“International” ft. (2baba, Buffalo Souljah & Gemini Major) – Deejay Waxxy
If for some reason you weren’t THAT into urban dancehall music in Africa around 2008/9, you would’ve likely never heard of DJ Waxxy. But for those of us who do know him, there’s no denying that DJ Waxxy was one of the biggest DJs on the continent at the time. I myself hadn’t even imagined that I could ever DJ, but I drew inspiration from watching him do his thing on Channel O’s “The 411” show. Waxxy commanded a huge following, toured all over the continent and even appeared on the popular Big Brother Africa show.
Word is, things went south when he got let go by Channel O and had a fall out with his signee Buffalo Souljah. Apparently the two had beef for five years but long story short, they finally squashed it earlier this year and now have a single together. “International” also features Gemini Major, an exciting young Family Tree artist, as well as the legendary 2 Face Idibia (now just known as 2baba). For a dancehall track it sounds pretty stripped down but they pull it off, much like Rihanna’s “Work”, which they also reference in the song. There’s not much to say at the moment with regards to the longevity of Waxxy’s return but International is a pretty great start for a DJ who’s been missing for so long!
Watch the video for the collaboration above & let me know your thoughts.
“Kontrolla” (Remix) – Kapital K
The homie Kapital K has been relatively quiet on the music side since the Diddy standing ovation last year, but he has slowly started dropping some new music to keep us guessing in 16′.
Earlier in the year Kap dropped “Diaspora” which was the first track from him since the RMC conference. Diaspora was the first time I’d ever heard Kapital K rap in Shona (one of Zimbabwe’s official languages) and it seemed to mark the beginning of a different direction for him as an artist. Of course at the time, everyone wanted to know if he’d been signed and what Diddy said after his stunt, but there hadn’t been any official word on that. However, Kap recently came out to clear the air with a statement:
“Now, I had my whole Diddy stunt last year and yes great things came out of that which I will disclose in due time but don’t be naive to assume just because I did that I got a deal and now I’m on! Not yet. Who said I wanted to be signed to Badboy anyway?”
See full post on Kapital K’s Facebook page
This was followed with the release of “Kontrola”, a remix of Drake & Popcaan’s hit single. Although his remix is relatively short, it has been very well received and showcased his versatility as an artist. There seems to be a conscious effort to move beyond rap and evolve as an artist which I think is a positive move for him.
It’ll be interesting to see where Kapital K goes from here but for now stream “Kontrolla” via Soundcloud above and tell me what you think.
“Zvakanaka” ft. XQ & Ba Shupi – Simba Tagz
When it comes to the Zimbabwean urban scene, there’s no denying that Simba Tagz, real name Simbarashe Tagwireyi is one of the leaders in the game. If he didn’t produce it, he likely mastered it, wrote it or sings on it! Tagz has the midas touch at the moment, and looks set to continue the winning run with his new single titled “Zvakanaka” with XQ & Ba Shupi.
A personal highlight on this track is undoubtedly the XQ feature! Dude is one of the pioneering Zim urban grooves (urban music) artists from the early 00’s, so naturally a verse from him ranks quite highly in my books. “Zvakanaka” sounds like a dance-hall/afro-pop fusion that would’ve benefited greatly from a feature from an artist like Nigeria’s Patoranking. I still predict this single to do some serious rounds on radio though! Stream above.
“I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” – Jamie xx
Jamie xx got himself a certified summer anthem when he collaborated with Jamaican superstar Popcaan and Young Thug on “I Know there’s gonna be (Good Times)”. At a recent live performance in LA, Jamie xx debuted an extended version of the song featuring a full verse from Popcaan. This is apparently an unfinished version of the official remix but it definitely sounds good enough to share. I wonder if dancehall will ever make a solid comeback to the mainstream, but that’s a discussion for another day! Watch the live footage above.
For the Nerds: Jamie xx sampled “Good Times” by The Persuasions (1972) via Who Sampled.
“Lean On” – Major Lazer ft. DJ Snake
Major Lazer dropped their album “Peace is the Mission” earlier this year and ‘Lean On’ turned out to be a very successful lead single featuring DJ Snake. In the video they all head out to India in a Bollywood-style theme, accompanied by the Danish vocalist MØ. I enjoyed the dance moves from Diplo, Walshy Fire & DJ Snake in this one and the visuals almost prompted me to get on a plane and fly to India! It seems like the Major Lazer project is finally coming full circle. Check out the official video above!