasted a big old snapper for the first time last week. It’s a lot of African and Caribbean dishes and styles: a lot of yuca.

Kate Bush: Pi – video

One of the songs I’ve been listening to on repeat all year, but especially now, is Pi, off Kate Bush’s Aerial album. It’s this dance back and forth between a 6/8 post-bop almost-swing groove, and then the typical Kate Bush sound that we know: medieval pop in the 80s. She’s singing about this guy who’s obsessed with numbers, and as someone who has been diagnosed with non-neurotypical things like ADHD and depression, something about the way she’s speaking, the franticness and the rushed sense in the lyrics, really remind me of when I’m in a moment of mania or mental hyperactivity. It sounds like what it feels like when my brain is just going.

Ambrose Akinmusire: A Blooming Bloodfruit in a Hoodie – video

A lot of music I’ve been listening to is impressionist music, being able to capture things through sonics and not necessarily lyrics – I’ve been enthralling myself with composers and arrangers who are able to do that. This is a sonic commentary on police brutality, black children that are being murdered and hate crimes in general. The alliteration alone, to describe human life in that way, I thought was incredibly poignant. It’s 13 minutes of pain and beauty and sorrow, but also hope. The hope for black people in America lies where it always has, in the art and the work we make, and the conversations that we have, and the spirit that we embody every day.

It’s been beautiful to see Angel Bat Dawid, an artist out of Chicago, getting her reverence, because she’s an incredible artist and composer, and so is the whole post-AACM jazz community there. This resonates with me because it reminds me of my childhood in Chicago, and a sound that is so specific to the avant-garde jazz scene there. Jazz instrumentation, but with a lot of singing, and the sound of the bass clarinet and tuba: sounds that you don’t necessarily hear in more modern jazz. Not a lot of intense, lush, chordal big band landscapes – it’s a little more broken down, more spiritual, more ritualistic. I’m in New York in isolation, and I need something that reminds me of my past – this music just sounds so much like home to me.

Brandy: All in Me – video

It’s a rollercoaster thrill-ride of sounds and sonics; I’ve listened to this song hundreds of times and I still discover new things. I don’t know if it’s specific to America, but I think that only certain people in certain packages are allowed to be deemed incredibly profound and intellectual, but also connect on a mass level. I feel like only certain black artists are given that, and they have to play jazz, instrumental or electronic music. We associate folks like Brandy [and her producers] Timbaland and Darkchild in black American hip-hop culture, but don’t necessarily always associate that culture with the intellectual. I think we’re seeing more women getting that, but there’s still proximity to whiteness and white maleness and desirability that’s involved too. It’s a long road before the Brandys and the Jazmine Sullivans of this world get the same deal.

Wayne Shorter: Night Dreamer – video

The Wayne Shorter album Night Dreamer is a favourite of mine, and the waltzing title track is so beautiful. I’m up all the time at night – I play a lot of Animal Crossing – and so it’s a beautiful and relevant sonic allegory on playing in the darkness. At least that’s the way I interpret it.

Maassai: Space – video

This rapper from New York named Maassai, a friend of mine and a creative collaborator, does a music series called Construction, which alludes to black Americans as the original construction workers of the country because of the institutions we literally built. She talks a lot about claiming and taking up space, and her identity as a black artist and a black woman, and so I really love her work. She doesn’t really sound like anything else – she is a lyrically dense and very skilled MC, first and foremost, but she raps over more experimental sounding music, and dance music. It’s definitely hip-hop, but modern and super forward. She’s incredible.

KeiyaA: Negus Poem 1 & 2 – video

Lockdown has also revealed some darker things that I’m grateful to have revealed to me because it gives me stuff to work on. One of those is understanding how lonely I feel each day – even though I have friends and community I didn’t realise that I write a lot about loneliness and habits of self-isolation. I think it stems probably from experiences when I was a child. I started understanding what it meant to be poor, and that there was a social hierarchy, when I started doing after-school music programmes and was confronted with kids of different classes and races – and that was when I started to understand loneliness. I believe you can carry all types of things generationally too – I think it’s something that’s in my blood. But to be able to see how many people all over the world are able to resonate with my lyrics, which I think are just my thoughts that I’m pulling out of my ass, it helps me to understand that if there is an inevitable loneliness to our human existence, there’s an inevitable togetherness too.

How to make the perfect playlist

Life is just one playlist away from being perfectly soundtracked.

For example, I want to go running, but of course I need the right music to propel me from start to finish. I’m planning a road trip, but the music needs to sound adventurous to hype me up. I’m under a deadline and need something to block out the world so I can focus.

There are thousands of premade playlists that can fill those needs, but often they just aren’t personal enough. Even the playlists being automatically created for us each week by our music services sometimes aren’t quite right.

So how do you nail the perfect mix of songs every time? How do you make a playlist that hits just right for that special occasion? We talked to four music lovers inside and outside the music industry, some of whom work at Spotify and Pandora, and here are their tips.

“For me, it’s less about the linear steps and more, what’s the creative spark for the playlist, because there’s always one,” said Meg Tarquinio, head of curation strategy for Spotify. “I think the best playlists start from an eccentric and eclectic idea and go from there.”

For some people, creating a playlist is like chasing down a story that’s hidden throughout different songs. It can feel like following clues that no one else heard the way you did. To get started, think about the reason you wanted to create a playlist in the first place, and then expand on that feeling.

Advertisements

Scott Vener, the music supervisor for HBO’s “Ballers,” said something similar. “Know your audience and know the purpose of the playlist you’re making.” Mr. Vener was also the music supervisor for HBO’s “Entourage,” and he co-hosted the “OTHERtone” radio show with Pharrell Williams on Apple Music.

“Most of the playlists I make are for passionate music fans who have an appetite that leans toward discovery rather than songs they already know,” Mr. Vener continued. “However, this seems to backfire on me a lot with casual music fans. They want the hits. If you’re trying to make a playlist for everyone, I subscribe to something I heard from George Clooney on how he chooses which movies to make: ‘Two for them (his fans), one for you.’”

On starting a playlist, Maisey Boldt, a high school freshman who constantly shares playlists with her friends, said, “Sometimes I’ll find an already made playlist on Apple Music to use as a starting point. I’ll copy it to my own library as a new playlist so I can remove or add other ones I like better.”

For Oscar Celma, vice president of data science and machine learning at Pandora/SiriusXM, the act of creating a playlist can be more of a two-way street. “Sometimes when I create a playlist, I add songs for a particular context or style, and then I use Pandora’s ‘Add similar songs’ button to find more.

“It’s a good way for me to discover songs or even challenge the system on how well it understands me. I may remove a song or two and add more of my own and then ask it to add five more. It’s more of a back and forth, conversational way of making a playlist.”

How important is the track order in a playlist? Playlist sequencing is important if each song tells a slice of the story you’re trying to convey. But using the shuffle button is less egregious if each song is telling the same story in a different way.

The consensus among those I talked to was that the longer the playlist, the more likely it is to get shuffled. If the playlist is a bucket to collect certain types of songs released over the course of years, the order matters very little.

Succinctly, Mr. Vener said: “My advice is don’t overthink it.”

Bottom line? It’s OK to experiment and have fun. Try something new and different, if the option is available to you.

“Spotify has a collaborative playlist feature, so I make a lot of playlists with my friends,” Ms. Tarquinio said. “With my high school friends, we’ll add songs from high school that maybe others have forgotten about, with the next person adding a song that the first one made them think about.”

Ms. Tarquinio added that another thing she liked to do was to “sequence songs with a really strong musical connection between the tracks.”

Advertisements

“A lot of songs have similar arpeggios, or they might start on the same chord,” she said, “but that’s just a personal thing I love.”

Many of us use playlists for music organization, whether to save songs from internet radio or to create bucket collections.

“I have a playlist for each year, like 2019 and 2018 and so on, which are all the songs I liked and discovered from those times that I’m collecting in playlists,” said Pandora’s Mr. Celma. “It’s really cool to go back to the playlists from different years and reminisce and trigger the memories from when I heard these songs.”

Creating a smart playlist in iTunes or Apple Music (in the desktop app), as well as using other automation tools, can also accomplish a similar goal by automatically adding certain songs to a playlist based on options you set.

Also, using a playlist to study can help block out distractions.

“I made a playlist before of only Shakira’s Spanish songs, because at the time I didn’t know what she was saying,” said Ms. Boldt. “It was to help me focus when I was doing my homework, so I could concentrate on that instead of being distracted by a song’s lyrics.”

There are days when playlist inspiration just won’t come — no matter the number of tips or tricks. In that case, algorithms will be there to help us make the best playlists possible, continually seeping into our music players of choice.

The biggest music enthusiasts may begrudge the invisible hand of automation in favor of their own brute force discovery skills, but it has its benefits.


Weekend briefing

Processing…
Success! You’re on the list.

Ultimately, as Ms. Tarquinio points out, it all melds into a single effort. “‘Discover Weekly’ is an algorithm that only functions because of the social community around us crowdsourcing what other people are listening to, who listen to things that are similar to you,” she said. “So yes, it’s an algorithmic playlist, but it’s based in music culture and crowdsourced music recommendations.”

But Mr. Vener lamented that playlists had replaced his favorite music blogs. “I miss reading passionate music fans’ take on each song they posted,” he said.

In keeping with the subject matter, I made a playlist for this story. The songs below are the soundtrack to these words. The feel, the order and your potential new music discoveries were all carefully considered. You can add it on Spotify here, or Apple Music here.

Naira Marley: ‘A big bum is better than qualifications in Nigeria’

Depending on who you talk to, Naira Marley is either the scourge of the next generation of Nigerians or their saviour. But whoever’s talking, the pop star – arguably the most controversial in Africa – is spoken about in near-mythological tones, which makes his amiability very arresting when we meet in London a few weeks before lockdown.

He arrives flanked by an entourage, photoshoot-ready in a reflective puffer, and oscillates between class clown and deep thought. To some, the 25-year-old’s meteoric rise over the past two years has been sudden: selling out Brixton Academy in three minutes; accruing three million Instagram followers, tens of millions of streams, and a cult-like fandom. But the signs of stardom have always been there.

Advertisements

Born Afeez Fashola in Agege, Lagos, Marley moved to Peckham, London, aged 11. As a teen he was a keen freestyle rapper, but was initially more interested in the management side of music. During a studio session he facilitated for friends in 2014, he recorded the instant hit Marry Juana on a whim. The track helped usher in the fusion of UK rap, dancehall and Afrobeats that now frequently hits the UK charts, by such artists as J HusDarkooYoung T & Bugsey. The blend of influences is referenced in his name: Naira is the currency of Nigeria, and Marley reggae royalty.

“I knew it was a new sound and I wasn’t sure if people were gonna take to it,” he says. “I didn’t know it would be a big impact, with everyone following afterwards.” African intonation is now commonplace in the UK music scene, but back then, a Caribbean lilt was the standard among MCs – regardless of their background. “I was already proud of being African and had a problem with the fact we couldn’t be ourselves,” he says. “So I just went with my accent and it sounded wavy.”

Marley made waves with UK rap bangers Back2Work and Money On the Road. It was difficult to immediately associate him with one genre: he had a scampish likability combined with the edge of a road rapper. When he started frequently visiting Lagos, his music took on the sunnier sound of Afrobeats and his popularity skyrocketed.


Weekend briefing

Processing…
Success! You’re on the list.

When Marley shared a snippet of his 2018 single Issa Goal on Instagram, it instantly launched the social media trend that went on to dominate that summer, the shaku shaku dance, and became the semi-official song for the Nigerian football team. He launched the label Marlian Music, and is currently on the lookout for its first female artist. “I actually want a fat girl,” he says with a grin. “Music is spiritual – it’s not about the look only. There’s actually fat people in the world, you know? It doesn’t have to be skinny people singing only.”

Marlians don’t wear belts and don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. One was suspended from school for not having underwear on

But there has been a major bump in this ascent: his arrest by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It began when another Afrobeats artist, Simi, chastised the actions of the country’s “Yahoo boys” – internet conmen nicknamed after the search engine. In response, Marley wrote an Instagram post saying: “If u know about slavery … yahoo no b crime” and later asked Nigerians to “pray for internet fraudsters” rather than criticise them, arguing that they kept money circulating in the country. Nigeria is keen to shed its reputation for internet fraud, and Marley was accused of exacerbating it.

Advertisements

A backlash followed, further whipped up by Marley’s antagonistically titled single Am I a Yahoo Boy featuring Nigerian rapper Zlatan. The lyrics were provocative (the Nigerian government is cast as “thieves”) as was the video, which featured a mock-up of Marley being arrested. The day after its release, he and Zlatan were arrested in real life along with three others.

Marley was held in custody for 35 days and the case is ongoing, meaning he can’t comment on it directly. He faces 11 charges of credit-card fraud, for allegedly conspiring to use credit card numbers that didn’t belong to him, and having counterfeit cards as well as cards that weren’t his own. If convicted, he could be jailed for up to seven years. He has pleaded not guilty. In a statement, his management argued he was being held “based on a cheeky song”.

Do the shaku shaku … Marley performing live at Brixton Academy. Photograph: Zek Snaps

“Naira did not publicly [defend] those who commit fraud,” it reads. “He expressed his view on the situation, which was simply his opinion.” He appears undeterred: the cover art of his single Why?, released shortly after his arrest, shows him raising his arms in handcuffs. In Bad Influence, he continues to take potshots at Nigeria’s leaders, declaring himself a scapegoat for their own failings. “We want school, but they give us prison,” is one of the lyrics. He tells me: “I’ve always been political because I was born in Nigeria, where everything is not the way it’s meant to be. I’ve always been against the corruption.”Advertisement

Comparisons between legendary Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti and the artists of the contemporary pop style Afrobeats are common. But Marley, who sings “they want to treat me like they treated Fela”, is also drawing comparisons with the government’s repression of Kuti, who was arrested more than 200 times after speaking out against Nigeria’s violent, corrupt mid-century regime. “All my music is not straight at the government, straight political, but there’s a lot of similarities,” he says. “The weed, the I-don’t-care attitude, the freedom – speaking your mind and the government coming to arrest you.”

Advertisements

I ask him what he learned during his time in prison in Lagos. “That I’m powerful,” he says without any pause. “Not to be big-headed, but I influence a lot of people.” His devoted fanbase, known as Marlians, protested outside the EFCC headquarters for the entirety of his stay and rallied around him with the #FreeNairaMarley hashtag.

There’s even pastors in church saying, ‘I cast the spirit of Marlian out of your children. Your children will graduate!’

His impact is undeniable: from helping to pioneer the Afrobashment style, to heading viral dance crazes, such as the shaku shaku and the tesumole dance. Soapy, his first major single since his arrest, is accompanied by a dance simulating masturbation, and took over the streets of Lagos, unsurprisingly provoking ire. But the Marlians are the biggest testament to his influence, something that goes beyond mere fandom.

“I’m a Marlian myself,” he says. “It’s more of a way of life. It’s a country.”

“A religion,” his manager offers from across the room, laughing. “A cult!”

The loosely defined Marlian ideology almost exists outside of Marley himself. It’s chiefly about pushing back against a strangling status quo and its adherents have their own rules – Marlians don’t wear belts or celebrate Valentine’s Day, nor do they do a whole host of other arbitrary things, having decided that this is the way to best embody the spirit of their musical deity.

Advertisements

Marley is laid back about most of the rules created in his name, but makes it clear he doesn’t agree with everything. He mentions a recent story that hit the Nigerian press, regarding a teen Marlian who was suspended for not wearing underwear to school, as per alleged Marlian guidelines.

“I didn’t tell them not to wear pant,” he shrugs. “There’s even pastors praying in church saying, ‘I cast the spirit of Marlian out of your children. Your children will graduate!’”

With his dreads, penchant for weed and disregard for authority, Marley is the embodiment of everything that inherently conservative Nigerian society dislikes, particularly in its youth. He is the physical manifestation of parents’ fears over their children joining “bad gang” – boasting of “no mannaz”, and rubbishing Nigerian higher education.

His ubiquity within the Nigerian press, equal parts erroneous and hysterical, means anything he says makes headlines. Though a great deal is deliberately provocative, there is always method in his madness, he assures. Even Soapy has more to it that its immediate lewd premise: it’s a mediation on his prison experience. “I just added the dance so it wasn’t as serious,” he says.Advertisement

One of his most controversial statements on Twitter – “Marlians Don’t Graduate, We Drop Out” – led to inevitable uproar in a nation where formal education is highly valued. He tells me his message was misconstrued: “There are corporate Marlians, there are dropout Marlians – all kind of Marlians.” Another statement that rankled was: “Having a big booty is better than having a masters degree.” Though on the surface ridiculous, the sentiment may be difficult to dispute. Last year, 55% of young people in Nigeria aged 15 to 35 were unemployed, and graduates were among the worst affected. Meanwhile, the country’s Instagram models and influencers are big business.

