5 Stray Observations on Sauti Sol’s “Live and Die In Afrika” Album

By now you’ve heard that Kenyan pop sensations Sauti Sol dropped their hotly anticipated album Live and Die In Afrika yesterday (21st November); and judging from the responses online so far, the album has certainly struck a chord with their fans.

We don’t do album reviews that often on HBR, but for a project this massive it’s only fitting that we make an exception. So after spending a day immersing ourselves into Sauti Sol’s third studio album, here are 5 stray observations on Live and Die In Afrika:

1. Is Bien the default leader of the group?
– For an act that consists of 3 talented vocalists, we sure do hear A LOT of Bien’s voice on the 15 track album. Sure Mugidi also features prominently, but it almost feels like Bien is the Beyonce of this group while the rest fight for the positions of Kelly Rowland and Michele.

2. Sauti Sol might benefit from working with a talented songwriter
– Sauti Sol have an ear for melody (just listen to how they close out Isabella), but sadly that is not matched by their writing. A cringe-worthy lyric like “Everybody needs somebody to kiss” as heard on track 9 should have been vetoed by at least ONE person during their studio sessions.

3. Placing a gospel song on the same album as Nishike just doesn’t feel right
– One of the more surprising inclusions on the album was Kuliko Jana, a gospel jam that features Aaron Rimbui. of course there is nothing wrong with Sauti Sol praising the lord on a “secular” album, but just not on the same disc that contains the romp fest that is Nishike.

4. “It’s Okay” is easily the BEST song on the album
– On an album that has one hit song after another, it’s hard to pick one stand out single. But track 5, It’s Okay, makes for one of the catchiest break-up songs EVER made, and is an immediate favorite on the album. And I think it is no coincidence that Chimano (the least utilized member of the group on this album) headlines that song.

5. Does the music live up to the album’s title? Yes…but also, No.
– With a title like Live and Die In Afrika, one would assume that Sauti Sol would use the album to summarize the African experience as they see it. And what does it all come down to according to the group: Love, Aspiration and Rhythm. Yes, those are things that help define our existence as African people, but that barely scratches the surface.

As “negative” as this review may sound, Live and Die In Afrika is a pretty good album that solidifies the group’s position as the leading musical act in the land. It has everything you’d want and expect from a Sauti Sol album: melody, emotion and of course, dance.

Trevor Noah Shares With Ellen How Apartheid Affected His Life

Trevor Noah is the new funny man in Hollywood, but it turns out that his childhood was not all fun and games.

He stopped by the Ellen Show this week where the host asked him about how growing up in the apartheid era affected his childhood; and as much as Trevor was very positive about his experience growing up in a village setting during harsh conditions in South Africa, he did reveal that his mum couldn’t hold his hand in public.

Because his mum is black, she could have gotten into trouble being seen holding the hand of a coloured child. In fact his mum was even arrested a couple of times for being seen in the presence of Trevor’s white father.

Check out the full interview below.

Uganda’s Radio & Weasel Say the One Kenyan Collabo They Really Want Is with Sauti Sol

What collabo could Radio & Weasel (who have already worked with Wizkid TWICE) possibly want?

The BET Award nominees held a Twitter Q&A this week where they answered various questions from their fans; questions that ranged from what helps Radio and Weasel stay together despite other groups continually breaking up over trivial things, and celebrity beefs that they have.

And as is typical with EVERY celebrity Q&A, the duo was asked about which musicians they would love to work with and interestingly enough they mentioned Sauti Sol as one of the acts they really want to get into the studio with.

I think that would be a great collabo!

Find Out How Much Money Michael Jackson Made From the Grave

Every year, Forbes magazine reveals the artists (both dead and alive) who are making the most money from their music; and in their latest list they compiled a list of the 13 top earning dead celebrities of 2015.

And for the second year running, Michael Jackson tops the list with a total of over 115 million dollars made this year alone!

