Music Monday, May 27, 2024

WTS Reviewed & Ranked: New Music Friday Review

Reviewed & Ranked is a weekly series where we listen, analyze and rate the best new Afrobeats songs globally. On this episode, we bring the most exciting music and talented acts repping Afrobeats music for Week 18.

Gabzy – X

Our top rated track of the week features Uk-based Nigerian singer Gabzy, who leaves the listeners in their feelings on this delightful Afro-fusion record.  Combining RnB, pop and afrobeat influences, X is a masterclass in production, song-writing and an overall musical experience. The only regret we have is how incredibly short the song is, at 1:33 minutes, it leaves the listener definitely wanting more. An absolutely amazing and addictive record, it’s should be on everyone’s playlist. 


Sarkodie – Brag 

Taking the second spot is this previously released controversial song, that has Sarkodie reveling in his longevity and lyrical excellence. Bars like “Wizkid came i was already doing it / Davido started when i was improving it / and then Odogwu came through / Black Sheriff to Asake, i’m still going / you thought i was losing it?” shows Sarkodie is very aware of his status. Aptly named “Brag”, this track is laced with well delivered braggadocious lyrics, and will leave any listener convinced that Sarkodie’s competition might indeed be “only Kendrick and Cole”. 


Keys the Prince & Mayorkun – Left Right Remix

In third place, Uk-based Nigerian rapper Keys the Prince, taps singer Mayorkun for the remix to his viral single Left Right. The former DMW signee does justice to this guest spot by dishing out a show stopping verse, re-affirming his status as one of the best songwriters in . Leaving his second verse unchanged, drill rapper Keys Prince closes the songs with an already certified showing. We definitely recommend it.


Jae5 – Normally (ft NSG) 

On our No. 4 spot, superstar British producer Jae5, recruits critically acclaimed Uk based Ghanaian/Nigerian group, NSG for this banging record. Not much can go wrong when one of the best producers in the Uk teams up with one of the best groups in the country. As one would expect from a group of 6 artists, some verses might be better than others, but Nsg deserves all the praise for being able to consistently deliver quality on their songs. Another hit to add to a long list for Jae5.. 


Aisosa – Pyt

In fifth place, singer Aisosa once again blurs the line between RnB and Pop with this reggae infused and genre melting record. With a vocal performance that leaves an impression, the singer paints a relatable picture of a consenting romantic. Awesome production, great delivery and thoughtful songwriting, We’re sure Aisosa is one of the artists with a lot of promise and can’t wait to see what the future holds for the singer. 


Nu Baby – Mende 

Nu Baby dishes an appealing performance on his first release of 2024 and takes the sixth spot on our list. The Canadian based, Nigerian bred singer preaches a distinct style of Afro-fusion and Afro-pop that’s addictive and inviting to the ears. Floating delicately on this progressive and unconventional instrumental, the singer delivers a noteworthy performance. A catchy ear-worm, the singer is definitely one to watch out for. 


Sarkodie – X (with Joey B) 

In seventh place, “The landlord” as Sarkodie is fondly called, taps regular collaborator and singer Joey B for this hard-hitting track. The ace rapper is not letting up on his competition, unleashing show stopping bars. He re-affirms that he’s like Jay-z and doesn’t see anyone stepping to him, with a song like this, that’s hard to debate. Another blistering hip-hop track from the Ghanaian legend, and with Joey B delivering a brief but complimentary cameo, we’re loving it.


Xplode – Panic

In eight place, highly rated next-gen singer ‘Xplode’ crafts one of the better songs of this week with this well written Afro-pop record. Xplode teams up with next up producer NYRP to deliver a catchy but conscious track that should be one of the songs of the summer. Combining the indigenous languages of Yoruba and Pidgin with English, the singer entices the listener with delivery and poise. An excellent over achievement. 


Deto Black – Naija Babes

Deto Black is not just a dynamic rapper, she’s also a model, stylist and creative director and she takes the ninth spot. An empowering song with an ode to Nigerian women, the production and style fuses multiple genres including Electronic music, Hip-hop and Afrobeats. Talented producer Gmk, deserves several rounds of applause for such talented and futuristic production. Deto Black floats beautifully on the song and asserts her genre escaping artistry by declaring that “this is Nollypop”. 


Fave – Controlla 

Stylish hitmaker Fave, is in the tenth spot. While describing her creative process for this single, the highly rated singer says she wanted a sound inspired by Wizkid’s Bad to me. As soon as the drums hit on this Amapiano laced and groovy production by Niphkeys, the similarities are obvious. However, the artist adds her originality and style to make the song unique and exciting. A stimulating song that only Fave can execute, it affirms her claim as one of the most distinct voices in her generation. 


Aisosa – Moonshine

With his second entry on the list, highly rated RnB act Aisosa is in eleventh place. He whips up a storm on this eclectic and infectious RnB/Pop record that is bound to have listeners captivated. A great vocal texture and performance, the singer treats his voice like a weapon, deftly wielding it to capture and draw his listeners in. Complete with awesome songwriting, the singer makes a bold claim worthy of everyone’s attention.


Natty Chillz – Custom Made

In twelfth place, Port-harcourt native Natty Chillz aims to take no prisoners on his first release of the year. Over hard-hitting drums and up-tempo production that combines hip-hop and afrobeat instrumentation, he delivers a record that will have no problem in clubs and dancefloors. The songwriting can seem basic at times, but sometimes simplicity is preferred by the audience. The confident and brash style of the South-south people of Nigeria is evident on this record and we see the vision. It will be exciting to see how the singer develops from here.


ID Cabasa, Odumodublvck & Fireboy Dml – Olunfunmi Re-imagined (ft BOJ & Joeboy)

At No. 13, Legendary producer ID Cabasa decided to remake this cult classic and tapped several artists for a star studded tracklist. Fireboy opens with a sweet and appealing verse, but by the time Odumodublvck starts rapping, we can’t help but sense a disconnect. A disjointed verse that was barely on subject, it drastically reduces the appeal of this remake. Boj and Joeboy however salvage what’s left of the song, with Joeboy closing out beautifully. A supposedly remake that should be at least at par with the original, it has only succeeded in leaving the listener with mixed feelings. We definitely expected better. 


Tekno – Wayo

Hitmaking singer and producer Tekno returns with his first single of the year and takes the 14th place on our list. A gentle love rendition that serenades the listener, the concept and execution hit the mark. However, for an artist of Tekno’s stature, the song comes off as lazy with basic songwriting. While it’s not a bad song, the style and delivery seem overplayed and the singer struggles to connect. 


Zerrydl – Once Upon a Time (O.U.A.T)

In 15th place is Zerrydl. Practicing the same unconventional style of Afrobeats as his elder brother and record label boss “Shallipopi”, he continues to stake his claim as one to watch out for. While deserved criticism has been directed at their style of music, Zerrydl has slightly better songwriting than his boss. As a result, his songs are much more tolerable. On this groovy production that combines Afrobeats and Amapiano elements, Zerrydl goes into storytelling mode about potential rejection from a love interest before fame. While the delivery and engineering could certainly be better, this is still a good effort.


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