“It’s not a joke!” he says emphatically. “I don’t want it to be better, but it is better, in Nigeria especially: big-bummed girls that didn’t even graduate can get a job easily. It’s better to have a big bum than qualifications – you have more of a chance.”


Weekend briefing

Processing…
Success! You’re on the list.

This is what draws young Nigerians to Marley most of all: his willingness to confront the establishment’s hypocrisy.

“They are still backwards,” he says. “They’re not free, they don’t believe in equality, they don’t believe, if you’re 18, you can make decisions yourself. They don’t believe in freedom of speech. I’m making people speak their mind, making people make their own decisions.” Marley knows something that his naysayers don’t yet seem to have grasped: the more they clutch their pearls, the more powerful he becomes.

Naira Marley

Naira Marley: I started music after making £250,000 in England

Naira Marley, Nigerian singer, says he ventured into music after making £250,000, his first big money, in England.

The controversial singer disclosed this when he featured on an episode of ‘The Truth‘ a YouTube series, pioneered and hosted by Olisa Adibua, Nigerian media personality.

Zinoleesky, Mohbad and C-Blvck, three of the four artists on ‘Marlian Records‘, his own record label, also featured alongside him.

Speaking during the interview, Naira Marley said that his original plan was to invest in talents around him and help them explore their potentials, while also making profit.

Advertisements

He, however, said such mindset changed when he made £250,000 after which he went into the studio and eventually started his music career.

“I didn’t even mean to go into the studio. My plan was to invest in people freestyling around me because they were so talented,” he said.

“So eventually, we went into the studio, we had so much time and they made lots of records, you know. But we had too much time on our hands, I made just one song.

“By the time we left the studio; imagine we had 10 songs, but it was my song that everybody was singing, so I was just baffled, you know. People kept forcing me to send them the song… Everyone around me already knew the lyrics. So, one day we were chilling when one of my friends with a camera told me to shoot a video (for the song) with the camera.

“We shot the video unplanned and it had like four million views in three weeks. Basically, that’s how I got into music and I can’t stop.”

He, was however, unclear as to how he made the £250,000.

“I was picking money on the streets in England, it was so easy,” he said when asked how the money came about.


Weekend briefing

Processing…
Success! You’re on the list.

When probed further if he money was legal or illegal, he said “I was doing mad things.”

Marley was recently named Nigeria’s most-viewed artiste on YouTube for the year 2019, beating the likes of Davido, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Teni and Zlatan among others.

The street singer has amassed a deluge of diehard fans — comprising both old and young — ever since his legal battle with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over cyber crime allegations.

SOURCE: The Cable

Why is a generation of rappers dying young?: ‘It’s a war zone’

Overdoses or violent crime have claimed Mac Miller, Juice WRLD and Nipsey Hussle. ‘It’s not a fairytale lifestyle,’ admits an insider – but should the business do more to protect its stars?

A roadside tribute to the murdered rapper XXXTentacion. Photograph: Mediapunch/Rex/Shutterstock


t might sound callous, but Jacob Thureson’s parents, Erik and Judy, were not too worried when they heard about his latest overdose. It had happened a couple of times already and the 18-year-old rapper had always made it out of hospital in one piece. Thureson, who performed under the name Hella Sketchy, was among the wave of emo-influenced trap rappers who came up using the music platform SoundCloud. He had recently relocated from the family home in Texas to Los Angeles after being signed to Atlantic Records.

As Erik drove to work, he cycled through a mental list of options: more inpatient treatment? Thureson had already been to rehab, twice. Ketamine therapy?

There would be no further plan of action. Shortly after Erik left for work, Judy received another phone call. Things were very bad, and they should come to the hospital now. Fourteen days later, on 27 June 2019, Thureson died.

Advertisements

Many young rappers have died in the past few years. Mac Miller died in 2018 aged 26 after consuming cocaine and counterfeit oxycodone containing the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Lil Peep died at 21 in 2017 – an accidental fentanyl and Xanax overdose. Juice WRLD died late last year after a drug-induced seizure aboard a private jet. It is believed he swallowed multiple Percocet pills in an attempt to hide them as police raided the plane. On New Year’s Day, a rare female death: Minnesota rapper Lexii Alijai, the victim of yet another accidental fentanyl overdose.

Alongside these deaths by misadventure, there are the victims of violent crime. Despite being accused of horrific abuse by an ex-partner, XXXTentacion enjoyed massive popularity before being killed in 2018 aged 20 as he was robbed outside a Florida motorcycle dealership. Pittsburgh rapper Jimmy Wopo – touted as the heir to local forebears Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller – was killed in a drive-by shooting the same day. Two weeks later, 21-year-old Canadian rapper and Drake tourmate Smoke Dawg was killed outside a Toronto nightclub. In March 2019, Nipsey Hussle was shot dead outside his Los Angeles clothing store.

Lil Peep, who died from an accidental fentanyl and Xanax overdose.

Many of these rappers engaged with their own mortality in lyrics that talked about death, drugs and depression. Death is everywhere in SoundCloud rap: the genre’s unofficial logo is a teardrop. Smokepurpp posed in a coffin in the artwork for his mixtape Deadstar, and Peep – often called the Kurt Cobain of his generation owing to his cherubic face, placid manner and dedication to his ever-spiralling nihilism – intoned: “Everybody tellin’ me life’s short, but I wanna die,” on his 2017 track The Brightside.

Advertisements

Looking at such lyrics, you might reasonably conclude that these rappers wanted to die. But while some of them did experience mental illness and addiction, their death wish was as much of an aesthetic as the pink hair and facial tattoos. So why did the nihilistic pose become a self-fulfilling prophecy, ending the lives of young people barely out of their teens? And what can be done to arrest it?

One problem lies in the way these rappers’ careers have built with unprecedented speed. While earlier generations of musicians might spend years gigging before being spotted, DIY rap stars have circumvented the record industry’s gatekeepers to accrue wealth and success – often while still in their teens – leaving them struggling to adapt to sudden fame. “Peep went from having no manager to being managed by a very large company that deals with high-profile artists, and with that came more money and more pressure,” says his friend and collaborator Adam McIlwee, who performs as Wicca Phase Springs Eternal.

The rap game isn’t like any other industry. There are a lot of guns and bullets flying aroundJimmy Duval


Weekend briefing

Processing…
Success! You’re on the list.

In an industry that is ruthlessly dedicated to discovering the hot new thing, pastoral care can be nonexistent. Record labels often don’t care about these rappers. “They know that when they’re done, the next SoundCloud or Instagram rapper is behind them,” says Calvin Smiley, an expert in hip-hop and social justice at Hunter College in New York. On an even more cynical note, he questions why Juice WRLD was carrying his drugs personally. “I’ve been around hip-hop artists, and the rule of thumb is that there is a friend who holds the drugs and takes the fall,” Smiley says. “You wonder: where were his handlers? Where were the people giving him direction?”

The role of management is also coming under scrutiny. Peep’s mother, Liza Womack, is suing First Access Entertainment, who managed the rapper. She claims that they encouraged drug use on Lil Peep’s final tour, would obtain drugs for him, and pushed the rapper beyond the limits of “what somebody of his age and maturity level could handle emotionally, mentally, and physically”. (First Access Entertainment did not respond to a request for comment, but in a legal filing has said its dealings with Peep were “purely of a business nature and not the type of special relationship giving rise to an independent duty of care”.) McIlwee claims that Peep had a fight with his management shortly before he died. “I know there was a show he did not want to play for whatever reason – and [the drug-taking] was him just showing the world he didn’t really care.”

Advertisements

McIlwee says that labels and management should give artists time to recover. “If your artist is in trouble, you have to step in and say it’s time to take a step back or re-evaluate the release schedule, the touring,” he says. “So the artist can get healthy and have a long career. But that doesn’t happen much, because long careers are boring.”

There are signs that lessons are being learned. Giuseppe Zappala of Galactic Records manages Lil Tecca, the 17-year-old SoundCloud wunderkind whose track Ransom reached No 4 in the US and has amassed more than 650m plays on Spotify. He has learned to read Tecca’s moods carefully: if the young rapper appears overtired, Zappala will clear the schedules. He ensures that Tecca has at least a day off between shows and that tours last no longer than five weeks. Sometimes he brings chefs on the road to ensure he is eating healthily. Sleep is another priority, although there is a limit to what Zappala can do, given that Tecca is a teenager. “There will definitely be times when Tec wants to go to the studio until 8am,” Zappala sighs. “I say: ‘That may not make the most sense, because you’ve got a show tomorrow at 1pm.’ It’s about trying to instil routine in him.”

Fans pay their respects to Nipsey Hussle at the spot where he was murdered. Photograph: David McNew/Getty

But young rappers can face just as much pressure from outside the industry: “The environments where these kids come from – it’s not a fairytale lifestyle,” says Taylor Maglin, who discovered Wopo and managed him until his death. “It’s a war zone, you know? Rivals get created, enemies get created.” He believes that Wopo was murdered by disaffected members of a rival gang, who were envious of his success. (Wopo was allegedly a member of the Hill District gang 11 Hunnit, and was name-checked in a police indictment shortly after his death.)

XXXTentacion’s lawyer, David Bogenschutz, says the rapper had “been concerned that someone would kidnap or kill him. He was generating money and notoriety.” The day XXXTentacion was shot, it is believed he was stalked from his bank to the motorcycle dealership.

Advertisements

“The rap game isn’t like any other industry,” says producer Jimmy Duval, who worked with XXX. “There are a lot of guns and bullets flying around.”

Smiley says that hip-hop’s relationships with drugs has changed “absolutely”. Earlier generations of rappers used drugs as a tool to accrue wealth, speaking about selling them as a way out of poverty, rather than using narcotics themselves (bar weed and alcohol). Once success arrived, drugs were used as a social signifier: music videos depicting tables groaning with bottles of Hennessy and cocaine-dusted mirrors. That reality has shifted to a more flagrant form of glamorisation.

You have to be on 24/7, because everything is about likes, shares and counting how many followers you haveDr Calvin Smiley

A turning point came at the turn of the 2010s, when rapper Juicy J helped popularise lean, then the drug of choice in Houston’s chopped and screwed music scene. An addictive and dangerous concoction of soda, candy and prescription cough mixture containing codeine, references to lean oozed into rap: Lil Wayne celebrates it, Young Thug freely drinks it during interviews, and Juice WRLD said he was inspired to try lean after listening to Future. Roddy Ricch’s hit track The Box, currently the US No 1, has an anthemic chorus with a line about drinking lean to “get lazy”.

Rappers also began hitting party drugs such as MDMA and cocaine, as well as the prescription drugs OxyContin, Xanax and Percocet. Future celebrates “molly, Perocets” in his 2015 smash Mask Off. (“That is a horrible combination of drugs,” says Duval of Mask Off: “The whole hook is you having a fucking heart attack.”) The rapper Lil Pump posed with a Xanax-shaped cake to celebrate reaching 1 million followers on Instagram, a particularly brain-dead stunt given that counterfeit prescription drugs containing fentanyl have been blamed for the 10-fold increase in opioid-related deaths in the US between 2013 and 2018.

Advertisements

A culture of performative excess began to strangle the scene, viewed through the panopticon of social media, which encourages risk-taking behaviour, says Smiley: “You have to be on 24/7, because everything is about likes, shares and counting how many followers you have.” Thureson posted videos of himself drinking lean on Instagram; when his parents confronted him, he claimed it was purple Gatorade. “He told me it was just the culture,” his mum, Judy, says. Peep posed with prescription pills on his tongue hours before he died.

Braden L Morgan, known as producer Nedarb Nagrom, was Peep’s roommate for three years. He believes Peep abused drugs to alleviate the pressures of touring, which he hated, and that hangers-on offering him drugs made things worse. “He was really nice and would say yes to everything, so he’d do whatever anyone offered him. And as he got more popular, more people wanted to be his friend, so they gave him the stuff more.” He calls Peep’s death a horrible accident. “He got unlucky. I have no doubt that if he hadn’t passed away, he was going to chill out.”

Lil Tecca performs at the Rolling Loud festival in New York City. Photograph: Steven Ferdman/Getty

After so many deaths, a brutal comedown. “After Peep died, a lot of people stopped partying every day,” says Morgan. He has seen drug use tail off among the young rappers he produces; Lil Pump and Smokepurpp announced they were quitting Xanax following Peep’s death. “The younger kids don’t do stuff as much, because they see all the shit that happened in the last few years.” For those who do still indulge, drug-testing kits are becoming common. “No one was testing drugs before Peep died,” says Morgan.

There are promising indications that the rap scene is beginning to course-correct. “There’s enough of a bad taste in everyone’s mouth that saying, ‘go pop a molly’ doesn’t feel right now,” says Duval. The backlash has been rumbling for a while: J Cole’s 2018 diss track 1985 was scathing about SoundCloud rappers. “They wanna see you dab, they wanna see you pop a pill / They wanna see you tatted from your face to your heels.”

Advertisements

As the narcotic aesthetic becomes less fashionable, rappers are becoming more mindful of the message they are sending to fans. Artists including Isaiah Rashad, Lucki, Travis Scott and Danny Brown have spoken out about prescription drug addiction. Sacramento rapper Mozzy has urged his followers to quit lean. Lucki, considered by some to be the father of SoundCloud rap, talks in Freewave 3 about his mother looking up the effect of lean on his kidneys. Even Lil Xan, easily most cavalier artist in this group, has considered changing his name.

As Miller sang in his biggest hit, it is time to finally start practising some self-care. But the burden should not fall to individuals: as labels and management cash in on this wave, they must take greater responsibility for artist wellbeing. “You have to prioritise their health and happiness before music or fame,” says Zappala. “It’s tough being a successful artist, not knowing whether the people around you have genuine intentions.”

His goals for Tecca are clear. “I’m going to develop Tec into an artist who has a 10, 15-year career,” says Zappala. “When he’s 30, he’s still going to be relevant.”

Eminem, Music to be Murdered By, review: ‘so lethally brilliant it should be a crime’

More than two decades have passed since Eminem’s breakout single My Name Is… arrived, announcing him as the most outrageously skillful rapper of his time. At 47, Marshall Mathers III shows no signs of slowing down – if anything, he’s speeding up. At the frenetic conclusion of monster new track Godzilla, he knocks out 229 words (containing 339 syllables) in 30 seconds; some rap websites are already claiming the average of 7.6 words per second a world record.

What is more impressive is that he makes every word count. He declares “I’m unfadable / You wanna battle, I’m available, I’m blowin’ up like an inflatable / I’m undebatable, I’m unavoidable, I’m unevadable.” I am not sure the latter is actually a word but you know exactly what he means: every rapper who wants to lay claim to the hip hop crown is going to have to get past Eminem first. The grandstanding champion has pugnaciously inserted himself into the new decade by dropping an unannounced double album as punchy, melodramatic and brilliant as anything he has ever done. 

Advertisements

The lugubrious tones of Alfred Hitchcock provide spoken interludes and thematic context, sampled from a 1958 orchestral compilation from which Eminem has also borrowed the title, Music to Be Murdered By. Homicide is a repeated subject (as it has been throughout Eminem’s career), although the angle shifts from lurid first person fictional narratives of violence to jokey threats and musical metaphors, with Eminem rapping about poisonous pens and threatening to “murder this beat” on closing track I Will.

He may pepper rhymes with dubious associations to American serial killers John Wayne Gacey, Richard Ramirez (known as The Night Stalker), Albert de Salvo (the Boston Strangler) and Charles Manson, but there is something grittier and more substantial in many of Eminem’s murder stories. On the rocky Stepdad, Eminem invests the narrative of a teenage boy killing an abusive stepfather with the emotional heft of social-realist drama. The astonishing Darkness (which circles around a haunting musical quote from Paul Simon’s Sound of Silence) offers a chilling take on Stephen Paddock’s 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, building a powerful case for gun control. The message is driven home by the song’s chilling coda, in which one broadcast of a mass shooting is piled on top of another while a voice sadly sings “hello darkness my old friend.”

Eminem ‘Music To Be Murdered By’ Album cover

Nevertheless, within hours of the album’s release, Eminem was mired in controversy over a reference to the 2017 Manchester Arena suicide bombing. It pops up as an almost throwaway remark during Unaccommodating, a track detailing his disdain for rival rappers. “I’m contemplating yelling ‘bombs away’ on the game / Like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” Families of some of the 22 victims have expressed their upset on social media.

Yet, for better or worse, it wouldn’t be much of an Eminem album if he wasn’t upsetting someone. At times, his appeal is like that of a shocking stand-up comedian, always goading himself to say the unsayable. “I’m the complete opposite of these r—— who spit these weak bars, I’ma leave carnage,” he declares. “Each thought’ll be so toxic, it’ll block the wind through your esophagus / Stop it, cutting off your oxygen.”

When every line and idea is so ridiculously out of proportion to the subject matter, the impact can be akin to a brain-numbing assault of verbal blows. But it only works because Eminem is a bold and brilliant wordsmith, piling up internal rhymes and employing a vast vocabulary. His impressive command of metre and scansion creates a sense of unstoppable impetus. On top of which his delivery is always pitch-perfect, shifting rhythm and emphasis with the instincts of a natural thespian. I don’t think there is anyone else in rap with his range of skills.

