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12 Afrobeat Tunes That Aren't By Drake

It's June which means warmer weather, late night cruising, and singles dropped by our faves (*coughs* Drake) that are dripping with dancehall and Afrobeat vibes. However, why settle for a sample when you can get the whole ting.

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1. WizKid

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Ever since Ayodeji Balogun, aka WizKid, aka the Starboy, aka wizkidayo, teamed up with Drake to produce the 2016 hit "One Dance", he has been on everybody's radar. Hailing from Lagos, Nigeria, WizKid has always found a way to leave his mark on anything that he touches, whether that be through the music that he creates and features on, or through his choice of fashion. WizKid has found a way to seemlessly blend Naija culture with the American mainstream. Check out his single, "Sweet Love", and stay tuned for his latest project, a mixtape, "Sounds From The Other Side", out later this summer with features from Chris Brown, Drake, and TY Dolla $ign. If you didn't know who WizKid was before, you'll definitely know him by the end of the summer.

2. Tiwa Savage

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Any Afrobeats playlist that doesn't have Tiwa Savage on it, is a very incomplete playlists. One of Roc Nations most recent additions, Tiwatope Savage-Balogun, has been making music and providing backup vocals for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, and Andrea Bocelli since she was 16. Tiwa Savage prides herself for being one of the few female artists who has managed to stand on her own against the likes of WizKid and Davido. Not to mention, listening to Tiwa Savage is a lot like going on a tropical vacation with all your girlfriends, the sexy vibe to her music will make you want to perfect your whine, and exude #carefreeblackgirl-ness while living your best life this summer.

3. Mr. Eazi

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Mr. Eazi creates music for the summer. Born and raised in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, but residing in Ghana, Oluwatosin "Mr. Eazi" Ajibade has found a way to combine the two cultures in a style that can only be referred to as "banku". Banku is a traditional Ghanian dish that is heavy in nature, and is also a sound that Mr. Eazi came up with himself. Banku music takes the mid-tempo jazzy vibes of Ghanian highlife and mixes them with dancehall and the drumbeat that is common in neo-Afrobeat tunes. The result? A smooth, R & B style, that contains uptempo music cooled by a sleepy vocal delivery. To hear more of this banku style, check out Mr. Eazi's mixtape, "Life is Eazi- Vol. 1 Accra to Lagos".

4. J Hus

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With the recent release of his of his album, "Common Sense" (2017) and the announcement of a U.K. and European tour, British rapper of Gambian decent, Momodou "J Hus" Jallow, has a bright year ahead of him. J Hus, like Mr. Eazi, creates music that is influenced by the many cultures in which he is a product. The results are aggressive grime tinged tracks mixed with light Afrobeats and dancehall. J Hus tells a story with his verses about coming-of-age, fame and fortune, and East London street life. His ability to tell relatable stories through his verses while avoiding being pigeonholed to one genre has helped him immensely, and, will continue to be the driving force that propels him.

5. Juls

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British born Ghanian MC and producer, Julian "Juls" Nicco-Anna, has a relatively low-profile social media presence, but has produced music for and worked with stars such as, LAX, Maleek Berry, Mr. Eazi, and Burna Boy. His production style is influenced by the relaxed jazz style of Ghanaian highlife and American producers: J Dilla, Justblaze, Swizz Beatz, and 9th wonder to name a few. His 2017 LP, "Leap of Faith", could best be described as subtle, sensual, and inviting. It also contains features from British-Nigerian artist Maleek Berry and Nigerian Producer Odunsi The Engine.

6. Adekunle Gold

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Nigerian artist Adekunle Kosoko, known as Adekunle Gold, has a goal to be timeless, and songs like "Work" (2017) and "Only Girl" (2017) will help him achieve that goal. Describing his music as urban highlife, Adekunle Gold creates ballads and heartfelt Afrobeat tunes that are uplifting and peaceful. His joyful sound will make you feel as though you are experiencing love for the first time.

7. MoStack

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A quick Google search on U.K. artist MoStack doesn't produce many results. However, his new mixtape, "High Street Kid" (2017), might change all of that with the quickness. At first listen the SEVAQK produced mixtape doesn't sound like it has a lot of connections to the Afrobeat genre, but features from J Hus, Mist, and Krept helps root the mixtape in London's underground grime scene as well as afro-pop.

8. Eazzy

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Ghanaian singer Mildred "Eazzy" Ashong is making moves in the Afrobeats scene in Ghana and internationally with her singles "One Tin" and "Forever". And, with her recent collaborations with "banku" artist, Mr. Eazi, she is bound to soon find her way creating her own Ghanaian fusion pop hits too.

9. Burna Boy

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Burna Boy, born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogalu in Port Harcourt Nigeria, is a master at blending sounds like many of the other artists featured on this list. He has managed to pioneer the genre "afrofusion", which consist of dancehall, hiphop, and Afrobeats. Burna Boy claims that his hybrid genre helped him reach success throughout Africa, and will carry him over into the international circuit because he is creating something that is authentically African. It's important to note that most of his music does not contain any features from U.S. or U.K. artists, but rather other African M.C.s. His theory appears to have proven him right because this summer will mark his first time touring in the U.S.

10. Young Paris

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Signed to Jay-Z's label Roc Nation, Milandou "Young Paris" Badila, is mixing Afrobeats and trap music to create his own sound. Born to Congolese parents, raised in France, and now residing in New York, his music dabbles in a variety of genres that will appeal to a variety of tastes. His 2017 EP "Afrobeats" contains features from well-known Nigerian artists, but the sound is definitely worldly in nature, featuring sounds from Angola's kuduro, Brazilian samba, and more. At the rate Young Paris is going, it is possible that he may be a top contender against WizKid and other crossover Afrobeats artists.

11. Belly Squad

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U.K. rap group Belly Squad is comprised of Yung Max (Remmi Maxwell), Ross Jombla, and Ty Jombla, with each member bringing a different culture to the table. Hailing from London, but with roots in Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Jamaica, Belly Squad has taken the U..K.'s Afrobeats and grime scene by storm. They have found a way to carve a space for themselves amongst the J Hus and MoStacks who are also using Afrobeats in their work, by creating lyrics that are fun, witty, and creative. Check out the 2017 documentary ,"LDN" by Nathan Miller, which features many grime artists such as Belly Squad, J Hus, and others, to learn more about London's music scene and this rap trio that is changing the face of U.K. rap.

12. Ycee

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YCee creates straight summer bangers to the point that it's surprising that he hasn't been sampled by Drake yet. Born Oludemilade Martin Alejo in Lagos, Nigeria, YCee's latest single, "Juice", has been number one on the charts in Nigeria for 5 straight weeks in a row. Often fusing hard-hitting rhymes over breezy afropop tracks, YCee is bound to see the same chart-topping success internationally soon.

13. Check out my Spotify playlist with all of the songs listed in this article and a few more of my faves!

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