The playlist: African pop – Baloji, Sipho the Gift, Runtown and more

Metronomy’s bassist co-produces a slice of dark electronic rap, Runtown crafts bouncy dancehall and South African rapper Sipho the Gift explores childhood hopes

Baloji – Capture ft Petite Noir and Muanza

Baloji makes a welcome return with this video, shot with the visual flair that has become the Belgium-based Congolese rapper’s signature. In the video, for the track co-produced by Metronomy bassist Olugbenga, Baloji and singer-songwriter Petite Noir go in search of a statue of British explorer HM Stanley, and along the way come across the performance collective Kongo Astronauts.

Baloji: Capture ft Petite Noir and Muanza video

MI – Bullion Van ft Phyno and Runtown

In Naija hip-hop years, MI, now three years deep in the game, is a bona fide veteran. He more than capably holds his own next to star newcomer Phyno and his erstwhile accomplice Runtown. On this club-aimed hit, the three trade rhymes about what makes a party pop – bubbly, money and very expensive cars, of course.

MI: Bullion Van ft Phyno and Runtown video

Runtown – Bend Down Pause ft Wizkid and Walshy Fire

It’s probably not true that this is the first time that Nigerian and Jamaican artists have collaborated, as Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire claims in this video’s intro. It is, however, very apparent that Runtown is ready to end his stint as a songwriter and producer behind the scenes (he won’t confirm or deny whether he is behind Davido’s 2014 Afro-pop hit Aye). Pulling in the big guns on this dancehall club banger will certainly get him noticed.

Runtown: Bend Down Pause ft Wizkid and Walshy Fire video

Sipho the Gift – To the Boy That I Used to Be ft Well$

Sipho the Gift is a South African rapper and producer from the mining town of Kimberley. On this self-produced track he enlists the Congolese US-based rapper Well$ and singer Cherry Eyes to wax introspective and measure their current realities against the aspirations they held as children.

DJ Clock – All Night ft Kwesta, M.anifest and Tellaman

It says a lot when the producer of some of the biggest dance records in South Africa not only signs but produces hip-hop acts. DJ Clock is one of many now cashing in on South African rap’s growing popularity, not just in the country itself but across the continent. Here, local artists Kwesta and Tellaman team up with the award-winning Ghanaian rapper and songwriter M.anifest, to deliver a guaranteed sub-Saharan African summer favourite.

DJ Clock: All Night ft Kwesta, M.anifest and Tellaman audio


Phiona Okumu

The GuardianTramp

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