Last time, I took you through my top 10 Ghanaian songs of 2009. Well, I listen to a whole bunch of stuff from across the continent and want to share my African top 10. These are the songs that should be gunning for the awards and ruling the dancefloors. What do I know huh? :-) I know these jams are lekker and am pretty crazy about them. One song I am not adding to this list but is poised to join the list by the end of this year is P-Square's newest single called Danger. Yes, Do me & Ifunanya are officially old now. The Okoye brothers say wahala dey. These P-Square jams just grow on you. Ladies and gentlemen, I dey see danger; You go see danger; Omo, see danger; We dey see danger; Omo wahala dey!
Before that, you have to check out my 10 favorite Ghanaian songs of 2009, my 10 songs dedicated to African women, my favorite Ghanaian songs, 10 favorite songs from Kenya, 10 favorite songs from South Africa, my 10 favorite Nigerian songs and 10 African songs I think you should know about. I hope to hear some of these at your next party. Click the songs to find the lyrics, video, audio, etc.
Go down there - 2Face (Nigeria)
It's only right that I start off with my man 2Baba. Many people have said his Unstoppable album is crap but I don't agree. You have to give 2Face's music listening time and then you see how he shines. This track features Ghana & the UK's Sway. The lyrics are awesome and that sold the song for me. "For making me able to see the light from the darkness, But now the light has been blinded by all these madness I see everywhere; See, I can't believe this is all happening in my own time, someone should have told me in time." No, you don't wanna go down there. Deep. The song is political. Enuff said. Way to go, 2Baba! I also love his Appreciate it, Enter the place and Feeling you songs. But 2Baba, is that song TFlex with R.Kelly fake?
Leo (+ remixes) - A-Y (Tanzania)
This dude is one of the best African rappers and should be in the running for 2009's best. You should hear his tracks, Freeze with P-Square and the Leo remix with Kenya's Avril. He collaborated with Africa's best and came out with some of its top songs. Leo has a great chorus and A-Y's flow is super too.
Presta Atencao - Perola (Angola)
Aish, Angola! I fell in love with Perola years ago with her Break it song. I waited impatiently for her to release new music and she didn't disappoint. Presta is one of my most played songs this year and I love watching the video. Perola is beautiful! Aish, Angola! I don't even understand the song. It has that thing about Zouk & Kizomba songs, it just wows you.
Where you are - Blu3 (Uganda)
Blu3 has been rated the best girl group in Africa but I think this song is their best so far. The rest of Africa agrees as its video has been a mainstay on MTVBase Africa this year. The song was enriched with the presence of Uganda's top group nowadays, Mowzey Radio & Weasel. The vocals on this jam are amazing. "Nakuwaza, nakuwaza, girl, I am looking for you; Natamani (natamani); Unaenda wapi". They are not missing Cindy much but Cinderella Sanyu is doing very very well for herself as a solo artist too. More on her later.
Breadwinners - Proverb (South Africa)
This one features two South African rap heavyweights. In their own words, this song is for the good fathers out there. HHP is one of Africa's best and he blessed this Proverb single. This should be a Father's day anthem. not this song. "A lil something for the Fathers; That know how to be a man and work harder; To give something to the Fam; And would rather make sure the kids are fed dinner; I'm talking to the real bread winners/ yeah you.."
Yori yori - Bracket (Nigeria)
This is another song I can't get enough off. It's arguably the top Nigerian song this year. When non-Nigerians are asking you about it, you know it's legit. Bracket is being called the new P-Square but with a few more songs like Yori Yori, they can get out of their shadow for good. "Ma lovey lovey, with you everything is welli welli; Your love dey make my heart do yori yori; Nobody can love you the way I do;
Am with you ma lovey lovey". Sing it again.
Meme pas fatigue - Khaled (Algeria) & Magic System (Cote d'Ivoire)
No group in the whole of Africa knows how to throw the party like Magic System. If you don't agree, just know that they are the folks that brought us Africa's party anthem - Premier Gaou. Just to give them more props, they are also behind tracks like Un gaou a oran, C'est chaud, ca brule, Ki dit mie, Bouger Bouger, Zouglou Danceetc. This song's video features Frank Ribery. Yes, France's best soccer player. That's how big the group is in France and Europe. Oh, and it features Algerian music legend, Khaled, who sang the famous Aicha, Aicha song.
Safe - M.I. (Nigeria)
We can't talk about 2009 without mentioning M.I. aka Mister Incredible. He's widely regarded as Naija's best rapper. His freestyles and rhymes are sick. "This is Armageddon dog, hear the sirens; And no, I am not retiring; No, I’m never tiring, these lyrics that I’m firing; But don’t be dismayed, ‘cos Zenith Bank is hiring; For instance, there’s no resistance; The flow persistent and so consistent; Other rappers distant, they should have listened; Because I’m the engine room and the gear and the piston; There’s no rest see, at best you’re assisting; I’m what they’re missing, I’m why they listen; I’m the heart police dawg, I’m cardiac-arresting; The best thing and you’re just microphone-testing". Chineke me! This guy na oga! Chei! No wonder, Djinee asks if we're safe right here.
Voodoo - Lizha James (Mozambique)
The Mozambican pandza & South African kwaito collabo is too much. Mandoza is revered highly amongst Kwaito enthusiasts and Lizha picked the right guy. This jam is for the clubs and I really wish I knew what they were saying, especially since it's called Voodoo. I love the video too. Lizha James is blowing up, once she gets some collabos in with East & West African artistes, she may ascend the throne officially as Africa's Beyonce. Yup, I am calling it.
Tonight - Amani (Kenya)
Last but definitely not the least. Ogopa Deejays' first lady came back with this fiery single which has her gunning for a bunch of awards. It's a great song too.
"Tonight, I am letting go oh oh; I say tonight, I am letting go oh oh; Na leo, ni leo oh oh oh; I will give him all of me" Mmhh hmm.
These are the first 10 songs that came to mind. If I remember one injustice that I missed, I will comment about it. Just like last time, I want to list a few honorable mentions. The song that just failed to make the cut was Fally Ipupa's Chaise Electrique (DR Congo) featuring the one and only Olivia. You remember her? She was the first lady of G-Unit. Yes, African musicians are doing it big. I love that song. The other African king of party music, DR Congo's Awilo Longomba has a track for y'all too, this time featuring Awa Imani on C'est pas complique. Other songs are Tentacao by Gama (Cape Verde), Wa mpaleha by Lira (South Africa), Bread & Butter by Mowzey Radio & Weasel (Uganda), Pii pii by Marlaw (Tanzania), and Koni koni love by Klever Jay (Nigeria).
I don't like these songs that much but they've made huge impressions this year. From South Africa, Winnie Khumalo for Live my life, and Nutty Nys for Nka mo dira. Redsan has had a good one with Yule Pale. There's also Wande Coal with Bumper to bumper. You could also pick Ralph Anselmo's Assumir Barulho or Big Nelo's Karga if you are talking about Angola.
There's love for Senegal in the form of Adiouza with Maadou and Titi with Music. Uganda's Cindy (formerly of Blu3) is having a thrilling start to her solo career and her Ayokyayokya hit is burning up boomboxes. I am also feeling Yenze by Toniks (Uganda). Hey, how can we forget Burkina Faso? Yeleen's Ca ne connait pas song with Magic System is great too. Kenya's Wyre got conscious with Uprising. Brenda may not be new to Kenyans but that beat for her Good for nothing single will endear her to many Africans. My man Mokobe (Mali) has been busy too, he's on (Algeria) Rim-K's Celebration off his Maghreb United compilation and then DJ Kitoko's Phenomenal (Cote d'Ivoire).
Long live African music.
Long live Africa.