The 5 Best Afrobeat/Afropop Albums Of April 2024

In April 2024, the music space was dazzling with a diverse range of sounds and styles, thanks to some of the industry’s most stunning music acts. From captivating beats to soul-stirring lyricism, the top five albums of the month represented a diverse range of originality and ingenuity. DC Leakers chose albums for this month from renowned musicians like Bella Shmurda, Samini, Copta, and more. Join us as we explore the musical gems that made the greatest noise in April 2024, with each tune telling a tale and each beat sparking the imagination.

Samini – Sticks and Locs

With a career spanning more than ten years, veteran Ghanaian reggae/dancehall act Samini has once again demonstrated why he is among the most skilled musicians in the country. Samini releases “Sticks and Locs,” a lengthy studio album, as his second release of the year. This is a six-track collection of reggae music. Reggae fans will find this compilation of excellent tunes to be rather stunning.

Yaw Tog – Young & Matured

Ghanaian rap sensation Yaw Tog has just dropped his highly anticipated sophomore studio album titled “Young And Matured.” This release comes on the heels of his breakout debut project “T.I.M.E,” which garnered widespread acclaim and catapulted him to stardom.

Yaw Tog’s new album includes 12 tracks that show off his artistic development and maturity. Collaborations with industry stalwarts Sarkodie, Medikal, and Fameye offer depth and complexity to the project, while newcomers Kweku Flick and Bad Boy Timz inject new energy.

“Young And Matured” is more than just a collection of songs; it’s a testament to Yaw Tog’s journey in the music industry. Despite facing criticism and setbacks, the young rapper perseveres, delivering introspective lyrics and infectious beats that resonate with listeners.

From bangers that will get you on your feet to introspective tracks that tug at the heartstrings, “Young And Matured” has something for everyone. Keep an eye on Yaw Tog as he continues to make waves in the music world.

Young Jonn – Jiggy Forever

On his debut album, Jiggy Forever, a sixteen track-list body of work, Nigerian producer-turned-artist Young Jonn marks a transformation through emotive log drum and tropical and classically infused Afrobeats. Pairing his ear for beats with melodic messages of aspiration and affirmation, Young Jonn delivers an upbeat manifesto.

With assistance from Seyi Vibez, Blaqbonez, Zlatan, Sean Paul, Kizz Daniel, Ya Levis and Don Jazzy, the Ibadan native layers lyrics ranging from the flex-y to the heartfelt and spiritual over his signature orchestral sound.

Shallipopi – Shakespopi

In the 18 months since Shallipopi blazed his way to the top table of Afropop, the Benin-born singer has remained as insouciant and non-conformist as he was when he originally emerged with his 2023 smash hit, “Elon Musk”, a pseudo-tribute to the tech entrepreneur. A series of hits has followed and made the singer as unavoidable as he is prolific.

His first project, Planet Pluto, birthed the hugely culturally resonant “Obapluto”—an anthem that hinted at a serious streak beneath the jocular personality that Shallipopi presented to the public—as well as “Speedometer” and “Ahead Ahead”. Shalli’s debut album, Presido La Pluto, arrived in November 2023 bearing a rich fusion of his unique spin on hip-hop and amapiano that cemented his position as the year’s breakout star. Keen to keep that winning streak going, the singer is kick-starting his 2024 with another project.

Inspired by a running joke on the Nigerian internet that ironically weighs Shallipopi’s writing style alongside English playwright William Shakespeare, this new extended play Shakespopi is a distillation of the trippy style, humour and deadpan songwriting that has worked for the singer (born Crown Uzama) so far.

Shallipopi’s go-to producer, Busy, takes a backseat here with production mostly handled by rising beatsmith Producer X and larrylanes. Together, they tease out a melodic edge from Shallipopi that elevates Shakespopi without diminishing any of his characteristic mischief. Across the nine songs of Shakespopi, Shallipopi leans into several roles: going from cultural emissary to philosopher and party starter at a dizzying pace while maintaining the clarity of his vision.

“New Cat”, accessorised by a gorgeous horn riff, is a light-hearted retort aimed at doubters of Shallipopi’s staying power and an official flag-off for a new era for him. The singer takes an introspective turn on “Dey”, giving a glimpse into the strain of his blistering rise to fame but the indisputable highlight of Shakespopi is “ASAP”, where he artfully orchestrates another cultural meeting point between the past and present while winking conspiratorially at his online mythos.

Copta – The Coldest I Ever Been

The Coldest I Ever Been by Copta is the first of its kind; a complete body of work not only written, recorded and performed by myself but I also entirely produced this Ep under the producer name “The Coldest”. To achieve this I adopted a self-contained formula in crafting this Ep to challenge my artistry in a way I had never attempted before.

Mixing and mastering was outsourced to Insvne Auggie who is known for producing Filipino-Ghanaian alt-pop artist Anabel Rose’s popular song “Do Not Disturb”.

A general theme of positivity and self-empowerment runs through the 20-minute project filled with inspirational anthems. TCIEB is a cohesive collection of tracks, with a consistent subject matter applying playful bar-for-bar sparring to deliver hard-hitting truths about street life sugarcoated with shameless flexing and humble faith.

The closing song, “100 Fire Emojis” in particular, is an appreciation of social media and the advantages it gives artists in 2024 in building connections.

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