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8 UK rap tracks that celebrate Afrobeats

The wave continues to gather momentum.
Afrobeats and its influence is present everywhere right now. Wizkid just sold out the O2 Arena, Nigeria have the most wanted World Cup kit and the UK music scene is constantly delivering anthems that blend Afrobeats with hip-hop, grime, R&B and dancehall.
The wave began when J Hus – an East London artist of Ghanian heritage – started to break through in 2015, and the music industry still hasn't settled on one genre name yet. But with this diasporic sound blaring out of car speakers and radio soundsystems, if feels like there’s never been a better time to celebrate African heritage in the UK. 
Here’s a round up of some recent tunes which have soundtracked the movement.
UK producer Steel Banglez is captaining The Wave boat – which will host the likes of MoStack, Hardy Caprio and Loksi – at Red Bull Music Odyssey. Which his captain's video below.

1. Hardy Caprio – Rapper

On Rapper, 21-year-old Sierra Leonean artist Hardy Caprio does what he does best – throwing lines over an Afro-tinged instrumental like “Black men don't cheat / That's why me and plug still speak” which are destined to end up in Instagram captions. The video for the CallMeTheKid-produced track is currently sitting on over six million views.

2. Loski – Forrest Gump

Having started out as an affiliate of South London drill group Harlem Spartans, Loski has shown versatility and made a notable change of direction with his solo material. Forrest Gump – which features marimba sounds on a danceable, flirtatious-sounding beat – is one of his finest moments yet.

3. One Acen – Vice Versa ft. WSTRN

Borrowing elements from both dancehall and Afrobeats, Vice Versa is a hip-swinging, batty-moving work of art by certified hitmaker One Acen, with WSTRN's Haile adding a touch of gold. For this one, West African and Caribbean influences come together for an anthem that never fails to go off in the rave.

4. Lotto Boyz – Bim Bam ft. Vianni

In 2017, Birmingham duo Lotto Boyzz released an EP called Afrobbean – coining a new term for their Afrobeats-inspired sound. At the beginning of 2018 they collaborated with Congolese artist Vianni for Bim Bam – an R&B-leaning heater with sweet melodies and an onomatopoeic hook.

5. Naira Marley – Issa Goal ft. Olamide and Lil Kesh

Lagos-born, Peckham-raised artist Naira Marley dropped this footy-themed single just in time for the World Cup. In the video, he’s joined in Lagos by his Nigerian collaborators Olamide and Lil Kesh and a troupe of dancers decked out in the Super Eagles’ covetable green and white kit. Issa banger.

6. Lady Leshurr - OMW

Both the instrumental and vocal delivery of this tune are heavily influenced by Afrobeats. It’s a big departure from the sounds we usually associate with the Queen's Speech rapper, but she kills it anyhow. The single was produced by Canadian duo Banx & Ranx, who've whipped up EDM and dancehall infused beats for the likes of Sean PaulYxng Bane and Fuse ODG.

7. AJ x Deno – London ft. EO

Up and coming duo AJ and Deno teamed up with young South London rapper EO to give us something nice and sweet. The beat was produced by UK Afroswing connoisseurs Da Beat Freakz who’ve worked with the likes of Mr EaziSneakbo and Afro B. The flow and slight accent of AJ’s hook is clearly inspired by Afrobeats, while teenage singer Deno Driz gives us signature smooth melodies and harmonies that have caught the ears of millions since his Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran covers went viral.

8. J hus - Dark Vader

Taken from his recent surprise EP Big Spang, Dark Vader brings J Hus’ signature accent and flow back onto the scene. Xylophone samples are paired with a splashes of horns and guitar licks, making for an overall wavy sound from the king of UK Afroswing.
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