Advertisements

It remains hard to unequivocally champion Eminem when so many elements of his art are deeply, provocatively and intentionally offensive. There is plenty here for any reasonable person might object to, including blasts of horrible sexism, sneering misogyny and just general nastiness.

Yet, at the root of what he does lies the moral disgust of a satirist who disparages the whole of mankind, himself included. Allied to crisp beats and catchy hooks, with guest appearances from a galaxy of stars including Ed Sheeran, Q Tip, Anderson.Paak and the late rapper Juice WRLD (who died aged 21 in December), Eminem’s 11th album offers over an hour of the world’s greatest rapper blasting away on all cylinders. It is the first great album of 2020, so lethally brilliant it should be a crime.

Who is an upcoming artist?

This is an opinion-based case to stop the use of ‘upcoming’ as an instrument of derogation for artists and a case for artists to understand that you cannot be more than what you are.

Drake missing as Wizkid Drops Come Closer Video
Wizkid earlier took to his Instagram to announce the release of the video

Descriptives are one way human beings can tell right from left. Descriptives prevent human beings from mumbling different things into one thing.

Descriptives determine the boundaries of peculiar traits as a way to describe and define things. Human beings need descriptives for documentation, discernment, posterity and power. There is power in knowing who/what you are as against what something else is.

The human brain has a need to understand and tell things. This is why certain people have deep-seated personality and identity issues. It is also why certain people change their gender.

In entertainment and pop culture, descriptives help us understand the depths of genres, sound, artistry, definition and so forth. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Even though a descriptive helps us understand concepts better, defining certain phenomena has been cause for rancor amongst commentators and creatives.

One of those sources of rancor is the concept of an ‘upcoming’ artist.’ For ages and in music, arguments have rumbled on and on about who is or isn’t an upcoming artist. On the one part, the audience judges based on mainstream popularity, footprint and achievement.

On the other part, the artists who are described as ‘upcoming’ loathe what it represents. To them, it represents derogation and mistreatment againstwhat an artist is. Much like the word ‘fat’ has been replaced with ‘plus-sized,’ artists have tried to replace ‘upcoming’ with ’emerging.’

Like ‘fat,’ and on its own, ‘upcoming’ naturally is just a word that has no deogration attached to it. But with use by some commentators and members of the audience, derogation and stigma became fundamental to it. Even though the word has its own meaning that applies to particular people, artists now refute it due to the derogation and stigma it has grown to represent.

However and again like ‘fat,’ ‘upcoming is just a word to the average person. We might refer the euphemism for ‘fat’ and ‘upcoming’ as semantics, but when we think from the artist’s point of view, we understand how an artist feels.

The role of ego in accepting the ‘upcoming’ tag

Creatives work hard to develop their ideas. When they’ve put in time and effort to get where they are, it feels reductionist to subject them to the status of a ‘nobody’ or a ‘novice.’ Creativity is a friend of ego – a creative’s egos is easily punctured – forget hard guy. As a result, even though ‘upcoming’ isn’t necessarily a description for a novice, the world has erroneously come to see it that way.

So, instead of artists continuing the trend of a word that has been knowingly or unknowingly used for derogatory purposes, artists have sought a fresh start. Thus, ‘upcoming’ has a history of both derogation against artists and their achievements as well as bad reception by artists.

But as much as one feels for the artist, one must also understand that sometimes, words are used harmlessly. Artists have also played a role in fostering ‘upcoming’ as a derogatory word. Equally, descriptives cannot always accurately determine situations and people.

You cannot be more than what you are

Despite all the systemic issues that have led to ‘upcoming’ as a ‘derogatory’ word, sometimes the word is also an accurate way to describe people.

Thus, the other side of the conversation is when artists overrate themselves by wrongly refuting the descriptive, ‘upcoming.’ Sometimes, even when ‘upcoming’ is used by commentators to belittle artists and ‘put them in their place’ they could also be an accurate representation of that artist’s standing at that point.

On one part, one understands the plight of artists and their subconscious need to protect their mental health and ego from derogators. But on the other part, one also understands that artists need to first understand what ‘upcoming’ actually means and whether the word perfectly describes them.

For this purpose and when this clarity sets in, an artist can then decide to either be worried by the descriptive ‘upcoming’ or simply to roll with it till he is ‘upcoming’ no more.

This is because people find a way to make even the best things feel like bad things. We live in a world where people make rich people feel bad for being rich. They make people feel bad for referring themselves as ‘intelligent.’

The reason is because we are all insecure. For that reason, we all sometimes take power from subconsciously putting other people down and making ourselves look bigger. To that end, what an artist can do is understand if he’s truly ‘upcoming’ and not allow anybody to use it against him/her.

In English, ‘upcoming’ means, ‘About to happen or forthcoming.’ For that reason, the word can be broadly applicable. People who fall under that tag might then be anyone who has not made it into mainstream consciousness.

But in truth, not all artists who have not made it into mainstream consciousness are upcoming. And sometimes, being in the mainstream consciousness doesn’t mean you’re A-List and unforgettable. Only legends like Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, MI Abaga and so forth are unforgettable.

But sometimes, you might be unforgettable and not be A-List even though you are mainstream. In that sense, you might be B-List like a Mayorkun – which isn’t bad. Only a few people are totally A-List in Nigeria. For that reason and to avoid for further rancour, we need to accept in life and music, there are cadres. In this article, this writer will propose certain solutions.

Back to the discussion at hand, an upcoming artist is basically artist who hasn’t been a memorable, consistent fixture of mainstream consciousness for more than 2-4 years with the requisite discography (optional), a recognizable brand and the commercial clout.

When we say ‘mainstream,’ we mean Facebook fame and not Twitter fame. We mean having a lot of viral songs that make crowds jump. We mean people jumping for joy and with screams at the mention of your name at shows.

We mean performing your songs and having a horde of people that transcend your core fan base singing along with you. The time factor of 2-4 years is important because anybody can crack the mainstream with a song and go back to obscurity. .

You can simply not be a consistent, memorable fixture of mainstream consciousness with one or two songs. If you have just one or two songs, people will likely struggle to remember your name in 4 years. We must also understand that some artists can be upcoming for the rest of their lives. Those two to four years are not a litmus test after which you stop being upcoming.

Those 2-4 years are only applicable to when you can start calling yourself mainstream after being a memorable and consistent fixture of mainstream consciousness.

But then, since all artists without consistent, memorable and mainstream success are not upcoming, we need to find that appropriately describe artists based on their achievement and stance.

What comes after: Upcoming VS. Emerging VS. Sub-mainstream

In English, ’emerging’ means ‘becoming apparent or prominent.’ ‘Sub-mainstream’ has no English definition, but ‘sub’ is a prefix which means ‘lower in rank.’ Thus, if ‘mainstream (consciousness)’ is the goal, then sub-mainstream is the level directly below all the glory of – the – mainstream (consciousness).

In essence and for the sake of conversation, if ‘upcoming’ means ‘about to happen or forthcoming’ and ’emerging’ means ‘becoming apparent or prominent,’ we could assume that upcoming is a level below emerging.

Thus, with prominence as the major fixture of mainstream and with sub-mainstream being a cadre below mainstream, we must assume that sub-mainstream is above emerging and then upcoming. Even if it happens fast, all upcoming artists become emerging artists before they become mainstream artists – it is a necessary process and success in music comes in phases.

Sub-mainstream phase is when an emerging artist is enjoying mainstream success as an emerging artist and en route becoming a bonafide mainstream success. An example of this is Mayorkun in 2017. But then, when you become a mainstream act, you are a mainstream act. However, artists don’t become mainstream because they’re popular – it’s a process.

The first two years of the proposed four years is when you can become mainstream – you can them become anything you want over the next two years.

A core example of sub-mainstream are Joeboy, Fireboy and Show Dem Camp while some emerging acts are Blaqbonez, Lil Frosh and Zinoleesky.

That said, sometimes, an artist could be emerging and sub-mainstream at the same time. Examples are Joeboy, Fireboy, Blaqbonez, Zinoleesky, Lil Frosh and so forth. The entire of that sub-mainstream description is because these acts tick several boxes to metrics of mainstream fame but lack the foothold of a consistent fixture of mainstream consciousness.

For the sake of conversation, let’s then say that the cadre right above upcoming is emerging. Then, the one above emerging is sub-mainstream (which could sometimes house obscure acts who have amassed some fame due to years of being underground).

In some cases, certain acts have not been a consistent, memorable fixture of mainstream consciousness for 2-4 years. Ordinarily, that makes them upcoming. But practically, such description will be harsh on acts like Show Dem Camp who have grown year on year in popularity and notoriety. For what they have done and what they represent, sub-mainstream would be describe them.

However, for acts with the longevity of Show Dem Camp but without their growth. sub-mainstream will not avail them. Such acts will be best described as niche or underground especially when they’ve stopped chasing ‘mainstream’ notoriety.

That said, we must distinguish between upcoming and new

The major problem with ‘upcoming’ as an instrument of derogation for detractors and against the hardwork of artists is that detractors use it to connote that artists are new. Even though all artists who haven’t been a consistent fixture of mainstream consciousness for 2-4 years are essentially upcoming, it will be harsh to categorize a Blaqbonez with a King Perry.

The purpose of this is the vanity of recognition – we must show artists that we know they are putting in the work by fairly judging their stance. We cannot afford to be the reason an artist is frustrated and depressed.

For this reason, we must create a cadre below ‘upcoming’ for ‘new’ acts. In English, new means, ‘produced, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time; not existing before.’

For the sake of conversation, ‘not existing before’ would relate to knowledge of the artist’s existence to the target audience and not necessarily when the artist started making music. That audience is one that transcends the original audience of that artists and away from the mainstream. The reason is simple; an artist is defined by the audience.

But we must note, a lot of artists are ‘new’ to an audience at one point or another. So for this conversation, we are talking about Nigeria and ‘new’ will apply to any artist who is finding their way to memorable, consistent success in the Nigerian mainstream.

That said, ‘new’ could also relate to when an artist started making music. Equally, we must understand that sometimes, an artist can be new and upcoming at the same time.

An artist can also be pass through stages of new, upcoming, emerging and mainstream so fast that we might not even notice. An example is Davido or Wizkid. That said, at one point or the other and for however little a time, these artists fit descriptions of new, upcoming and emerging – maybe not sub-mainstream.

Thus after all the grammar we have spoken, here are the cadres of artists;

New

Upcoming

Emerging

Sub-mainstream (optional)

Mainstream/Stardom

Inside Mainstream there are three cadres;

  1. A-List: The cream of the crop and legends. Examples are Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Kwam 1 and so forth. 
  2. B-List: Also the cream of the crop, but not quite at the level of superstardom A-Listers can boast of. These people are either an incidence of time or those they compete with in the A-List. Examples are Mayorkun or Simi. If anyone were to put Kizz Daniel in this bracket, they might be right. 
  3. C-List: These guys are either the guys in the sub-mainstream or guys who are gearing for top-level careers. They could also be former A-Listers or B-Listers who have since taken a backseat. 

Outside of the above cadres, we then have people who have the longevity and discography but lack the traits if a fixture of mainstream consciousness. They are:

  1. Niche: People who make music for a dedicated fan base and a specific type of people who understand them. 
  2. Underground: People who do not care about making music for anybody but their own joy. An example is Beautiful Nubia. 

But then, in the end we should remember these descriptions are simply a product of academic argument. The only thing that matters is the music.

Source: Pulse Nigeria

From left, Davido, Sho Madjozi and Burna Boy.

10 must-listen songs of 2019 across Africa

From uptempo romance to feelgood dance, politically spicy rap and crowdpleasing pop, the biggest tracks across Africa last year went big on cross-continental appeal.

From left, Davido, Sho Madjozi and Burna Boy.
From left, Davido, Sho Madjozi and Burna Boy.

Naira Marley – Soapy

The multimillion-dollar question that Nigeria’s anti-corruption commission has been asking all year: how do you solve a problem like Naira Marley? In May, the 25-year-old was arrested for an alleged advance-fee scam and related cybercrimes after the release of a controversial song about Yahoo Boys (a Nigerian phrase for internet fraudsters). Upon his release later that month, he caused a ruckus with the track Soapy, a middle finger to the authorities. Accompanied by a dance mimicking prison masturbation methods, it has elevated the Lagos-born, Peckham-bred rapper to national icon status. His grime flow, lewd lyrics, nimble footwork and unfiltered tweets are expanding that cult following internationally.

Big Tril – Parte After Parte

Big Tril: Parte After Parte – stream

The latest catchphrase in African pop culture was coined by Ugandan rapper Big Tril, although its roots lie in a 2011 sermon where controversial Ugandan clergyman Martin Ssempa – well known for his regular puritanical tirades – laments that his younger compatriots are good-for-nothing hedonists who only know how to party. The video accumulated over 1m views in three months, a symbolic win for the new King of Kampala.

Teni – Power Rangers

Teni: Power Rangers – stream

Writing for herself and other more established stars, Nigeria’s Teniola Apata has zoomed to enviable heights since 2017 when she achieved first national and then continental relevance. In Power Rangers, she’s dwelling in fantasy, invoking pop culture references from the Marvel Universe, Bollywood and David Beckham to paint a vivid picture of a love that never was. The result? A romantic ballad that brings to mind a cheesy soap opera.

Innoss’B – Yo Pe

Innoss’B: Yo Pe – stream

Despite following in a longstanding tradition of dishing up rhythmic Congolese music and intriguing dance moves for the rest of the continent, 22-year-old Innoss’B is carving a path of his own by racking up hit after hit. His finest, Yo Pe, has had more than 16m views in under six months. The singer-songwriter plays djembe, sings, raps and dances while weaving Afrobeats into the standard-call-and-response format popular in his country.

Joeboy – Baby

Joeboy: Baby – video

Innocent-faced newcomer Joeboy seems poised to become one of the leaders of Nigeria’s new school. The biggest beneficiary of the Empawa music accelerator programme run by his countryman, superstar Mr Eazi, Joeboy has been described by Billboard magazine as the nation’s next big thing. Baby, the first single off his Love and Light EP released in November, is a already a wedding crowdpleaser. With millions of views under his belt, there’s a case for him becoming Africa’s next big thing, too.

DJ Maphorisa – Amantombazane ft Kabza De Small, Samthing Soweto, MFR Souls

DJ Maphorisa: Amantombazane ft Kabza De Small, Samthing Soweto, MFR Souls – video

Old and new sub-genres of South Africa’s elegant take on house music collide to great effect in this feelgood song. A poster track for the underground ampiano sound of Pretoria that emerged circa 2016, and piggybacking on the older DiBacardi movement, Amantombazane (Zulu for “girls”) features two of the best known ampiano acts, legendary DJ Maphorisa and Kabza de Small. The soothing vocals of Samthing Soweto, known for singing on the massive hit Akanamali, also feature alongside deejay duo, MFR Souls.

Burna Boy – Anybody

Burna Boy: Anybody – video

Burna Boy has had two stellar years, resulting in his emergence from Nigerian superstar to the continent’s leading man on a global stage – plus a Grammy nomination for his album African Giant. An otherworldly mashup of dancehall and Afrobeat, the crossover album channels the rebellious spirit of Afrobeat progenitor Fela Kuti (whose first local manager was Burna’s grandfather). In standout gem Anybody, he poses as a dictator maniacally urging his audience to hit the floor and infect their reluctant mates with the same passion – by extreme means if necessary.

Sho Madjozi – John Cena

Sho Madjozi: John Cena – video

Undisputedly one of the best performers on the continent, the 27-year-old South African rapper, singer and actress has energy in spades. John Cena, named after the US celebrity wrestler/actor, has elements of hip-hop mixed with her favoured gqom, a sub-genre of South African house music. The song’s cross-continental appeal comes from having lyrics in English, Swahili and Tsonga (not to mention Cena’s hilarious dance routine to it on Ellen DeGeneres’s talkshow). Madjozi’s adorable reaction to a surprise appearance of the wrestler while she was performing the song on Kelly Clarkson’s talk show also sparked a meme.

Rayvanny – Tettema ft Diamond

Rayvanny: Tettema ft Diamond – stream

Tanzanian superstar Diamond Platnumz has emerged as a sort of Midas in east Africa, turning everything he touches to gold. That run also occasionally extends to consume the entire continent: Tettema is another major hit crafted by him and protégé Rayvanny. In the video (which has more than 35m views), the duo borrow the west African zanku dance and admonish a crush in Swahili to vibrate like a generator or like someone who has just been shot. Tettema only became more popular after the Kenya Film Classification Board outlawed the song for its adult lyrics.

Davido – Risky ft Popcaan

Davido: Risky ft Popcaan – video

Davido and Popcaan reunited for the infectious Risky, from the Nigerian’s second studio album A Good Time – a star-studded record starring Chris Brown, Summer Walker, Wurld and zanku pioneer Zlatan. The irresistible Risky has rapidly tattooed itself onto dance floors worldwide from Lagos nightclubs and Nairobi street corners to Kingston streets and Harlem bars.