According to Forbes, most of that money was made from a Las Vegas show called Michaal Jackson One and sale of his music.

Other artists who made the list are Elvis Presley with 55 million dollars made, and Bob Marley with over 20 million dollars made in 2015 alone.

Octo Launches the “Octopizzo Foundation” As Part of His Charity Work

There are some artists who get into the music industry to gain fame, others to make money and some to be able to use their elevated platform to effect real change in their community.

Octopizzo is one of the latter, and that is evidenced by the amount of charity work he engages in.

Not only is he a youth ambassador for UNHCR, but the rapper from Kibra has launched the Octopizzo Foundation whose mission statement is to support “young people who exist on the margins of society.” The foundation aims to nurture the talents of young people in the areas of sports, theater, music, culture” and a host of other fields.

Say what you want about the man, at least he goes out of his way to uplift those who need it most.

Kendrick Lamar Releases Yet another Amazing Video, This Time to “These Walls”

Kendrick Lamar set the bar real high when he released the video to his Alright single back in June. The Colin Tiley directed video was bold, as it tackled police brutality head on at a time when the Black Lives Matter movement was at fever pitch in the States

Well K. Dot is back with yet another amazing video today, this time for the Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat featuring These Walls.

Also directed by Colin Tiley, the 8 minute clip is dubbed as a comedy called “Behind The Walls” and shows how a group of guys end up in jail after a wild night out.

Seriously though, who is making better videos in Hip-Hop than Kendrick right now?

Dej Loaf Reveals How She Almost Died On Tour with Nicki Minaj

24 year old princess of rap Dej Loaf stopped by HOT 97 and shared with hosts Rosenberg and Lauryn Styles about how she almost died while on tour with Nicki Minaj.

And what did she almost die from? A weed cookie! Dej told the cohosts that as the Pinkprint Tour made a stop in California, she tried a piece of a weed cookie that almost took her life. She vowed never ever to try an edible again after that experience.

Meanwhile, Dej Loaf’s latest single Back Up featuring Big Sean is currently climbing up the charts, and sits at number 22 on the Billboard Rap chart; making it her second most successful single after Try Me.

Sauti Sol Tease Collabo with Tanzanian Superstar Ali Kiba

As we impatiently wait for Sauti Sol to drop their much talked about and highly anticipated album To Live And Die In Afrika, the quartet continues to tease new collaborations that we can expect on the album when it finally drops.

The group posted an image of Mudigi in the studio with Tanzanian artist Ali Kiba, and the caption read: “King Kiba na Sauti Sol. Muziki wa kiafrika”.

Ali Kiba is currently riding high after the release of a number of successful singles this past year, most notably Mwana whose video has so far been watched over 4 million times on YouTube.

This Clip of Mike Tyson Singing Drake’s “Hotline Bling” Is A Must Watch

Loyal fans of the Hangover movies will remember the scene in the first movie where Mike Tyson walks into the trashed hotel room and sings along to Phil Collins’ In The Air Tonight.

Well if you found that hilarious, then you must watch this clip of Mike singing along to the hottest tune in the world right now, Hotline Bling.

Mike Tyson stopped by Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night show to hype up the second season of his animated series Mike Tyson Mysteries, and Jimmy challenged him to sing along to Drake’s viral hit.

All I can say is that, Mike actually does have a sense of humor.


Frasha Gets Into His Feels On Brand New Single “Uchungu” Featuring Kidum

Remember the time when Kidum was the most sought after artist in East Africa?

Well the singer from Burundi continues to be a favorite among his peers, and the latest artist to call on him is one third of P-Unit, Frasha.

On a brand new single titled Uchungu, Frasha dives right into his feelings as he raps about a girl he is madly in love with. The instrumental (put together by Pacho Entertainment’s Cedo) matches the mellow mood of the song and Kidum laces it with one of his signature catchy hooks.

Listen to Frasha get all emotional below: