“Some of them try to rhyme, but they can’t rhyme like this” What we’re listening to this week…
For the past 30 years in the United States, the third Monday of each January has been recognized as a national holiday to honor the life and work of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is helpful to remember that the struggles for freedom and justice among Black Americans in the U.S. took place at the same time countries all across Africa were fighting for independence from the European colonial powers.
Our selections this week are in celebration of the life, humanity, and hopes of people from across the oceans and across the Diaspora.
“You gon’ love Lagos, yo!”
One of the enduring qualities of hip-hop is the importance of reppin’ for your hometown. Nigerian hip-hop artist Olamide continues in this tradition with his latest single, I Love Lagos, an anthem for Lagos, Nigeria – the 19th largest city in the world by population, and the 2nd largest in Africa after Cairo, Egypt. This drum-fueled tour through the districts of Lagos gives viewers a glimpse into the sights and scenes of the fascinating city.
“Tell me, what do you see in this Afrikan? I’m a fully Black Afrikan. Melanin strong is Afrikan. All my girls can admit we Afrikan. Kinky hair and it’s Afrikan. Damn I love my Afrikans…”
We keep the tempo up with a new single from London-based singer Aina More that should lead off all #BlackGirlMagic playlists this year. Her new soulful house/dance track, Afrikan Lady, is best experienced while walking…with your head held high, and your self-love on fleek.
From the dance hall to the head nod, our next pick this week comes from Canadian producer Elaquent and Seattle emcee J’Von. Their new single, Saul Good, is the kind of straight-ahead, rapping over the boom-bap that is a necessary part of any hip-hop diet. The single is on Elaquent’s new album, Less is More (Lo Definition).
We finish up this week back in the U.S. with the latest album from Brandon*, called Dreamscape: Love and Luxuria. If you are not familiar with Brandon*, and you just took the rest of the day to listen through all of his Dreamscape series albums, you would have spent your day well. The title is a perfect description of this album. This is really beautiful music…for love, for luxury…or for lounging around if you can’t afford either of the other two at the moment!