Best Songs of 2019 – world

Young women blurring genres, global artists pushing boundaries and a rapper playing with a meme made the most exciting tracks of the year.

Going way, way over the top, Lizzo’s knowing but wholehearted take on an old-fashioned, orchestral soul ballad tosses around profanities as she belts it to the rafters.

A few tolling piano notes open a world of loneliness, cavernous and barren, around FKA twigs’ voice as she copes with self-doubt, jealousy and aching need.

The calm, husky tone and understated beats of Burna Boy, from Nigeria, belie a determination to unite Africa and its diaspora. This track from his 2019 album, “African Giant,” is both insinuating and ambitious.

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.Credit…Amy Harris/Invision, via Associated Press

Carried by pulsing keyboards and a bashing beat, Kevin Parker — the one-man studio band Tame Impala — confronts all the misgivings of being a grown-up still making pop music.

ADVERTISEMENTContinue reading the main story

From the album “Ghosteen,” Nick Cave’s magnificently sustained reverie on grief, family and eternity, comes this billowing waltz, a mythic vision that falls to earth and finds another way to ascend.

  • The perfect gift for everyone on your list.

Gift subscriptions to The New York Times. Starting at $15.

Crescendos rise like tidal waves in this retro, string-laden torch song that carries girl-group drama to an operatic peak.

A meditative, mysterious song about time, transformation and connection, fervently sung over folky acoustic guitars.

Khalid pleads for conversation on “Talk.”Credit…Mackenzie Sweetnam/Getty Images

Khalid’s approach couldn’t be more sensitive — “Can’t we just talk/Figure out where we’re going?” — as synthesizer chords tiptoe forward ever so tentatively, even as the tryst proceeds.

In a whispery, bedroom-sized reduction of grungy indie rock, Clairo ponders whether physical attraction will outweigh a lovers’ quarrel, striving to maintain her deadpan as feelings surge.

A Mexican-American born in Los Angeles, Angelica Garcia proclaims her bicultural heritage — “wearing my roots and flying this flag” — over a snowballing, polyrhythmic buildup that melds Mexican rhythms and electronic savvy.

The perpetually rebellious Algerian songwriter Rachid Taha left behind an album in progress when he died in 2018. Its title song, “Je Suis Africain,” praises an African heritage that extends worldwide, and backs it up with a Pan-African groove fusing elements from Congo, Senegal, Algeria and beyond.

Bruce Hornsby melds chamber music, jazz, Minimalism and a folksy hoedown with some science-based metaphors to offer advice and warnings for the future of humanity. Cosmic enough?

Advertisements

Soul music’s gospel foundations sustain Baby Rose’s strikingly deep, tearful voice as she faces a modern quandary: Should she drunk-dial her ex?

A Venezuelan singer who moved to the United States and attended Berklee College of Music, Nella won the 2019 Latin Grammy for best new artist. She forged a trans-Atlantic musical partnership with Javier Limón, a Spanish producer and songwriter who brought out her affinity for flamenco and wrote “Voy” (“I Go”), a lean, lilting song about picking up and moving into the unknown.

Rockabilly meets Radiohead, with a backbeat below and a canopy of feedback above Adia Victoria’s voice, in “A Different Kind of Love.” It’s a checklist of failed romances from a songwriter pushing Americana toward sonic experimentation.

Playing an instrument can improve a child’s memory, coordination and teach them perseverance. Photograph: Raymond Forbes LLC/Stocksy United

Five ways to get your family into classical music

Classical music offers something for everyone, says Kate Faithfull-Williams, from toddlers to teens to the kid rolling their eyes as they read this over your shoulder.

Playing an instrument can improve a child’s memory, coordination and teach them perseverance. Photograph: Raymond Forbes LLC/Stocksy United
Playing an instrument can improve a child’s memory, coordination and teach them perseverance. Photograph: Raymond Forbes LLC/Stocksy United

Classical music can be daunting. With a genre dating back hundreds of years, the choices are overwhelming. So where do you start? With the benefits, that’s where.

“Music brings people together and helps kids – and parents – listen better,” says composer John Webb, who has worked with everyone from five-year-old songwriters to traditional Indian musicians and a virtual symphony orchestra to introduce new audiences to classical music. Classical tracks are also scientifically proven to relieve stressboost brainpower and even help us be more open emotionally – all good news for happy families. So, here’s how to get involved …

Advertisements

Toddlers and preschoolers
“Young kids are innately musical,” says Webb, mimicking the singsong speech and extended vowel sounds we instinctively use with small people – “Ooh what a bee-yoo-tiful baby”. Children have an unrepressed desire to dance, too. “Kids move in different ways to different music, tiptoeing, stamping and twirling,” explains Webb.

So how can you bring out the best in your mini maestro? Composer Oliver Davis, whose 2018 album Liberty topped the iTunes Classical Charts, says: “Try listening to Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns, which describes lots of wild animals through music.”

From age five to eight
Did you know that this is the prime age for children to write music? “Kids naturally make up their own songs as they play,” says Webb, who generously describes those improvised 10-second tunes as, “mashups”. To enhance that natural ability, he advises using a story as a hook. “Kids love stories, and quickly understand that different notes and speeds of music create a sense of character. Classical music is easily simplified and it can be creative and powerful for children.”


Weekend briefing

Processing…
Success! You’re on the list.

Want to get involved? Try something like the BBC Singers Family Concert (9 February 2020, Milton Court Concert Hall, Barbican, London; prices from £5), which promises to be very interactive and is aimed at kids aged five and over. Alternatively, join the BBC Concert Orchestra at Musical Roots(22 February 2020, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London; prices from £5) for a magical adventure the whole family can enjoy, exploring exciting and unusual connections between composers, their music and their families.

From age nine to 12
You may know that playing an instrument can improve a child’s memory and coordination, and teach them perseverance. You definitely know that persuading your pre-teen to practise playing an instrument is like lighting a stick of dynamite, so explosive are the arguments.

Advertisements

The solution, suggests Davis, could be as simple as inspiring your child by letting them see someone older play their instrument expertly. The BBC is laying on two upcoming events that will transport young people into a different world and get them excited about playing.

Try Family Total Immersion: Lift Off! (1 December, Barbican Hall, London; prices from £5) with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, which celebrates 50 years since the moon landing with live music, interactive workshops and film to take you on a musical adventure through space. Best of all, there are more than two hours of drop-in foyer activities, including the chance for kids to try a variety of instruments before the show.

David Walliams is also doing a special performance with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (2 May 2020, Barbican, London; prices from £5), which is virtually guaranteed to hook kids into playing classical music. Walliams will read from his bestselling children’s books, including Bad Dad and The World’s Worst Children, alongside musical treats from a full orchestra.


The teenage years
Can parents introduce anything to their sceptical teen? “The kiss of death is for a parent to show keenness,” warns Webb. “Osmosis is your best bet, so play the pieces you like at home. Go for tracks with a pounding rhythm and bleakness, like Shostakovich Symphony No 5, as the raw energy and emotion may get your teen’s attention.”

Film can also be a good entry point for teenagers. “I would always point towards innovative composers and performers who are very current,” says Davis. “So maybe don’t start with Mozart. Instead, go for composers like Max Richter, who scored Mary Queen of Scots,or Joby Talbot, who scored The League of Gentlemen. Both Richter and Talbot are also serious concert hall composers in their own right.” Talbot’s Everest will be performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra next year (20 June 2020, Barbican Hall, London; prices from £10).

Advertisements

If all else fails …
Stealth is a weapon at your disposal. “There are so many great concerts out there, but the mistake is dragging a reluctant child to a classical concert and expecting them to walk out enlightened and interested,” warns Davis. “So find an appropriate concert of music your child might grow to like and research the music that’s going to be performed. Play sections of it in the car and at home ahead of the concert. Otherwise it’s a huge amount to take in. As the composer Philip Glass once said: ‘People don’t know what they love, they love what they know.’”

Learn more about getting the whole family into classical music with advice and events from the BBC’s Get Involved initiative

Burna Boy’s African Giant makes it to the Grammy

Nigeria’s sensational music artiste, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, famously known as Burna Boy has been nominated for the 2020 Grammy Awards. This outrightly qualified his album ‘African Giant’, a slot for the Best World Music Album Category.

By Ezinne Success

Burna’s African Giant album was nominated for ‘Best World Music category,’ containing at least 51 per cent time of new vocal or instrumental World Music recordings.

Highlighted in the same category as his are Angelique Kidjo, Altin Gun and Jules Buckley. 

Nominees for other categories are Daniel Caesar and Brandy, Lizzo and Gucci Mane for R and B, Taylor Swift, Natalie Hemby and Lady Gaga for Song of the Year.

He had in the past bagged several awards at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival in diverse categories as African Artiste of the Year, Listener’s Choice and Best Male MVP. A lot of his music album centers on Afro-fusion, Reggae and Dance hall. 

The nomination of Burna Boy came two years after the pop-star entertainer, Wizkid won the ‘Album of the Year’ category in 2017.The category- Best World Music Album, have in history featured prominent artistes as King Sunny Ade, Seun Kuti, among others. 

This feat would be considered an honorary leap as Burna Boy has practically proven to be a true African Giant, while setting a grand image for the Nigerian Entertainment Industry. 

Advertisements

Sequel to this, the intended  ‘Africa Unite Concert, scheduled to hold in South Africa, has been annulled, following a public outburst by its nationals due to Burna Boy’s inclusion. The Africa Unite Concert is an anti-xenophobic event sponsored by Channel O and Play Africa Network.

It was birthed to eliminate inhumane treatment on fellow Africans, owing to the xenophobic assault which consumed a large area of the country in September.

The biggest intention of the concert was to draw Africans thereby forming a conglomeration void of unfairness. The nationalists in South Africa notwithstanding, were in a bitter state majorly because of the sour statements he uttered when the xenophobic attacks were at its peak, back in September. In annoyance, Burna Boy vowed not to set foot in South Africa anymore and threatened other of the country’s local artistes against visiting Nigeria also. 


Read more


In a statement released by the organisers, the cancellation of the concerts in Cape Town and Tshwane came after an extensive engagement and agreement was made with Burna Boy’s management team.

They said the decision to cancel the shows was made after warnings of a shutdown from a group of artistes and event organisers under the umbrella of Tshwane Entertainment Collective in South Africa.

Advertisements

“The decision to cancel the Africans Unite Concert comes after the call from the Tshwane Entertainment Collective to boycott the Africans Unite concert in Tshwane.

“With the increasing threats of violence from other unfortunate segments of the public and without any government intervention, Phambili Media and Play Network Africa were prompted to take the threats and warnings seriously, as the safety of all artists and attendees could not be guaranteed,” the statement read in part.

It added that the safety of the artistes, attendees and crew was paramount, and thus informed their decision.

The 62nd Grammy Awards however, is slated to hold on the 26th of January, 2020, in Staples Center, Los Angeles, with the key host, Alicia Keys.

Warner Music Group signs new Partnership with Lagos-base label Chocolate City

The deal will expand the global reach of Chocolate City’s roster of artists, including Femi Kuti, M.I. Abaga, Dice Ailes and more.

Warner Music Group (WMG) has entered a new partnership with Chocolate City, the influential Nigerian record label with a roster of stars that includes Femi Kuti, son of Afrobeat trailblazer Fela. Under the new deal, which was announced Thursday (May 28), Chocolate City artists will join WMG’s repertoire and receive the support of the company’s distribution and artist services via its independent label services division ADA.

“At Chocolate City, we have always been passionate about discovering and developing the best talent across Africa and giving them a platform for global growth,” said Chocolate City Group CEO Audu Maikori in a statement. “The partnership with Warner Music Group is unique in the sense that our clients get the best of both worlds — curated and bespoke services by a highly experienced team across Africa and a dedicated global team to further push their music and their brands.”

“The music scene in Nigeria is so rich and diverse that it’s important that we develop bespoke entrepreneurial strategies,” added Warner Music executive vp Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Alfonso Perez Soto. “At the same time, we’ll keep in mind the lessons learned from other emerging markets, for instance Latin America where we successfully broke local artists globally. We have great affinity with Chocolate City’s creative and ambitious approach and we’re excited about Warner’s role in bringing to life their vision of taking their music worldwide.”

The deal, which is designed to broaden the reach of Chocolate City’s roster of artists across the world, includes a strategic, reciprocal marketing agreement with WMG South Africa. WMG will also financially invest in Chocolate City to assist in its mission of signing and developing promising local talent. Chocolate City co-founders Audu Maikori and Paul Okeugo, along with executive vps Jude Abaga and Aibee Abidoye, will continue to lead the company.

Other Chocolate City artists include M.I. Abaga, Dice Ailes, Nosa, ClassiQ, Ruby Gyang, Blaqbonez, C Kay and Street Billionaires. Its catalog also includes such popular artists as Brymo, Ice Prince and Jesse Jagz.

This is the second partnership WMG has entered into with an African company in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the label signed a major licensing deal with popular African streaming and downloading service Boomplay.

The deals come amid a surge in popularity for the Afrobeats sound (a progeny of the earlier style known as “Afrobeat”) across the globe. In 2016, Drake’s single “One Dance” featuring Nigerian singer Wizkid became a massive summer hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 non-consecutive weeks. More recently, Migos rapper Quavo featured Nigerian singer Davido on his debut solo studio album, Quavo Huncho, while electronic music trio Major Lazer released an “Afrobeats” mix last September.

Sub-Saharan Africa is considered an emerging market thanks to a rising young population (1.1 billion) and the spread of smartphones in the region. WMG isn’t the only American music company that’s taken notice; in 2016, Sony Music signed deals with both Wizkid and Tanzanian singer Ali Kiba, while Universal Music Group opened a Nigerian division last July.

Music review: Talk by Falz

By: KOYE-LADELE MOFEHINTOLUWA

Music is the weapon of the future”- Fela Anikulapo Kuti 

Music has been one of the archives where humanity stores what is happening to her at a particular period. Going through songs that were recorded several years ago, one finds that particular songs refer to events that were ongoing at that particular time or even before the time of the composition. Ranging from Peter Tosh’s Equal Rights to Fela’s Beast of No Nations to Bob Marley’s Redemption Song to several other musicians who reigned in the past, one always finds that the musicians drew inspiration from their immediate environment and the conditions of that environment to make the music.

Folarin Falana aka Falz has shown just this sort of musical activism with several of his songs especially Child of the World which discusses sexual abuse and HIV/AIDS stigmatisation, This is Nigeria(which of course generated an invisible court action from Muslim Rights Concern agency MURIC) and the present rave of the moment- Talk.

Folarin lives up to his family tradition of activism by being a socially conscious activist whose songs discuss social ills and revoke memories of Fela’s daring. Talk seems like a follow-up to This is Nigeria. It is amazing how the combined length of both songs do not exceed 6 minutes and yet they have critically raised issues that have taken several pages of books from separate authors on the Nigerian topic.  

In the 6 minutes of both works, Falz raises what it would take a journalist several opinion pieces to do same. It is the power of the musician to be able to do so much with so little time. Little wonder why Fela described music as the weapon of the future.

The song follows the talk-talk chorus style of Fela. “Anything I talk make you talk am again” is similar to how Fela used to request that the audience do a call-and-response repeating certain words to sing along to the song. This style strives towards participation and mass involvement in decrying the national condition.

At the start of the song, Falz continues from the controversy of religious pundits on his use of hijab to reflect the condition of ladies captured by Boko Haram. He throws the first ‘yab’ in the song at MURIC wondering why they did not make any court appearance despite so much threats and media noise.  

He refers in the next line to the election and says “election don dey come dem go need your support“.  The campaigns for the 2019 election are in full swing and one understands that this is a warning against electoral violence. Dem go need your support. (Would you offer it?) He introduces the electoral aspect of it very early because the rest of the complains in the song can be addressed by voting the right persons in elections.

Falz moves on to the issue of yahoo boys. Falz has been very vocal on the issue of internet fraud. He again refers to the recent arrest of suspected yahoo boys in a popular club in Lagos. “Since EFCC bust in, we no Dey see you for club/ And you get legit work Na wetin you talk”. The menace has become very rife of late with increased crime to go alongside it.

“4 year tenure, 3 year holiday” is an obvious reference to the medical tourism that has continued over Nigeria with several politicians flying out of the country to treat themselves and for other reasons that remain undisclosed. This menace was condemned in the song with this line.  

“Our senator don dey fight Kung Fu again/Shey dem never tire dem wan continue the race? We buy your story but dem no give us change”. These lines reflect the degradation of Nigeria’a National Assembly into a fighting ground. It goes on to throw a subtle pass at the Presidency asking if at the present age, he is not tired to continue the race. “We buy your story but you no give us change” is a subtle pass at the APC which is the ruling party. Having received their mandate, the “change” slogan of their campaign is invisible.

