Afrobeat

Artist: 
Drake
Label: 
Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records

          Drake's "More Life" is a self-described "playlist," borrowing from genres such as afrobeat, Jamaican dance hall, r&b, and grime.

Sounds Like: 
Future
Sounds Like: 
Big Sean
Sounds Like: 
The Weeknd
Name: 
Brieana Sealy
Date Reviewed: 
04/04/2017
Artist: 
Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars
Label: 
Cumbancha

Libation is the fourth album from Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars, a band that, as the name suggests, is comprised of refugees from Sierra Leone. While they were forced to leave their home nation (and they have since returned there), they incorporate much of the traditional music of the area into their own. Thus, Libation combines elements of reggae and Afrobeat to make a really enjoyable and interesting listening experience. While some of the instrumental can feel repetitive and a little samey track after track, the focus here really is the vocals.

Sounds Like: 
a modern twist on traditional African music
Name: 
Jake Calegari
Date Reviewed: 
04/15/2014
Artist: 
Femi Kuti
Label: 
Knitting Factory Records

If you know nothing of Femi Kuti, which was the case for me when I listened to his newest album No Place For My Dream, you would assume this is happy-percussion-Africa music. However, after catching  the lyrics and reading about his political past, I'm conflicted. He sings of oppression, corruption, and the current state of affairs in the world and Africa. The music makes me want to dance, the words make me want to cry and/or fight. Overall, this album is solid. "Politics Na Big Business" is a jam that applies to any society.

Sounds Like: 
Positive Force
Name: 
Alp Yazirdag
Date Reviewed: 
10/30/2013
Artist: 
Fela Kuti
Label: 
Kalakuta Sunrise Recordings

This 2-disk set is not quite like anything I’ve heard before. It comes from Fela Kuti, outspoken human rights activist and pioneer of Afrobeat music. Much of it details experiences from Kuti’s life or expresses his views, primarily in Broken English. I think the vocals are a bit too foreign to me for me to truly get into, but the instrumentation is excellent, with some blaring brass and a spicy blend of percussion. The songs are all extremely long; the two disks are over two and a half hours combined, and the shortest songs are longer than 10 minutes.

Sounds Like: 
Galactic
Name: 
Daniel Witter
Date Reviewed: 
04/24/2013
Artist: 
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo
Label: 
Strut Records

 

Sounds Like: 
Fela Kuti, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra
Name: 
Jonathan Cohen
Date Reviewed: 
04/27/2011