Nonny’S Afrobeat Report
So, it’s been another whirlwind month in the world of Afrobeats. The first few months of 2012 have seen the genre go from strength to strength outside of the continent, and it’s safe to say that all eyes are firmly fixed on Africa’s brightest stars and this newfound exotic sound...
In the UK, BBC 1Xtra continues to support the scene by recently placing Nneka’s 'Shining Star' track and Wizkid’s new single, 'Wat You Wanna Do', in their B playlist. Abroad, K’Naan had a great month with his releases featuring two of the hottest names in the industry. The Somalian American rapper teamed up with Nas on 'Nothing To Lose' and Nelly Furtado lent her vocals to 'Is Anybody Out There', both taken from his forthcoming album, 'Country, God Or The Girl'.
Akon continued to rep for the scene and made an appearance on the 'Chop My Money Remix' by Nigeria’s P Square. In March, D’Banj dropped the long-awaited video for 'Oliver Twist' – which featured a host of cameos, including Keisha Buchanan, The Vujanic, Big Sean and Kanye West. However, despite the anticipation for the video - both home and abroad - interest quickly shifted to rumours that D’Banj had parted ways with his close friend and producer, Don Jazzy.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the African stars before the Kanye deal, D’Banj and Don Jazzy co-founded Mo Hits Records, a Nigerian based label that has literally churned out hit after hit since 2005. Just think of a partnership as successful as Diddy and Biggie, or even John Lennon and Paul McCartney – we’re talking unbeatable, tried and tested – D’Banj was the voice and the charisma behind Don Jazzy's productions responsible for the infamous Mo Hits sound.
As you can imagine, the online world and Nigerian media quickly got the rumour mill turning, throwing around accusations of jealousy and betrayal that was good enough for any Nollywood movie plot. The two remained relatively quiet about the whole thing, that was until Don Jazzy took to the Twittersphere to say: "Some of the rumours you have all heard recently are sad, but true. The way forward now is to make sure I keep bringing you guys more of the beautiful music y’all love to dance to."
As it stands, the future of the now defunct Mo Hits Records and its artists – Wande Coal, D’Prince, K-Switch and Dr Sid – is now uncertain, but it looks like there may be rumblings of a legal battle. Only time will tell! R.I.P Mo Hits, as we know it. In an ode to the memory of Mo Hits and their back catalogue of party anthems, I’ve selected a few of my favourite tracks for you to check out in the build up to the summer sun. Until next month, enjoy!
1. Mo Hits All Stars - Pere'
2. D’Banj – 'Suddenly'
3. D’Banj Feat. Snoop Dogg – 'Mr Endowed' (Remix)
4. Wande Coal Feat. K-Switch – 'Who Born The Maga'
5. Dr Sid – 'Over The Moon'
6. Wande Coal – 'Bumper 2 Bumper'
7. D’Prince – 'Omoba'
8. Wande Coal – 'You Bad'
9. Dr Sid – 'Something About You'
10. D’Banj – 'Oliver Twist'
Words: Nonny Orakwue (@MisssN)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)