“Month don end Oga pay salary/ In 2019, 19800 alawe/ Instead make you talk you dey find Alhaji”.  He refers here to the minimum wage tussle and how workers have not gotten their payment in several states despite their work. For some, they still receive modulated salaries. He also lends his voice to the increment of the minimum wage and claims it is in appropriate for 2019. He decries commercial sex work among ladies too, an area where he has shown interest often in other songs like Child of the World.

“3 private jets you say you buy am for church/ but your congregation no Dey follow fly am of course/why your people still dey carry carry eye for someone/ shey I no be person cause no be your tribe I come from?”

Falana would not end the song without taking a swipe at Pastors at least having introduced the song with MURIC. He is just being fair. He decries the purchase of several private jets in the name of the church and other assets such as Univeristies and costly schools that the children of the poor cannot attend or even members of the congregation. It is wonder why church funds then provide services for corrupt people and a few that made the wealth through clean means.

He addresses tribalism too and pushes humanism instead of the tribal inclinations of Nigerians. He implies that being human is worthy of more consideration than belonging to any particular church.

“Small man thief for market we set fire for him Body/ big man thief money we dey hail am like dummy/ we dey suffer we dey smile, we dey fear to talk/ my people no get chop/ my people no get work/ these days we no know if authority Dey for office cus the yawa wey we see no be security wey you promise/  and the cup e don full/ we don tire for all the rubbish and the punishment/ Na me talk am o!”

Fela discusses the menace of setting fire on poor petty thieves in his song ITT and other interviews claiming that those who should be burnt are the thieves in power. Falz goes on to decry the fear of Nigerians and says we suffer and smile. An allusion to Fela’a Shuffering and Smiling. He decries the rate of unemployment too and finally laments on security.  

At the tail end of the song, Falz makes a reference to revolution. He claims the cup is full which of course means the suffering of the people has come to a brim. He claims the people are tired of this condition. Then he owns up to the earlier lyrics which up till then had been “Na you talk am o/ no be me talk am o”.

He rounds it up by stating clearly.  

Na me talk am o!

This is a song that will be relevant in several years to come.

Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa is a student of the Faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University. He has a passion for activism and human rights. He is a frequent opinion writer with reputable print and online media. He can be contacted on koyetolu@gmail.com.

Small Doctor being paraded for possession of illegal firearm. Photo: Sahara Reporters

Small Doctor’ arrested for ‘possession of firearms’

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested Adekunle Temitope, popularly known as Small Doctor, for unlawful possession of firearms and for allegedly threatening to shoot a police officer.

Small Doctor being paraded for possession of illegal firearm. Photo: Sahara Reporters
Small Doctor being paraded for possession of illegal firearm. Photo: Sahara Reporters

Edgal Imohimi, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, revealed this to the press on Monday while parading the musician along with three other persons.

Small Doctor was arrested on allegations that he threatened a Police officer who was on traffic duty along Oshodi, Lagos.

“It was alleged that some unknown men, four of them, in an unregistered green SUV had brought out a gun and threatened a policeman that if he does not leave the road, they will shoot him,” Imohimi said.

“Believing that they were armed robbers, I sent out my men and fortunately, with the DPO in charge of Shogunle division, they were able to intercept them and the men were arrested and were brought down to the headquarters for interrogation.

“It was then discovered that one of them is the same Adekunle Temitope, a.k.a. ‘Small Doctor’. They were arrested in possession of a functional rifle, cartridge and some of their personal belongings.”

According to the commissioner, ‘Small Doctor’ had earlier been involved in a similar offence and is currently under investigation for firing live ammunition at the Agege stadium after a show on November 27.

He said: “Adekunle Temitope, a.k.a. ‘Small Doctor’, was arrested and taken to the state CID for questioning. He was alleged to have fired a gun; the pellets from the gun injured four people who were rushed to the hospital.”

‘Small Doctor’ will be charged to court for prosecution.

SOURCE: Sahara Reporters

Lil Wayne – all albums ranked!

We take stock of the rapper’s career, through stints in prison, label rows and trash-rock impulses to his heyday of raw swagger and southern bangers.

1960

13. Rebirth (2010)

When it comes to Lil Wayne’s worst-ever album, the obvious choice is the correct one. Rebirth was Weezy’s attempt to work out his unfortunate trash-rock impulses, resulting in a set of sloppy, nightmarish numbers drenched in Auto-Tune. Worse than the music was knowing Wayne had grown bored of being a magnificent rapper. His peak was over.

12. I Am Not a Human Being 2 (2013)

A sequel nobody asked for. Intended as a warm-up to Tha Carter V, Wayne’s disinterest with the project is palpable as he sluggishly spits sex-obsessed rhymes. Mind you, Love Me is a infectious slice of spooky pop-rap while the creeping funk of Rich as Fuck inspires Wayne to one of his sharpest flows of this era.

11. The Free Weezy Album (2015)

Released exclusively to Tidal as Tha Carter V lingered in legal purgatory, this set of Wayne leftovers unsurprisingly lacks cohesion. Given the barbed title, it’s a disappointment that there’s little reference to his battles with former mentor Birdman, while the uninspired writing and messy beats mean most of these cuts were better left on the studio floor.

10. I Am Not a Human Being (2010)

Dropped while Wayne languished in prison, this hastily assembled set screamed stopgap release. The prominent presence of then-proteges Drake and Nicki Minaj yield mixed results – the former helping out on the fresh soul sample of With You, a highlight. But, with Wayne too often sounding like he’s performing within himself, the album lacks both relevance and enough decent songs.

9. Tha Carter IV (2011)

Wayne’s Tha Carter series has produced some of his most seminal records so it’s disappointing to find the fourth instalment feeling so superfluous. Rather than inviting guests into his universe, Weezy frequently attempts to slide into the sonic lane of guys such as Rick Ross and T-Pain. This is well made early-2010s hip-hop, but where is Wayne’s once uncontainable personality?

8. Tha Block Is Hot (1999)

The 17-year-old little Wayne’s ferocious debut encapsulated the Cash Money Records machine with Mannie Fresh’s rumble’n’bump beats and ample appearances from Weezy’s group Hot Boyz and Big Tymers. His froggy flow would smooth out, and quotable lines would become more cutting, but there’s plenty of no-nonsense street bars and plaintive musings from a kid who was already a father. “Here I come – star rapper,” he warns. Clairvoyance.

7. Tha Carter V (2018)

Wayne puts the frustrating delays and legal wrangles with Birdman in his rearview mirror with a personal, big-hearted record that combines modern sounds and thrilling early-00s pastiches. His finest full-length in a decade, the 36-year-old’s music-making instincts and passion for rap reach levels we feared would never return.

6. Lights Out (2000)

Wayne’s second album offered a better showcase for his burgeoning talent than Tha Block Is Hot. The same team is assembled, but their presence is minimised, allowing Wayne’s tales from Chopper City more space, his braggadocio bristling with extra confidence.

5. 500 Degreez (2002)

After Cash Money’s first star, Juvenile, bailed out, Wayne asserted his allegiance to the label by calling his third album 500 Degreez – 100 hotter than Juve’s classic. Perhaps feeling liberated, Wayne breathes more fire than before. The hooks are killer: see Way of Life, which updates Junior Mafia’s classic Get Money.

4. Tha Carter (2004)

The first instalment of Tha Carter linked past and present. Mannie was still chiefly in control behind the boards and Wayne’s focus was again on New Orleans street rap staples: cash, rap supremacy and his rivals. But now 21, Wayne’s voice smoothed from the jittery style of his early records to the more monstrous flow that would become so familiar.

3. Tha Carter III (2008)

After numerous delays, Tha Carter III fell just short of the legendary mixtape run that came before it. Still, the music has a polished sheen, and blockbuster moments – such as ubiquitous singles Lollipop and A Milli – don’t blunt Wayne’s phenomenal rapping, while his alien tendencies are teased out in various high-concept experiments. The final act of Weezy’s greatest era.

2. Tha Carter II (2005)

Wayne becomes fully formed. With new producers serving up everything from tenement-sized southern bangers (Money on My Mind) to 1970s playa funk (Hustler Musik) to alarm klaxon rings (Fireman), Weezy – with a growling flow that’s as nimble as it is knotty, and enough raw swagger to melt metal – warps everything to fit into his increasingly cracked universe.

1. Mixtapes (2005-2007)

As brilliant as the studio albums are, Wayne’s 2005-2007 mixtape run is the stuff of lore, when his “best rapper alive” claims went from chest-beating pronouncements of superiority to undeniable truth. On tapes such as Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3, Wayne collects some of the hottest beats of the day and obliterates all pretenders. The unofficial mixtape version of Tha Carter III, made up of tracks tossed once they leaked, is easily stronger song-to-song than the album. Wayne’s bars ripple with life, the jokes are funny, the breadth of his pop culture references is never-ending. He makes rapping seem so easy, yet so unlimited.

Eminem just dropped an album

I though it was a prank, a dice thing or something, dunno what I was even thinking again, but for real, slim shady just dropped a whole album and the world of hip hop is on fire.

https3a2f2fhypebeast-com2fimage2f20182f082feminem-kamikaze-album-stream-0

After so much wait and love, the hip hop world’s favourite just suprised fans with the follow-up to 2017’s Revival.

The veteran Detroit rapper dropped his tenth studio LP Kamikaze Thursday night out of nowhere. The 13-track project, executive produced by Dr. Dre, contains guest features from Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, Joyner Lucas, his manager Paul Rosenberg, fellow 313 rhymer Royce Da 5’9” and Jessie Reyez.

The album also contains Em’s track for the upcoming Venom film starring Tom Hardy and Riz Ahmed. The album artwork pays homage to Beastie Boys’ classic 1986 album Licensed to Ill.

Two of the tracks on the album are sub-minute long skits in the form of voicemails between Rosenberg and Em. Throughout the album, Slim Shady address on a variety of topics including President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, the Grammy Awards and the press.

Stream the album via Spotify and Apple Music below and grab your download on iTunes.


Cover photo: The  art for the new surprise album Kamikaze. Photo: Aftermath/Shady/Interscope

 

Kanye West

Kanye West – every album as ranked!

As the rapper’s new album arrives on the usual sea of ego and controversy, we rate everything he’s done so far – from The College Dropout to The Life of Pablo.

Kanye West
Kanye West

10. Cruel Summer (2012)

As close as Kanye West has come to that least-disarming of hip-hop phenomena – the posse album – Cruel Summer was wildly uneven: stimulating and underwhelming in equal measure. Ghostface Killah and Jay-Z turned in strong work and West himself sounds imperious throughout, but all the big-name patronage in the world isn’t going to turn lesser names such as Cyhi the Prynce into premier-league talent.

9. Late Orchestration (2006)

Recorded live at Abbey Road with an all-female orchestra, Late Orchestration is more impressive as an act of screw-you ostentation than as an album in its own right. It’s certainly not bad, especially on the urgent version of Jesus Walks, but it’s not an essential listen, other than as a signifier of West’s vaulting ambition.

8. 808s & Heartbreak (2008)

Devastated by romantic failure and by his mother’s death, West, who cannot sing, elected to spend an entire album doing just that, through Auto-Tune, to sparse electronic backing. The good bits are great – single Love Lockdown among them – but it’s wearyingly monotonal, so lost in personal misery that it dispenses with the wit and ambiguity of West’s best lyrics. Still, its sound continues to echo through pop.

7. Watch the Throne (2011)

3665
Kanye West and Jay-Z perform at the Verizon Center in Washington DC. Photograph: The Washington Post/Getty

West hooking up with Jay-Z was perhaps less about music than a super-sized, follow-that event, and there are moments when listening to the pair discuss how rich they are starts to pall. But some of the music boasts the same ambition as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and the lyrics occasionally flame, as on New Day and Made in America.

6. The Life of Pablo (2016)

At turns infuriating, superb, utterly original and deeply flawed – occasionally over the course of the same track – The Life of Pablo is a rambling mess, liberally splattered with moments of greatness (Famous, Waves and Fade) and haunted by the sense that its failings might be less down to hubris than the fact you are listening to a mind unravelling.

5. Graduation (2007)

The least appealing of his opening trilogy of albums – the superstar narcissism tending to the-paparazzi-are-worse-than-Nazis idiocy, the sound a little too calculated in its lunge for stadium-filling vastness – but still frequently fantastic. Forget Chris Martin’s ill-judged cameo and luxuriate instead in the euphoric Good Life and the Daft Punk-sampling Stronger.

4. The College Dropout (2004)

As striking a debut album as 2000s hip-hop produced, the endlessly delayed and tampered-with College Dropout was almost as good as West claimed it was. The sugar rush of his then-signature production quirk – old soul samples sped up to chipmunk squeakiness – matched by lyrics that already hinted at the complex, ambiguous figure behind the elephantine ego.

3. Late Registration (2005)

College Dropout has better lyrics, but Late Registration just edges it in musical terms. The orchestral arrangements of Jon Brion add a new weight and depth to West’s sound, the hits – Touch the Sky, Gold Digger – are among his most impermeable, and there’s the unmistakable sense of an artist keen to reach beyond the usual confines of his genre.

2. Yeezus (2013)

Forty minutes of abrasive, distorted hostility that drags everything from bovver-booted glam to industrial music to acid house into the mix, Yeezus is faintly marred by the feeling that West’s no-filter approach to lyrics is getting disturbingly out of control. It’s a still a stunning, bold piece of work, utterly unlike anything his peers were making.

1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

Kanye West in 2009. Photograph: Reuters
Kanye West in 2009. Photograph: Reuters

Its sound ranges from grandiose pop to straight-up hip-hop to head-spinning sonic overload, the key to this album’s ambitions may lie in its preponderance of prog-rock samples: from King Crimson, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band and Mike Oldfield, among others. Like prog, the album was dense, sprawling, complex and occasionally confounding; a gripping, brave, sometimes contradictory meditation on fame, race, sex and money made by a man who occasionally sounds at the end of his tether – witness the uncomfortable cocktail of braggadocio and self-loathing on Blame Game and Runaway. But more often, Kanye is at the top of his game: pulling together wildly disparate strands of music (it’s a rare album that features Aphex Twin, Elton John, Gil Scott-Heron and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas) into an endlessly fascinating whole that he’s yet to equal.

Muslim group gives Falz seven days to take down ‘This is Nigeria’ video

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked singer, Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, to withdraw his ‘This is Nigeria’ video and apologise to Nigerians, or face legal action.

de65seyw4aanmkl
A scene from Falz’s This is Nigeria video with some girls dressed in hijab were seen dancing the “shaku shaku” dance.


The group said this in a statement signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola, and made available to PREMIUM TIMES.

In the recently released video, some girls dressed in hijab were seen dancing the “shaku shaku” dance.

Responding to criticisms that trailed the video, Falz explained that the girls were a representation of the abducted Chibok girls still in Boko Haram captivity. .

But MURIC, said the dancers in the video in no way depict the situation of the girls. .

The group also condemned “a character that dressed like a Fulani man, who suddenly abandoned his traditional guitar and beheaded a man” featured in the video.

Describing the video as “thoughtless, insensitive and highly provocative,” MURIC said it could brew religious and ethnic crisis. It also said the video is spiteful and intended to denigrate Islam and Muslims.

“MURIC rejects Falz’ explanation that the girls in hijab in his ‘Shaku Shaku’ dance symbolise the Chibok girls because nothing in the video indicates that the girls represent the Chibok girls,” the statement read. .

“At least none of the Chibok girls have been seen dancing like a drunkard. They are always in pensive mood. Do they have any cause to be dancing? Are they happy? .

“The video manifests ethnic bias against Fulanis while it ignored the criminal activities of ethnic militia of the Middle Belt who have also massacred Fulanis and rustled their cattle in their thousands.

“It is a hate video. This video has the potential of causing religious crisis of unprecedented dimension. It is an assault on the self-dignity of every Muslim. It is freedom of expression gone haywire.

“We therefore demand its withdrawal and an apology to Nigerian Muslims within seven days or the authors and their agents will face legal action if they fail to comply.”
.
The group called on security agencies and the National Film And Video Censors Board to clamp down on the video.
The group also said, ‘We therefore give notice of impending legal action against the artist behind the ‘Shaku Shaku’ video unless the latter is withdrawn and an apology is widely published within seven days.”

PREMIUM TIMES reached out to Femi Soro, a member of Falz’s management team on Tuesday, for his reaction to the threat.

“We have nothing to say. We are not withdrawing the video neither are we commenting on their claims. If they have any grievance they can head to court and we will meet them,” he said.


SOURCE: Premium Times

Miriam Makeba’s family ‘win rights’ to singer’s music

The family of the late singer South African singer Miriam Makeba, known as Mama Africa, has won a legal victory over her former business manager for control of her legacy, South African daily Independent Online reports.

8f570436-b93c-44ed-94c9-04358a094c6d
Miriam Makeba died from a heart attack in 2008 after collapsing during a performance in Italy. Photo: BBC


Siyandisa Music, which is the company of business manager Graeme Gilfillan, had gone to a high court in Pretoria to block Makeba’s two grandchildren, Lumumba and Zenzile Lee, and Miriam Makeba Foundation from being the proprietors of her intellectual property and associated rights.

