Just weeks ago Ciara and her husband Russel Wilson posted their #InMyFeelingsChallenge on instagram and today, Ciara has her own ‘Level Up Challenge’ thanks to her brand new jam of the same name.
Ciara made a comeback in collaboration with star choreographer Paris Goebel doing what we know and love her for … dancing!
Paris who choreographs for and dances with award winning crews Request Dance and Royal Family, lends her world famous crews to this three minute something video with just the most catching moves and synchronized dance.
Request and Royal Family are worldly popular, having featured in music videos such as Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’, Jason Derullo’s ‘Swalla’ and having also performed alongside J Lo at the American Music Awards (The AMAs).
A month ago I learnt that there are now two forms of the ‘Odi Dance’. There is the ‘Odi’ dance ‘ile ya kawaida’ (the one we are used to) and then there is the ‘Odi Odi’ dance which is otherwise known as the ‘Odi with a Swag’.
Having been introduced to us by Sauti Sol and Nyashiski from their jam ‘Short and Sweet’, this dance quickly caught on, becoming a viral sensation but how did it all come about?
We hosted Choreographer Oscar Mwalo, who helped put that dance together and who also revealed that the ‘Odi Odi’ dance was in fact created as an homage to its predecessor the ‘Odi’ dance, but was made to be a bit ‘cooler’ so as to appeal to the ‘uptown’ crowd.
It certainly worked!
Here’s a short video of our time with Oscar at HBR and of us learning the dance move, all of which coincidentally was filmed on Madaraka day (or as we called it ‘254 Day).
I mean one minute this was a funny dance move just floating around vines and social media, and then next, it’s a full blown viral dance challenge that has e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e including famous stars like Will Smith joining in.
So let me back up for a minute.
Inspired by Drake’s single ‘In My Feelings’, the dance challenge first appeared on an instagram account @theshiggyshow in which the creator Shiggy, is seen dancing to the jam.
Soon after, the #DoTheShiggyChallenge started online with athletes, singers and famous people all doing the Shiggy.
While all their videos and dance renditions to that jam were plausible, thanks to Will Smith, we now have what is probably the ultimate Shiggy of all time.
Yeah it’s definitely going to be hard to top dancing on top of a bridge.
Will’s video garnered over sixteen million views on Instagram and even had Drake post a response that read;
From the ‘Azonto‘, to the ‘Odi‘, to the ‘Gwara Gwara‘, it is clear that afro-beat jams and artists often give rise to numerous dance moves but it is one such dance that has Kenyan based dance crew Unikk Movement enjoying well over a million views on YouTube.
Created in West Africa and made famous by a Mr. Eazi jam, the ‘Akwaba’ is a seemingly simple dance but watch how Unikk Dance Crew turn it into three minutes of absolute epicness!
Shot here in Nairobi, Unikk Dance flex their dance prowess in that video by showcasing a number of other moves as well, and if this video is proof of anything, it’s that there definitely is a growing fan base and fan love for these kinds of videos. That dance is growing and is being appreciated more.
I mean, no celebrity cameo and look, over one million views strong!
The crew is comprised of a number of dancers both male and female, who each bring a level of uniqueness to the crew (hence their name Unikk).
Here’s a look at some of the ladies from the crew.
For one of these dance moves, it was unlikely that a lot of thought went into it and for others, it was merely a ‘remix’ to an already popular move. Either way, here are five dance moves that Kenya has managed to teach the world.
5. The Kemboi.
Like I said, it’s clear that not much thought went into this one although who cares! The man had just won Gold!
Kemboi’s waist shaking celebratory dance went viral back in 2011 with there being instances of him doing it a couple of times in the years that followed, including that one time he even got to teach his world famous dance to our Deputy President William Ruto!
4. The Lipala.
This dance is a traditional Kenyan staple at functions like weddings and was made incredibly famous by Sauti Sol’s music video to their 2014 smash single ‘Sura Yako’.
After garnering six million hits, Sauti Sol took the ‘Lipala’ a notch higher by teaching it to our President Uhuru Kenyatta and former US president Barack Obama during his trip to the 254 a couple years back.
3. The original ‘Odi’ dance.
Made famous by artist Timeless Noel, you may (or may not) know this but according to YouTuber Justin Bradford,…
The term “odi” is a slang in short for ‘ ordinary ‘ thus ODI DANCE is all about celebrating and giving hope to everyone who thinks he/she is just an ordinary person.
With over two million views on YouTube, this is obviously no longer an ‘ordinary’ dance move but one that has become so viral that other stars (like Wyre in Mimi Na Ye ) have adopted the dance.
What you’ve got to love though, is watching the many clips online of foreigners attempting (and even succeeding at) the move.
