The fact that The Highwomen even exists is impressive. They make that statement over an unabashedly pretty melody, going in and out of duets and harmonies with seamless, generous sweetness. Carly Rae Jepsen has built a cult following on the power of her brand of pure, heart-on-your-sleeve pop. Her widely-praised third album was even nakedly called Emotion. Bandana , the widely acclaimed album from rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib, was forged in trying circumstances: Gibbs says he wrote most of the record in an Austrian jail while awaiting his eventual acquittal from sexual assault charges. And that something is a propulsive, infectious disco sensibility.
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By AYO ONIKOYI
Zlatan 's presence was ubiquitous and powered by the zeal for zanku , a dance which is now de rigueur. They all represent an exciting crop of talents that point the way forward for Nigerian pop. Burna Boy 's new dominance, built around his excellent African Giant album, delivered on his rare talents, while the long wait for Davido 's sophomore album, A Good Time , paid off in satisfying fashion. Simi 's Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. Meanwhile, Yemi Alade exuded female strength with her latest record, Woman of Steel.
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From uptempo romance to feelgood dance, politically spicy rap and crowdpleasing pop, the biggest tracks across Africa last year went big on cross-continental appeal. In May, the year-old was arrested for an alleged advance-fee scam and related cybercrimes after the release of a controversial song about Yahoo Boys a Nigerian phrase for internet fraudsters. Upon his release later that month, he caused a ruckus with the track Soapy, a middle finger to the authorities. Accompanied by a dance mimicking prison masturbation methods, it has elevated the Lagos-born, Peckham-bred rapper to national icon status. His grime flow, lewd lyrics, nimble footwork and unfiltered tweets are expanding that cult following internationally.