Siyandisa Music also wanted the South African Hall of Fame to be blocked from inducting Ms Makeba into the hall of fame as it lacked prior written approval from the company.

Judge Hans Fabricius ruled that Siyandisa Music’s application had failed over a technical point of law in South Africa’s Trust Property Control Act.

The company alleged its rights to her legacy stemmed from Ms Makeba taking steps to commercialise her intellectual property during her lifetime, which would persist after her death.

But Ms Makeba’s family argues that the Grammy award-winning artist had signed an allegedly “fictitious” licence contract, called ZM Makeba Trust, with Siyandisa Music.

The alleged contract was signed by Makeba and one of her grandchildren, Dumisani, according to Zenzile Lee.

The Judge said Siyandisa Music could launch another application, based on other grounds, if it wanted to.

Music review: Dua Lipa – bouncing, ballads and full-bore pop bangers

SSE Hydro, Glasgow
The industrious singer’s giant arena show spans futuristic disco hits and spine-tingling torch songs, performed with winningly jazzercise-style dance routines.


3520
‘Moments of delirious communion’ … Dua Lipa performing in Dublin, 9 April. Photo: REX/Shutterstock


Can anything stop Dua Lipa? After a patient build-up, 2017 was such a breakthrough year for the bewitching London-born singer – selling over a million copies of her self-titled debut album and cruising past some of the world’s biggest pop stars to be crowned the most-streamed female artist in the UK – that she could probably take a few months off. But Lipa has continued her vertiginous career ascent in 2018, claiming two Brit awards in February, teaming up with dancefloor genie Calvin Harris for sleek new club banger One Kiss and insouciantly cracking a billion YouTube views for New Rules, her signature hit that warns against backsliding into a lousy relationship with a stern but moreish checklist-style mantra.

While impressive on paper, racking up record-breaking streaming stats can sometimes feel like an intangible, almost passive form of success. But Lipa’s industrious workrate and gruelling tour schedule (including a stint supporting Coldplay) have clearly brought palpable real-world benefits.

When she last played Glasgow six months ago it was in a crammed 2,500-capacity venue. Now she is packing them to the rafters in a giant arena bowl made for 13,000. Her core fanbase skews young and female but while the screams are as loud and piercing as at any Bieber show, the crowd seem keen to reflect back some of Lipa’s worldly sophistication. Compared to most full-bore pop gigs at the Hydro, there is a distinct lack of strobing deely boppers.

2823
‘In perpetual motion’ … Dua Lipa in Dublin. Photo: Rex/Shutterstock

On magazine covers and in impeccably styled promo shots, Lipa often looks aloof or simply nonplussed. But the 22-year-old kicks off by imploring fans to “be your most unapologetic you” and “dance the night away”, and promptly leads by example through Blow Your Mind (Mwah), a slice of futuristic disco that slyly incorporates an actual kiss-off into its chorus. For sustained stretches of her 90-minute show, Lipa is in perpetual motion, bouncing and reeling round the stage in billowing black joggers, springy trainers and aquamarine bra. She is flanked by four equally tireless dancers while her long-serving backing trio of a drummer and two multitasking keyboard/guitarists jam away atop oversized stage cubes.

A massive projection screen showing artfully stylised visuals and pulsing hyperspace starfields is arena-show standard but otherwise there is a distinct lack of large-scale staging gimmicks. It makes it all the more impressive that Lipa is able to sustain so many winningly jazzercise-style dance routines without missing a note.

There are moments of delirious communion, as when Lipa hoists herself up on the front-row stage barrier to conduct a singalong to the yearning Be the One. But there are also moments of spine-tingling spotlight: the stripped-down obsessional ballad Thinking ’Bout You, with just her and guitar, showcases her voice at its smokiest. Strip away the headstrong beats and synthy stabs of her biggest hits and Lipa would remain a potent, intuitive torch singer.

The biggest laugh of the night comes toward the end when a title card pops up dedicating IDGAF to “all the fuckboys who have done you wrong”. While this playground-chant anthem to empowerment doesn’t yet match the climactic New Rules in terms of streams and views, it is – perhaps tellingly – the song fans are raucously singing a capella as they spill out of the venue.


Great beyond? Jacko’s Michael and Dolores O’Riordan.

Heaven or hell? The problem of the posthumous album

A new Cranberries album is due, featuring the vocals of Dolores O’Riordan. But the issue of what a late musician ‘would have wanted’ is often a dilemma for both bands and the fans.

Great beyond? Jacko’s Michael and Dolores O’Riordan.
Great beyond? Jacko’s Michael and Dolores O’Riordan.

“After much consideration we have decided to finish what we started,” the remaining members of the Cranberries wrote on their website this month, announcing their first new album since 2012. Dolores O’Riordan, who died earlier this year, had already finished recording her vocals: there’s no sense her parts would have needed to be imagineered. However, the ouija board of what dead musicians “would have wanted” is a faint and often baffling instrument.

Posthumous albums come in two forms: the Cobble and the Legacy. The former is the least lovable. Michael Jackson’s first posthumous release, 2010’s Michael, was so threadbare that his family strongly questioned whether it was him singing on three of its tracks – the so-called Cascio Tapes. “I immediately said it wasn’t his voice,” mused brother Randy on Twitter when he heard them. Artistically, Cobbles are normally justified on grounds of completism: that they “tell us something new” about the artist, and occasionally turf up the odd gem that “deserves to see the light of day”. On that score, something like Jackson’s Do You Know Where Your Children Are, from his second posthumous album, Xscape (2014), ticks all boxes: both a solid jam and a jarring lyrical premise. Cobbles can also offer Stalinesque revisionism: some of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’s verses on TLC’s 3D – released seven months after her death in 2002 – were spliced together from old solo album cast-offs. There was even a delayed ouija conjure from obsessively private, label-hating control freak Kurt Cobain; his 2015 soundtrack Montage of Heck – a series of solo sonic doodles and Beatles covers – only saw light of day when the Nirvana well had run dry.

I only follow everything in skirt, but I don’t cheat – Davido


Nigerian music star, has disclosed that he is a lover man and won’t mind bedding any woman that catches his fancy.

e2809ccontact-phone-number-of-davidoe2809d-1-e1507822139182
Nigerian music star Davido


He declares that he follows everything in skirt. That is quite mouthful and a disclosure.

Obviously high on something or maybe not, The IF crooner says on social media that he is not a cheating boyfriend but will go ahead to chukuchuku (have sex) with his lover Chioma.

Flaunting his present loveydovey relationship, David Adeleke is in a romance with Chioma. He shared and posted pictures of himself and Chioma hanging out together.

The singer presently is the toast of brands and show promoters on account of his success. He also commented on Wizkid acquiring a pet-goat during the week.

Having sired two daughters, Imade and Hadley, the OBO himself does not look ready to settle down and marry soon. Let him enjoy the moment but remember that change is the only constant thing in life. A source quipped that the singer earns as much as N8million per show. No wonder he flaunts them exorbitantly.


SOURCE: Leadership (Abuja) 

New music: Survival by Favour

IMG-20180228-WA0032

Anosike Favour Ugochi is a Nigerian Singer, Songwriter and On-Air Personality.
She was born on the 6th of March, 1997 and works at Omega 101.7 FM as a Pidgin/English presenter populary known as *ITOOTOK*. The singer hails from Abia State in Bends LGA and graduated from Alex Ekwueme University where she studied microbiology. She is a world changer who believes in reaching out to the world through music and hopes to win a   Grammy oneday!
Her Single “SURVIVAL” is an RnB song. A song that reminds us of our day to day hustle and how our leaders do nothing with the problems going on in the country.
Favour is exceptional, has a strong vocal and flair for good music.

DOWNLOAD

Reasons for Zari’s split with Diamond Platinumz

News of famous Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan’s decision to dump Bongo Flava star Diamond Platinumz on Valentine’s Day has been the talk of the town.

diamondpix
Ugandan socialite Zari Hassan (left) and Bongo Flava star Diamond Platinumz. Hassan dumped Diamond on Valentine’s Day. Photo: Daily Nation


While everyone was busy celebrating love on Valentine’s, Zari spent the day alone, terming it as ‘just any other normal day’ before later taking to Instagram to confirm her decision to dump the music crooner accusing him of numerous infidelity cases.

The two celebrities have been in a relationship since December 2014. Last year they were at the verge of calling it quits when Diamond confessed to having cheated on Zari with Hamisa Mobetto that resulted to Mobetto’s pregnancy.

Zari forgave. But what could be the straw that broke the camel’s back this time? According to multiple close sources around the two, one reason is that Zari had remained insecure in the long-distance relationship as she is based in South Africa and Diamond in Tanzania.

GETTING COZZY

Secondly, an alleged clip of Diamond with another lady in their matrimonial house that leaked could have made the situation worse. Another reason floated is the fact that most endorsement deals that required the couple to be together might have expired.

It is also said that Zari wasn’t happy when Diamond was caught on camera getting cozy with his ex Wema Sepetu during the launch of his newest member of WCB, Marombosso.

Diamond and Wema have remained close friends, a situation that hasn’t been appealing to Zari as she is the lady the musician dumped for her.


SOURCE: Daily Nation

Peter 'P-Square' announces first solo tour

Peter ‘P-Square’ announces first solo tour

Peter of the estranged Psquare has announced plans to commence his first solo tour after split from group.

Peter 'P-Square' announces first solo tour
Peter Okoye. Photo: Peter Okoye/Instagram


The singer and dancer, who goes by the moniker ‘Mr P’, shared the news on his Instagram page @peterpsquare where he wrote:

“Europe Confirm!!! All Eyes on Me Tour, April to May. Let us know the country/city you want me and my band to come through. Yes we are coming to a city near you!”

The tour was developed from a mini video series ‘All Eyes on P’, directed and produced by Mr P and aired on YouTube.

Mr P has released a couple of songs independently, including the hit song ‘Cool it down’.

The tour will be the first time Peter will tour separately from his twin Paul, since they both began their music career in 2003.

Psquare split in September 2017, after Peter allegedly accused Paul and their elder brother Jude of short changing him.

A few days later, Peter posted a Snapchat video revealing that he is in Philadelphia on his own for a solo performance – without his twin brother, Paul.

“My name is Mr P, as from today, guess what? Its show time, I’m about to go on stage,” Peter said.

In March 2016, the duo had a difference in opinion regarding what Peter perceived as lopsidedness in individual input of songs which was getting featured on their joint albums.

Peter accused Paul of being uncooperative and ruining their plans for a musical tour in the U.S.

The twins, known for their engaging dance routines and electronic style songs, dominated the Nigerian music industry for many years and became pop idols. (NAN)


SOURCE: NAN/Vanguard.

Nike unveils Wizkid’s “Wizkid FC” official jersey

There is only one Star Boy and the international sports brand, Nike, just confirmed it.

wizkid-e1518077939682

Alongside the spectacular Nigerian Jerseys launched yesterday by Nike, the Star Boy jersey “Wizid FC” was unveiled yesterday.

With this, he has become the first African musician to have an official jersey.


SOURCE: The Guardian, Nigeria

My songs has connected me to 13 presidents - Davido

My song has connected me to 13 presidents – Davido


Music star, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has revealed how big he has become since releasing his first song years ago.

My songs has connected me to 13 presidents - Davido
Nigerian singer Davido. Photo: Guardian Nigeria


In chat with MTV Base on Saturday, the singer said, “When I released my first song back then, I did not know that it was going to be that big. Then I went back to school and the love that I was shown was overwhelming, let alone the way girls began to treat me.

“That one song with the video made my father realise that I had the talent. And then, I did the song, ‘Dami Duro’. The song became so big and I remember that the President Goodluck Jonathan at the time called my father to talk about me and the song.

“Even during my father’s business meetings with his friends, they would mention my name and the song. Before long, I started travelling and doing shows around the world.”

Davido said he now has the numbers of about 13 presidents on his phone.

“If I call them, they would answer the call. Then the award came and it set me on another level,” he said.


Since you are here

We want to make Africa a better, fairer place. We want to keep the powerful honest. And we believe that doing so means keeping society informed by producing quality, independent and all round journalism, which discovers and tells readers the truth from all sides.

But it’s difficult and expensive work. While more people want to read Bloomgist and get informed with the latest around them, it is difficult reaching them due to financial challenges to advertise and send stories to more people.

So if you read us, if you like us, if you value our perspective – then become a Supporter and help make our future more secure.

You can support our project by joining our supporters club or by placing advert on The Bloomgist and reaching our large and fast growing African audience seeking for new ways to better their lives and getting quality information.

Visit our advert page to see why advertising with Bloomgist gives you an edge over your competitors.


SOURCE: Premium Times

Nascam Pays N$886,917 in Royalties to Local Music Artists


Windhoek — Nascam collected N$1.6 million from the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) alone for the use of music on radio and TV. Namibian music artists received the most compared to international artists, and the total paid to local musicians was N$886,917 while international artists got N$116,915 in royalties.

Royalties payment is the collection of funds by Nascam from music users. The funds are collected via copyright music licence.

Local artists have for years complained they have not been receiving a fair share for their music being played on air.

Award-winning singer Adora Kisting who released her debut album in 2016 was of the opinion that since dropping her album her royalty payment would increase.

But to her surprise she received far less compared to what she got when she did not have an album.

She feels the organization is not doing enough justice towards collecting the hard-earned money from radio stations for artists. She is of the opinion radio stations do not all pay their dues.

The highest paid artist received N$21,145.00 and the lowest received was N$1,17.00, which means the 2017 royalties rate was at N$1,17 cent per song as per the collected amount.

The amount differs every year depending on how the market is doing when it comes to advertisements.

Joseph Ailonga, general manager at Radio Energy, feels Nascam is doing its best and it’s not as bad as artists make it out to be.

He is of the opinion that Nascam’s system is a simplified one, “which cannot be compared to developed countries which have advanced industries”.

“South Africa with such a huge population has pretty much the same issues, where artists complain about their royalties. The issue in Namibia is about which radio station is paying royalties.”

He lamented that the laws in the country don’t protect Nascam enough for it take radio stations to task.

Radio Energy has a policy that it plays 60 – 65 percent local music and the rest African and international music. Which in turn means that rom the money they make from advertisers 2.5 percent of the revenue goes straight to Nascam for royalties, which is a standard practice similar all over the world.

Ailonga added: “Energy usually does not pay less than N$70,000 to over N$180,000 to Nascam’s coffers on a yearly basis.”

One Africa Television on the other hand has implemented a different approach towards supporting the local industry. All music videos aired on the station are 100 percent local, meaning the money that is paid over to Nascam does not leave the Land of the Brave to other countries.

It too has to pay a percentage from its advertising revenue towards Nascam.

According to Nascam, for the year 2017 Namibia’s first free-to-air TV station (One Africa) has paid its dues, but the amount was too little to distribute amongst members.

The allocations for the year 2017 were as follows:

– Royalties payments to all local and international artists, at 60% of the collected royalties: N$1,003,832.00

– Nascam office administration fees, at 30% of collection is N$501,910.00.

– Nascam members’ social and cultural activities funds, at 10% of the collections is N$167,305.00

Nascam encourages the national broadcaster NBC, commercial/private broadcasters and community radio stations to continue to use more local music in order to keep the royalties in the country. Local radio stations make money through advertisements and outside broadcast promotions.

Nascam does not see why they should use international music more than local music, while local businesses pay the bills.

Rather, the money should be kept in the country to promote local artists and improve local music.


SOURCE:  New Era.
Namibia's local music artists receive N$886,917 in royalties

Namibia’s local music artists receive N$886,917 in royalties


Windhoek — Nascam collected N$1.6 million from the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) alone for the use of music on radio and TV. Namibian music artists received the most compared to international artists, and the total paid to local musicians was N$886,917 while international artists got N$116,915 in royalties.

Royalties payment is the collection of funds by Nascam from music users. The funds are collected via copyright music licence.

Local artists have for years complained they have not been receiving a fair share for their music being played on air.

Award-winning singer Adora Kisting who released her debut album in 2016 was of the opinion that since dropping her album her royalty payment would increase.

But to her surprise she received far less compared to what she got when she did not have an album.

She feels the organization is not doing enough justice towards collecting the hard-earned money from radio stations for artists. She is of the opinion radio stations do not all pay their dues.

The highest paid artist received N$21,145.00 and the lowest received was N$1,17.00, which means the 2017 royalties rate was at N$1,17 cent per song as per the collected amount.

The amount differs every year depending on how the market is doing when it comes to advertisements.

Joseph Ailonga, general manager at Radio Energy, feels Nascam is doing its best and it’s not as bad as artists make it out to be.

He is of the opinion that Nascam’s system is a simplified one, “which cannot be compared to developed countries which have advanced industries”.

“South Africa with such a huge population has pretty much the same issues, where artists complain about their royalties. The issue in Namibia is about which radio station is paying royalties.”

He lamented that the laws in the country don’t protect Nascam enough for it take radio stations to task.

Radio Energy has a policy that it plays 60 – 65 percent local music and the rest African and international music. Which in turn means that rom the money they make from advertisers 2.5 percent of the revenue goes straight to Nascam for royalties, which is a standard practice similar all over the world.

Ailonga added: “Energy usually does not pay less than N$70,000 to over N$180,000 to Nascam’s coffers on a yearly basis.”

One Africa Television on the other hand has implemented a different approach towards supporting the local industry. All music videos aired on the station are 100 percent local, meaning the money that is paid over to Nascam does not leave the Land of the Brave to other countries.

It too has to pay a percentage from its advertising revenue towards Nascam.

According to Nascam, for the year 2017 Namibia’s first free-to-air TV station (One Africa) has paid its dues, but the amount was too little to distribute amongst members.

The allocations for the year 2017 were as follows:

– Royalties payments to all local and international artists, at 60% of the collected royalties: N$1,003,832.00

– Nascam office administration fees, at 30% of collection is N$501,910.00.

– Nascam members’ social and cultural activities funds, at 10% of the collections is N$167,305.00

Nascam encourages the national broadcaster NBC, commercial/private broadcasters and community radio stations to continue to use more local music in order to keep the royalties in the country. Local radio stations make money through advertisements and outside broadcast promotions.

Nascam does not see why they should use international music more than local music, while local businesses pay the bills.

Rather, the money should be kept in the country to promote local artists and improve local music.


SOURCE: News Era

Singer Diamond buys Grand House for his TV and radio station

Singer Diamond Platinumz buys Grand House for his TV and radio station


Only a few days after bongo flava star Diamond Platinumz disclosed that he was planning to set up a TV and radio station in Tanzania during an interview with a local TV station, he’s gone ahead to rent a house for the same.

The house, situated in the upmarket area of Mbezi beach, Dar es Salaam, is rumoured to be worth Sh36 million.

Singer Diamond buys Grand House for his TV and radio station

Diamond, who recently pocketed a cool Sh6.5 million for his performance at the Chrome Invasion New Year Party in Naivasha, will start broadcasting Wasafi TV and Wasafi Radio from February 2018.

Diamond took to his Instagram post to make the announcement about the mansion. He posted the photo below, captioning it: “New Year!! New Headquarters. Trust Me! You aint seen sh**yet”

However, our investigations revealed that Diamond had not purchased the house as rumoured but had actually rented it from a tycoon identified only as John who is currently serving a jail term in Tanzania.

The tycoon is said to have built the mansion five years ago for his young daughter born out of wedlock and no one has ever lived in it making Diamond the first tenant. The rent payment will be used to educate the child.


SOURCE: Daily Nation

Biopic on legendary music icon Brenda Fassie in the making

Biopic on legendary music icon Brenda Fassie in the making


Cape Town — Bongani Fassie, the music legend’s son has confirmed that a movie based on the superstar’s life story. The movie will follow Fassie’s journey from Langa, Cape Town, to Soweto up until her rise to stardom and becoming an iconic musician.

Biopic on legendary music icon Brenda Fassie in the making

Since news that a movie about Brenda Fassie affectionately called MaBrrr, her fans have been debating on social media of who will play the controversial singer.  Some of the suggestions include Brenda Ngxoli, Nomuzi Mabena, Soso Rungqu and Manaka Ranaka. Fans have also warned against an international actresses being cast to play the iconic songstress.

Auditions for the lead role of Brenda Fassie will be open to all South Africans.

A UK-based film and television production company, Showbizbee, has acquired the film rights. Bongani Fassie is set to be the co-executive producer. It will be filmed in Johannesburg and Cape Town and will hit cinemas in 2019.

The iconic artist was dubbed ‘The Madonna of the Townships’ by Time magazine in 2001. She died at Sunninghill Hospital in Johannesburg after falling into a coma following a drug overdose. She was 39.

Fela Lives on 20-years after demise

Fela lives on 20-years after demise


In this report, SAMUEL ABULUDE looks at the estate of the acclaimed ‘Abami Eda’ himself, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and how his music and essence has galvanised the world.

His music and life philosophy reverberates from the tiny corner of his abode where he grew up in Abeokuta to the ivory towers of prestigious universities in America where his life and music is being studied about. Fela Kuti is indeed an enigma. Twenty years after bowing his hat and quiting the stage of life and its vicissitudes, his essence looms large through his music and ideals.

Fela Lives on 20-years after demise

Olufela Ransome Kuti died on the 2nd of August, 1997 from a heart failure condition complicated by HIV Aids virus at the age of 59 years. The musician and creator of Afrobeat music genre has built a repertoire of classic hit singles and albums in over two decades and half of his musical career.

Books and articles have been written on Fela’s life and essence but it seemed not to have been exhausted yet. Musicals like Fela! Broadway was staged to showcase the best of Fela’s music and lifestyle from the viewpoint of an informed foreign media. Of recent, an indigenous production, Bolanle Austene Peters Production BAP in Nigeria staged ‘Fela and the Kalakuta Queens’ to the audience in which the command performance had representatives of the Federal government of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, honourable minister of information, culture and tourism and members of corporate Nigeria at the Terra Kulture theatre.

The performance had the audience spell bound as it chronicled the never been told story of the lives of Fela’s women. The musical chronicles Fela’s activism and his unconventional lifestyle showcasing the angle of the women that were critical to the success of Fela’s music. One of the unconventional ways Fela proved that he valued his women who were majorly dancers and caregivers at the kalakuta shrine was the period he married twenty-seven (27) of his ladies on the same day in 1977.

This decision attracted more criticism to the man and activist, Fela though polygamy was widely accepted in Nigeria and Africa.

Early Years

Born October 15, 1938 in Abeokuta, the music icon was born to feminist activist, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti and Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome Kuti, who was the first president of the Nigerian Union of Teachers. Having attended Abeokuta Grammar School where his father was the principal as well as the music teacher. In school, Fela was always running around creating jokes and laughter. Destiny beckoned on Fela when he met J.K Braimoh in school and he introduced Fela into music. This was in 1955. His interest in music increased with his association to Braimoh who he later studied music with together at the Trinity School of Music in London. It was in London that Fela learnt how to play the trumpet for he had become deeply involved in jazz music.

Fela And His Music

It was at Trinity College of Music that Fela and his friend, J.K Braimoh formed Koola Lobitos, a jazz band that regularly entertained Nigerians living in London. It was while at Trinity College that Fela met and fell in love with half caste Remi Taylor. They got married a year after courting. Remi Taylor-Kuti is the mother of Femi Kuti. Fela Ransome Kuti & His Koola Lobitos was the first band the afrobeat legend had. The musician returned to Nigeria with his wife, Remi after finishing his studies. He got fascinated by highlife music in Ghana saying, “I have nerver seen a countrylike this before, only in Europe, their nightlife was swimming in Highlife music.” Fela began playing root African tunes in Ghana and that was the genesis of Afrobeat music. He returned to Nigeria and started having regular gigs at Kakadu Night Club. Early songs of the 60s were Ololufe, Onidodo, Araba’s Special and others which formed 48 Highlife songs. 70s was the golden era of Afrobeats with Jeun koku, Lady, Expensive Shit, Yellow Fever, Zombie, Authority Stealing to name a few.

The 1980’s experienced a departure from Fela’s overtly commercial music as noted by Beast of No Nation and others. Fela songs at the time echoed the neo colonial slavery of Nigeria, the biggest African nation and the lingering problems of Nigeria which is largely are corruption. The songs include Shakara, Water No Get Enemy, Sorrow Tears & Blood, Army Arrangement, Colonial Mentality, Trouble Sleep Yanga Wake Am, Confusion Break Bone, Monday Morning In Lagos, Teacher Don’t’ Teach Me, Eko Ile, Opposite People, Black Man Cry, Everything Scatter, Original Suffer Head, Mr follow follow, He Miss Road, O.D.O.O, Kalakuta Show, Alagbon Close, Monkey Banana, Go Slow, Fear Not For Man, Viva Africa and others. Indeed Fela was a genius and seemed to be in a class of his own. Some have noted that the most musical aspect of Fela’s musical career remains the jazz oriented period of the 1960s. Fela sang on various issues from love, war, economy, and politics berating the military rulership of the day.

Fela And Imprisonment Ordeal

Fela’s music made him a target of the ‘establishment’. April 30, 1974 was the day Fela was arrested. Fela was on his way to Empire Club from his Agege Motor Road apartment. Suddenly, Policemen walked into the unfenced house and straight to Fela’s sitting room. The police recovered weeds suspected to be indian hemp. Perceived as a radical, the music artiste was tortured at different times by the Police force and he slept in different cells at different times. These words, he penned in his songs. ‘Human rights na my property. This uprising will bring the beast in us’. Some of these scenes were well crafted in the musical, Fela and The Kalakuta Queen dramatized by Laitan Adeniji as Fela, Inna Eriza as Funmilayo, Uru Eke as Alake, Bunmi Olunloyo as Lamile, Dolapo Phillips as Laide, Titilayo Itiku as Jibike. Centre around the Kakakuta Queen, the musical showcased the brutal invasion of ‘unknown soldier’ debacle- a sad tale of injustice mirroring the extra judicial killings of the Police and military.

The role of the media-Daily Times newspaper, reporting the invasion and Fela’s marriage to 27 women was evident in the musical show. Aside the stage craft, lighting, animation, make-up, costume design by Ituen Basi and the band, the musical got encomiums from those that lived with Fela in the days. Duro Ikujenyo, Fela’s pianist of 10 years noted that he was very impressed about the musical and observed that it was richer in content than the popular ‘Fela Broadway’. Duro who worked with the band at F&KQ said, “Fela made me knowledgeable during my time with him. This musical shows a lot about what transpired but it didn’t show Fela in the toilet which is a disclosure”. The well-crafted musical that had Desmond Elliot played the role of Judge and Osas Ighodaro-Ajibade as Malaika, Fela’s love interest ended on a good note-why not as the Kalakuta queens became the heroines of the play which ended with the historic tune, ‘Water No Get Enemy’.

“We tried to give the women who were Fela’s wives a voice as they were perceived as prostitutes. You will also hear about Kalakunzo, Kalakunta and Edith which are names referred to things in the house,” says the executive producer, Bolanle Austene-Peters.

Fela And The Kalakuta Queen

Fela was not a preacher in morality. Other musicians take the honour but his charisma overshadows his undoing. While Fela may be blamed for making a lot of girls rebels, his strength may have ourweight his faults. His insatiable desire for sex may have brought balance his sexual relation with his kalakuta ladies. Marrying twenty-seven of them at the same time is a record documented in the annals of history. That decision irked the sensibilities of the public and media but was Fela bothered? No!

One of the Kalakuta Queens who lived with Fela and experience things first hand, Laide Babayale shed light to some of the happenings in Fela Empire. Explaining why Fela Fela married 27 of them forty years ago, Laide said, “Fela loved us and was not happy with the way people were treating his women. He married us because he wanted to make us proud; he did not want us to be disgraced. They used to call us prostitutes and Ashewo, Igbo (Indian hemp) smokers and this made us very unhappy. He knew how we had fought with him and suffered for him. We left everything, sacrificed everything just to be with him. We never abandoned him to surfer alone; anywhere they were taking him to we went with him. By marrying us he gave us honour and showed us appreciation. He wanted us to be respected as responsible and hard working wives.

Shedding light on how Fela’s mum, Funmilayo Kuti was brutalized, she reminisced, “Of course, I was beside mama when they came for her. I don’t want to relive the moment again. I never had any premonition that anything untoward was going to happen that morning. I was in Mama’s room and I had just made food for her which she ate and we sat down and were chatting, while Fela was sleeping in his room. Suddenly, all hell broke loose; I was lucky to have escaped with my life. At the hospital, I was Mama’s nurse and we were there together at LUTH and at General Hospital in Lagos Island. Her condition was so bad she could not speak for a while because of her injuries. I was the one feeding her alongside her first daughter.”

Laide who still looked beautiful even in her mid-50s, said that Fela’s love for her and standard made her not to marry any other man afterwards. The lady who suffered from a medical condition as a result of the police brutality at Kalakuta said, “I was so in love with Fela that I could not remarry or stay with any man. His standard was too high. He was too generous. He was every woman’s dream; he was a disciplinarian who knew how to handle his women.”

Fela’s Family Hold Forth

Yeni Kuti, the first child of Fela Kuti noted that the family had forged ahead and maintained the ideals of their father and patriarch, Fela through conviction and dedication to what Fela stands for even twenty years after. She said, “My father would have been 79 years old this year if he were alive today. I learnt a lot from him and the family has tried to remain stronger together. Through sheer conviction and dedication to what he stands for, we have been able to make sure Fela Lives On! Felabration, a week long music festival and symposium on his dreams for every African youth, is held in every October and it has become an international program of celebration of Fela”

Imagine if Fela was still alive today, he would have reaped from his sweat- the numerous music production and videos he did are quality intellectual property that would have yielded royalties. Secondly, Fela would have been bemused and sad about the gloomy situation of Nigeria where neo colonialism and ex-military chiefs are still in power as politicians though. The fact that Fela’s songs are still relevant and real with the times- ’49 sitting-99 standing yeye rolling’ are one of the lyrics that resonate with our present times of suffering and struggling.

Conclusion

Fela who was from a nominal Christian home changed to Africanism and the worship of Yoruba gods who could be appease with the blood of chicken and goats. His spirituality led him to predict the burning of Windsor Castle. Femi Kuti professes neither to be a C hristian or muslim but is an avid reader and believes in the existence of Olodumare- the Yoruba God.

In 2006, TIME weekly news magazine named 60 Most Influential Persons globally from its panel of experts and FELA was identified as one of the two Nigerians who have the most profound positive impact on the world in the last sixty years. Incidentally only 3 Africans made the list.

Many international afrobeat bands have sprung up as a result of the charismatic hold that Fela had on world music. Bands such as Chopteeth, Salvador Sango, Albino, Shrine Synchrosysyem, Niyi Ige, Najite Olokun prophecy, JJC and 419 Squad, Kayode Olajide, Weavers Band and other Afrobeat musicians have had their root in Fela and his music.


SOURCE: Leadership (Abuja)

Men and women are not equal – Tiwa Savage

Nigeria super star singer Tiwa Savage said ​she doesn’t think men and women are equal.

Speaking on the Midday show on The Beat 99.9FM with OAP Toolz, on gender equality, she said: “It’s real. I’m not going to say I’m completely comfortable with it but it is what it is.
You have to deal with it. If it means you have to work 10 times harder than your male counterparts. Don’t complain about it, do what you have to do. We all celebrate people like Oprah and Mo Abudu and we don’t actually realise what they have to do to get to that point.

They probably had to do 20 times than their male counterparts. Once you get there, you don’t complain about how you get there. So, whatever it is you have to do as a female, you just have to get it done.

I know I’ll (ruffle) a few feathers but I also don’t think men and women are equal, I don’t think that’s how God created us that way… especially in the household anyway.

So, I think as females when we realise that yeah we can be strong in our career, but when we are home we have to realise that the man is the head of the house.”

Psquare fighting again, Paul cancels their US tour | Fans react with anger

Rumours of a fight between the music duo of Paul and Peter Okoye known as Psquare have thickened as the pop stars have cancelled their American tour scheduled for September.

f9b28-peterokoyeandsonlindaikejiblog1

In recent weeks, there have been reports that the duo are currently fighting and fans may soon be served the news of their split for the second time.

Background:

The Okoye brothers had gone their separate ways in 2014, after reportedly engaging in a physical fight.

They had disagreed on a number of issues, including if their elder brother, Jude Okoye should remain their manager.

They later united and dropped some hits for fans who had pleaded for them not to go solo.

What happened:

Few days ago, Peter Okoye

took to his Instagram page, where he wrote;

“If it makes you Happy, no one else’s opinion should Matter. #LiveLifeHappy #WordsOfHappiness #KoolestDude   #MrP.”

Followers immediately questioned why he was using the hash tag ‘Mr P’, stating that he only uses it when he is fighting with his brother.

Paul, two days later took to Instagram to issue a warning to someone.

He wrote, “Back to naija don’t take my silence for granted…. only a woman can come where brothers are working in peace and destroy it      #youknowyourself …. try me this time … I swear Nyash go open   you will know that blood is thicker and stronger than juju…”

paulokoye

What is happening:

A fan on Tuesday asked why the duo are yet to begin their American tour but Paul replied that it has been cancelled.

nothappening-1

Fans reactions:

img-20170919-wa0001

Drake missing as Wizkid Drops Come Closer Video

Wizkid cancels US tour due to ill health

Nigerian superstar Wizkid has cancelled his US tour due to ill health.

Drake missing as Wizkid Drops Come Closer Video
Wizkid earlier took to his Instagram to announce the release of the video

According to Pulse, Wizkid made the announcement on Twitter:

He didn’t give specifics about the illness, leaving fans worried.

The site also points out that this isn’t the first time Wizkid will be postponing concerts due to the state of his health. In December 2016, he cancelled two concerts in Lagos after his doctors “pressured him” to stop performing.

One of Wizkid’s most watched YouTube videos is his collaboration with Canadian star Drake, Come Closer.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/Pulse NG

WATCH: How Olamide answered with WO! when called by the street

WATCH: How Olamide answered with WO! when called by the street

on ni won wa wa n’igboro | Won ni won ti miss wa n’igboro 

Translation: They say they’ve been searching for us on the streets | They say they missed us on the streets

WATCH: How Olamide answered with WO! when called by the street

The first two lines of verse one in Olamide’s latest viral single, W0!! aptly communicate the essence of his reemergence into the streets. It’s not like Olamide ever went anywhere. He released Summer Body only a month ago and even Davido’s presence on that track couldn’t save it from being a flop. There was Wavy Level before then and yes, that was one hit song but only by the standards of Olamide’s posh audience. How does one forget Pepper Dem Gang, the slay queen anthem?

All great efforts but not sufficient to satisfy the yearnings of the streets. The last the people of Bariga and its extensions (by that, we mean all of us) heard from Olamide was Who U Epp – the 2016 blessing that birthed multiple remixes from upcomers and professionals alike. But that’s debatable! Some street kids will ask us to take several seats and cast our minds farther back to 2015. They’ll argue that the last time Olamide truly spoke their language was with Shakiti Bobo. That one even came with its own customised dance step. And yes, we’ll agree.

Wo!! barged into our collective consciousness at a time when we had settled for and were quite comfortable with Small Doctor’s Penalty. Let’s be frank, Olamide was generous enough to allow his younger colleague enjoy the limelight, airplay and talkability. Thanks boss!

Maybe he seemed out of touch for so long but Olamide has an innate knowledge of the cravings of his disciples; so he leveraged on that and the power that social media challenges wield especially when there’s a monetary value attached. Wo! Challenge was set up for success and it did more than that. For those who participated for the 1 million naira prize money, others who did it out of curiosity, Olamide who remains the king of the streets and the rest of us who now have Wo!! on perpetual replay, everybody wins.

A mistake that may push Lil Kesh off the ladder to greatness

OPINION: A mistake that may push Lil Kesh off the ladder to greatness

Just like tossing a coin and getting neither head nor tail. It lands wheeling on its side. Strange? It is. We cannot say Olamide is an opportunist, yet we cannot disregard the fact that he took the chances of Dagrin’s demise to roughen his way up into limelight.

A mistake that may push Lil Kesh off the ladder to greatness

Only a few artists could make it up his way. I remember his lyrics in ‘Ghost mode’ by Phyno where he said: “One man mopol mi o ni record label, awon tan sign yin ibi ti mo de won o le de be”. A hit line that says he doesn’t have a record label and as well lauding his great achievements.

Yes! He is not an opportunist. The YBNL nation that comes into realisation today and as well has produced quite a number of hip hop acts isn’t a day job. I know how long it took Olamide to register that name in our minds, I know how many tracks he made chanting that ‘yahoo boy no laptop’, before he eventually made it an album and then launch it as his label name.

We don’t stop a child from being a leper, only if he can live by himself in the woods. I knew it wasn’t Olamide’s intention to let go of Lil Kesh when his contract ended but the ‘Skibo robo skibo’ ambassador already had fame and the whooing street love he had received over time with Shoki, Efejoku and other hit tracks in his head that he forgot he still needed much to learn. It’s not all about the punchline, nor the vulgarity, nor the way one trends with the beat. It’s more about understanding your audience and knowing how to blend your ways with their demands. It’s more about tailoring your moves to remain relevant in the industry.

I have not said Lil Kesh is no more relevant in the music industry and my point isn’t about his still-smooth relationship with the YBNL boss. I’m saying in a nutshell that YAGI has come some years too early. The record label might not be really functioning but that does not erase its existence. To be candid, my love for Lil Kesh as an artist came from Olamide’s influence. The street accepted him that early and loudly because he was backed up by King Baddo himself. The big mistake he
made was not waiting for the time when he would have grown too rooted in the minds of his lovers that his detachment from YBNL wouldn’t have an effect on his career.

Lil Kesh is not mature enough to own a record label. He still has much more to learn. One reason he has not really received any major award so far. He makes his tracks and has his fans but arguably small doctor is currently more respected and adored on the street than he is. You can dream big but you need to start small if and only if you don’t want to crumble and leave on yourself lasting scars.

Justin Bieber cancels his “WORLD TOUR” after giving his life to Jesus Christ

justin-bieb.png
Canadian music star, Justin Bieber, has cancelled his Purpose World Tour.

The singer’s reps confirmed that he has cancelled the remainder of his tour due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.

An official statement on Bieber’s official Facebook page read;

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Justin Bieber will cancel the remainder of the Purpose World Tour concerts.

Justin loves his fans and hates to disappoint them. He thanks his fans for the incredible experience of the Purpose World Tour over last 18 months.
justin-bieber-amas-2015-carpet-billboard-650.jpg

He is grateful and honored to have shared that experience with his cast and crew for over 150 successful shows across 6 continents during this run.

However, after careful consideration he has decided he will not be performing any further dates. Tickets will be refunded at point of purchase

Now, TMZ reports that the Sorry singer is ‘re-dedicating’ his life to Christ, and the mind behind this new Justin Bieber has been identified as the Hillsong Church founder Carl Lenz, who is a close friends of Bieber’s, but who reportedly didn’t want him to cancel on his fans.

“The church didn’t tell Justin to cancel the tour. He made his decision based on spiritual soul-searching and his own view of the path in life he should be taking,” a source close to the church told TMZ;

However, other sources claim that “Bieber processed the endless conversations he has had with Lentz and used them to make the decision.”

It is unclear if Justin Bieber is kissing his music goodbye.

Source: Bloomgist/Dailygossip

How Wizkid refused to make me an offer – Mr Eazi

Mr-Eazi
Singer Mr Eazi has said he saw himself more as a show promoter and not an artiste while he was at the University.

He made this known during a special interview with Julie Adenuga to mark his feature as Apple Music’s ‘Up Next’ artiste for July.

The ‘skin tight’ singer said he told Wizkid to make him an offer when they first met.

He said, “When I first met him, he just asked me what I wanted and I’m like ‘give me an offer‘ and he said ‘I’m not going to give you an offer‘.

“He said ‘tell me exactly what you want‘ and I said ‘I don’t want any money from you‘ and he replied saying, ‘What do you want‘. And I’m like ‘I want us to work together as a family ‘.
Mr-Eazi

“And that is what it is [till today]. I’m operating how I like and putting out music whenever I like. It’s a sweet thing.”

He also revealed that he has recorded about twelve songs with Diplo, an American record producer/artiste.

He described his music as a fusion of different genres but still with the African flavour.

Source: Bloomgist/Ynaija

Album review: Omawumi's album 'Timeless' is a powerful comeback | You can't hold it

Album review: Omawumi’s album ‘Timeless’ is a powerful comeback | You can’t hold it

Harving a name for herself as one of the most durable figures on the Nigerian music scene, Omawumi despite long spells in the sidelines has always managed to retain relevance in the industry. While boasting of a unique vocal skill set that arguably sets her aside as one of the best vocalists of her generation in the African continent, she takes up a project totally different from what she does regularly as well as with a new cast and crew.

Album review: Omawumi's album 'Timeless' is a powerful comeback | You can't hold it

Timeless stars Cobhams AsuquoAngélique KidjoSalif KeitaUhuru, orchestras in Jòzi, horns in Lagos and strings in Houston. The resulting album is a special and purposeful curation of nostalgia and versatility. Every single song is different from the other and is set in a totally different style. A visual story plays subtly yet loudly in the mind of anyone who listens and this project is as visual as visual projects are despite being a 49 minute audiobook.

Omawumi ditches local pop to make a totally different sound – one that tends towards a new genre of music; Afro Jazz maybe?

That is who I am. When I go into the studio, when I want to write, the first genre that comes into my head is mid-tempo lovers Rock. That’s how I write…I was brought up in a home where I listened to different genres of music, and the ones that stick are songs that are deep-rooted in African music , but also have influences of jazz and live music. I have always knew that that’s what I wanted to do. I have always written in that direction.

What 2016 Omawumi said to Pulse TV, she did in her 2017 Album.

In Dolapo, a more refined and grounded Omawumi is experienced – not heard, not seen – experienced. Listening like it is set in 16th century England with sarcasm only the British are blessed with, Omawumi displays her vocal prowess in a song scorning her lover that has fallen for and is now with a beautiful but less impressive Dolapo. This record shows that Omawumi is a jazz musician through and through.

Ololufe brings Fela Kuti back to life with an English version of his song. Sticking to the script and staying true to its original arrangement, Omawumi’s rendition brings a new understanding to the meaning and depths of the song while showing off her versatility with shameless jazz plugs to it.

Megbele is a show of vocal range and skill set to cement her place as Queen.

I No Sure is exportable African music. The type that breaks into International markets and builds a new fan base. This record is another show of versatility following the general theme of the whole project but still so different from all the other songs in it.

Play Na Play is as playful as it is deep. The duet with Grammy winning Beninese veteran singer; Angélique Kidjo tells an intentional story and there is nothing missing in the personality of the song or the message it sends.

Africa features Salif Keita and Uhuru. This joint is arguably the biggest and best of the whole project and talks a lot about the diversity and beauty of the continent. While the topic in itself has been over flogged, the delivery is incredible. It is one to make believers out of unbelievers.

Omawumi is a different breed of African musicians. All of the songs in this project will go down in history as the turning point and a revolution in a new breed of music.

Cop the whole album here.

We heard voice of Falz, but words of Falana 

by Alexander O. Onukwue

Why has Falz come out to criticise fraudulent behaviour?

The actor, singer and comedian made the observation that entertainers should paint good pictures and tell good stories instead of preaching 419 and glorifying fraudulent behaviour.

It was not an act by Falz, even if he passed the comment with his signature h-factor diction. He wasn’t trying to be funny either, judging from the quite serious look on his face and the fact he stressed the particular words of the lyrics, making no attempt to disguise the fact he was referring to 9ice and his new song.

Falz does not sing the “cleanest” of songs. Granted that there is some difference between what is moral and that which is illegal, he can expect to have his share of the blame when the roll for those “destroying our future” is called.

But Falz, in expressing his disgust at the hailing of fraudsters, may not just have been talking about musicians alone. Some platforms are commenting on his comments as an expression of opposition to the general problem of corruption in Nigeria.

Falz practised the legal profession for a while before dropping the wig and gown. He has a good idea of what is good or bad, and how hard it can be to stop the bad from going free, despite ample evidence to check it. He has made the point of making his songs heavy on words, some of which he has directed at aspects of society, the notable example being ‘Wehdone Sir’. We also know he is close to his father, Femi Falana, a vocal and regular human rights activist and a particular defender of the Buhari Government’s anti-corruption campaign.

Falana Senior and others on the Government’s side have been expressing their disappointment at the result of the corruption trial against Senate President Bukola Saraki. Now, Falz is criticising wealth from fraudulent means, stressing that it is not good for younger generations to believe it is a good thing.

Did his old man and the Saraki case have something to do with the comments that have come at this time? Fill in the blank spaces.

Wizkid bags 7 nominations at the 2017 Billboard Music Award

Nigerian pop star, Wizkid has been nominated for 7 awards at the upcoming 2017 Billboard Music Awards to hold on 21st of May.

c_9eyh7umaafxbb-600x603

The nominations are for collaboration with Drake & Kyla on “One Dance”.

The categories include Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top R&B Song and Top R&B Collaboration.

Entertainment Drop: Banky W taken by Adesuwa as MI shocks the world – all you need to know

The engagement announcement that shook Nigeria

c-93hqsw0aadywi

On Wednesday morning, award-winning R&B artiste, Banky W took to his Instagram to share a story that started with how he first met Nollywood actress and his Wedding Party co-star, Adesua Etomi in 2012. He quickly went on to how their paths crossed again in 2015 and the big shock? He finished off with the sweetest surprise.

[“We were hiding in plain sight” | Banky W finally gets engaged to Adesua Etomi]

He asked her to marry him in February 2017 and the two are a couple now. In fact, their introduction is set to hold this weekend. And no, this is not a movie.

The internet went into a frenzy following the news. Memes, congratulatory messages and even a prophecy of doom followed.

Wizkid would like to be exempted from these marriage convos…

Early on in the day, Mavin label boss, Don Jazzy jokingly weighed in on the engagement announcement asking if blogger, Linda Ikeji would like feature in a movie with him.

Last night though, Wizkid took to Twitter to congratulate the couple and was excited they finally made it public considering their close friends have had to keep their secret for a while.

A Twitter user asked Wizkid when he would take the big step and here’s what he said:

Also on Twitter, rapper Wale put this music critic on blast and here’s why:

American-Nigerian rapper Wale whose album Shine was released few days ago had to set an American music critic, Anthony Fantano after condemning some of the songs on his album.

Not that Wale has a thin skin for criticism but Fantano ignorantly attacked all the songs on Wale’s album that featured Nigerian artistes.

Wale featured Wizkid, Major Lazer and Dua Lipa on the track My Love and Fantano assumed he copied the Carribean sound:

Here’s how Wale explained things to him:

Then Fantano had yet another opinion and Wale dropped a few Yoruba curses on him:

Is Chocolate City about to unveil a new artiste? MI, Music

The question on our minds as Chairman of Chocolate City music label, MI Abaga shared a video chronicling the artistes that have been signed on the label since inception.

The video ended off with a question, “Guess Who?”

Drake missing as Wizkid Drops Come Closer Video

Drake missing as Wizkid Drops Come Closer Video

Wizkid has finally dropped the highly anticipated video of his collaborative single with Drake, Come Closer.

Drake missing as Wizkid Drops Come Closer Video
Wizkid earlier took to his Instagram to announce the release of the video

The Starboy had been teasing fans for the past week now about the video and fans have been glued to the edge of their seats, patiently waiting.

In the wee hours of this morning, the 26-year-old took to his Instagram to announce the release of the video. Big thank u to my real supporters! Come closer video out!” he wrote.

The video, which was directed by popular Nigerian born American video director Oladapo ‘Daps’ Fagbenle, falls nothing short of being stellar. However, fans couldn’t help but ask one very important question: ‘Why is Drake missing in the video?’

Drake
Nigerians declared war with Drake after he shot the video of his hit single One Dance featuring Wizkid and Filipino singer Kyla in South Africa; without the Starboy

 

And here is why this is such a huge question.

Last year, Nigerians declared war with Drake after he shot the video of his hit single One Dance featuring Wizkid and Filipino singer Kyla in South Africa; without the Starboy.

Since Drake and Wizkid struck a friendship and music relationship after Drake covered Wizzy’s Ojuelegba in 2015, the musicians have NEVER been pictured or seen together. Even though the pair appear to be in contact and have worked together on several songs, fans can’t help but be curious about why they have not been seen together.

 Could Drake’s absence in the video be tied to the fact that he was on a Europe tour and didn’t have time to film?
Whatever the reason, fans are demanding answers.

SOURCE: The Bloomgist/Davinci

Patrick Elis, Nigerian music director becomes Akon’s ‘Konvict Music’ official director

Patrick Elis, Nigerian music director becomes Akon’s ‘Konvict Music’ official director

Patrick Elis, a Nigerian cinematographer, has been unveiled as the official music video director of Konvict Music Africa.

Patrick Elis, Nigerian music director becomes Akon’s ‘Konvict Music’ official director
Patrick Elis, Nigerian music director becomes Akon’s ‘Konvict Music’ official director


Akon, founder of Konvict Music, made the announcement while speaking on an Instagram video.

“Yeah, check it out mehn, It’s your boy Akon, Over here is Patrick Elis, the official director for Konvict Africa… matter of fact for the continent,” the Senegal-born singer said.

“You eyes can only see what is delivered to you and this man can deliver you the best.

“So he’s getting very expensive so if you have a relationship, you might want to keep that relationship,” Akon added.

Elis is regarded as one of the best music video directors in Nigeria.

He was responsible for the visuals of Wizkid’s breakout single, ‘Holla at your boy’.

Elis has shot some of the top videos in the music industry in the last few years.


SOURCE: The Bloomgist/The Cable Lifestyle

Taylor Swift is taking on YouTube, its goint to be a tough fight

Swift’s protest over Apple Music royalties pushed the tech giant into Continue reading “Taylor Swift is taking on YouTube, its goint to be a tough fight”

Drake’s One Dance ft Wizkid breaks another world record

Nigerian Afro pop singer Wizkid’s song with Drake One Dance has set a new world record. Continue reading “Drake’s One Dance ft Wizkid breaks another world record”

They said 12 years ago that hunger will force ASA out of music’ – Emma Ugolee

The fact that I very easily feel sorry for people who seemed disadvantaged, oppressed or in dire need became a burden that I had to start learning to ignore for my own protection. Continue reading “They said 12 years ago that hunger will force ASA out of music’ – Emma Ugolee”