2. The Bazokizo.
Co-created by dance choreographer, dancer and artist Bruz Newton, the Bazokizo spread well beyond the confines of the Gospel industry for which the accompanying jam was meant and quickly became an internet sensation with corporates, influencers and even the Kenyan rugby team all doing the Bazokizo!
1 The ‘Odi Odi Dance’
Identified as the ‘swagger-fied’ version of the ‘original Odi’, the Odi Odi dance emerged thanks to dance choreographer Aggie The Dance Queen who also famously dances the ‘Odi Odi’ dance in the music video to Sauti Sol’s ‘Short and Sweet’ single, as the girl in the stripped jumpsuit.
Aggie has since gone on to have a BBC interview and has probably had to wear that iconic jumpsuit multiple times for show during TV interviews and on stage while performing it.
Earlier this year, I (Rae Kiragu) was given the incredible opportunity to take on a new On-Air time slot that was mid-morning radio! (JSHBR)
Jam Session HBR – abbreviated as JSHBR airs Monday through Friday from 10am to 1pm (EAT)
Granted that leaving my previous slot The Weekend Breakfast (WBWR) proved to not be the easiest (read about my transition here), there was no denying that finally making it onto day-time radio felt like I was receiving a prize.
Whats-more, JSHBR was going to be (and is) an extension of the already successful deejay jam session mix-shows that existed albeit occupying one-hour slots. That meant that not only was I getting a new time slot, but I was also getting five epic co-hosts along with it!
With each day boasting of its own kind of chemistry, sound and general feel, Friday felt most appropriate to play host to a feature I only too enthusiastically created called ‘Dance Friday’.
Why create it? Because what’s a deejay mix-show if not a party!
Its aim? To create and provide a platform where Kenyan dancers, dance crews and choreographers could interact directly with an audience they may not have previously have had access to, while providing our Jam Session family with an enjoyable Live stream feed!
We have so far had the pleasure of hosting a number of dance crews and it became apparent that the dance industry is large and wildly unexploited!
So if you would like to get to know more about the dancers who are creating waves in Kenya…
And the choreographers behind them….
Or perhaps hear from the Kenyan creators of the worldly celebrated and internationally recognized apparel worn by dancers and athletes…
Maybe even get to watch the action for yourselfm via Live Stream, then catch JSHBR every Friday! And oh,… find some WiFi or have your bundles with you!
That this particular jam was released a matter of days after Kanye’s now infamous quote on four hundred years of slavery being a ‘choice’, doesn’t seem like a coincidence but rather a perfectly timed release.
While speaking to TMZ, Kanye referenced slavery saying;
”When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. Like, you were there for 400 years and it’s all of you?”
Naturally, those comments have made Kanye the talk of the month, with everyone online (ordinary people and celebrities alike) talking about issues revolving around the existence of white supremacists and the oppression of people of color.
Since that has been the running conversation online, it would therefore seem appropriate that Childish Gambino, release ‘This Is America’, a jam that seems to encapsulate all of those issues in a thrilling, melodic and dance filled rap single.
Since Donald Glover has had quite the experience in writing and producing intelligent scripts for hit TV shows such as ‘Community’ and ‘Atlanta’, it’s really no surprise that he chooses clever imagery to pass on very important issues.
Directed by Hiro Murai, ‘This is America’ is a four minute long music video which I’ve so far learnt, has many hidden meanings. I’m now going to share the few that I managed to find out about in a short play by play.
Lyrics; ‘Guns in my area, I gotta carry ’em’
Throughout the video, Childish Gambino is seen shooting people but what you may have missed out on, is the fact that in each instance the gun he uses is taken away from him by someone who appears to be holding a cloth and treating the gun with the utmost care. For some, this is taken as a rhetoric on the ongoing battle on Gun Laws in America, where people have often felt that guns are treated a lot better than (in some cases) people.
Lyrics: This is America, Don’t catch you slippin up.
If there’s one thing you definitely note right off the bat with this music video, it’s that while there is all this dancing happening, there is also a lot of chaos going on around the whole time. One YouTube reviewer cited that it may have been a reference to black America being acknowledged only in terms of its contribution to urban culture e.g. through dance, all while the main issues that affect them (i.e. police brutality, gun violence etc) take the back seat.
Also at the start of the video, Childish Gambino shoots his first victim while assuming a comical stance, that was quickly turned into this meme, which I happened upon on Snoop Dogg’s instagram.
The thing is though, this ‘comical stance’ was believe it or not, a historical reference to Jim Crow.
Jim Crow — definition — a theater character by Thomas D. Rice and an ethnic depiction in accordance with contemporary Caucasian ideas of African-Americans and their culture.
Jim Crow laws were state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States.
Seen in the video, this depiction is probably the strongest and loudest reference to racism. In the video, Childish Gambino makes erratic face movements that from research, were the same facial expressions that white actors (in black face) would make as a mockery of what they thought the then freed African-American slaves looked like and behaved.
Homage to music and dance made by Africans and African Americans;
The jam itself houses ad libs by some of raps iconic names from Young Thug, to 21 Savage, and in the video, it is being said that Childish Gambino’s choice to be shirtless wearing only two chains is an homage to Fela Kuti.
Also, yes. Childish Gambino absolutely bodies the Shoki and the Gwara Gwara in ‘This Is America’, both of which are popular African dances.
Not too long ago, Logic and Alessia Cara graced our Record of the Week with the jam whose title was a suicide hotline number. Perhaps referencing mental health and how America is plagued by the sheer number of suicide victims, at 2:13, there is a man who is seen to be leaping to his death all while the singing and the dancing continues.
The fact that this four minute long video even had time to feature a bible reference is to me, the actual testament to Childish Gambino’s epic story telling and producing skills.
In the book of Revelation, there is a verse that states;
Then I looked and saw a pale horse. Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed close behind.
Hades was the Greek god of the underworld (hell). Like earlier mentioned, there are plenty of hidden messages in the video and the fact that at 2:36, there is a hooded figure riding a white horse while a police car follows behind, might be the imagery that reflects that particular bible verse.
Truth be told, there are many more messages one can find in the video to ‘This Is America’, a video that has currently garnered (as of today) over forty million views in under a week.
What can definitely be said and applauded though, is the stark difference between the amount of black history and current information that Childish Gambino seems to have, and the lack thereof when it comes to Kanye West’s recent comments about slavery.
As it’s now your record of the week (ROTW), here is the music video to ‘This is America’ (Which will be followed by the song’s lyrics.)
We just wanna party Party just for you We just want the money Money just for you I know you wanna party Party just for me Girl, you got me dancin’ (yeah, girl, you got me dancin’) Dance and shake the frame We just wanna party (yeah) Party just for you (yeah) We just want the money (yeah) Money just for you (you) I know you wanna party (yeah) Party just for me (yeah) Girl, you got me dancin’ (yeah, girl, you got me dancin’) Dance and shake the frame (you)
This is America Don’t catch you slippin’ up Don’t catch you slippin’ up Look what I’m whippin’ up This is America (woo) Don’t catch you slippin’ up Don’t catch you slippin’ up Look what I’m whippin’ up
This is America (skrrt, skrrt, woo) Don’t catch you slippin’ up (ayy) Look at how I’m livin’ now Police be trippin’ now (woo) Yeah, this is America (woo, ayy) Guns in my area (word, my area) I got the strap (ayy, ayy) I gotta carry ’em Yeah, yeah, I’ma go into this (ugh) Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla (woo) Yeah, yeah, I’ma go get the bag Yeah, yeah, or I’ma get the pad Yeah, yeah, I’m so cold like yeah (yeah) I’m so dope like yeah (woo) We gon’ blow like yeah (straight up, uh)
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody You go tell somebody Grandma told me Get your money, Black man (get your money) Get your money, Black man (get your money) Get your money, Black man (get your, Black man) Get your money, Black man (get your, Black man) Black man
This is America (woo, ayy) Don’t catch you slippin’ up (woo, woo, don’t catch you slippin’, now) Don’t catch you slippin’ up (ayy, woah) Look what I’m whippin’ up (Slime!) This is America (yeah, yeah) Don’t catch you slippin’ up (woah, ayy) Don’t catch you slippin’ up (ayy, woo) Look what I’m whippin’ up (ayy)
Look how I’m geekin’ out (hey) I’m so fitted (I’m so fitted, woo) I’m on Gucci (I’m on Gucci) I’m so pretty (yeah, yeah) I’m gon’ get it (ayy, I’m gon’ get it) Watch me move (blaow) This a celly (ha) That’s a tool (yeah) On my Kodak (woo, Black) Ooh, know that (yeah, know that, hold on) Get it (get it, get it) Ooh, work it (21) Hunnid bands, hunnid bands, hunnid bands (hunnid bands) Contraband, contraband, contraband (contraband) I got the plug en Oaxaca (woah) They gonna find you that blocka (blaow)
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody America, I just checked my following list and You go tell somebody You mothafuckas owe me Grandma told me Get your money, Black man (Black man) Get your money, Black man (Black man) Get your money, Black man (get your, Black man) Get your money, Black man (get your, Black man) Black man One, two, get down Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh, tell somebody You go tell somebody Grandma told me, “Get your money” Get your money, Black man (Black man) Get your money, Black man (Black man) Get your money, Black man (Black man) Get your money, Black man (Black man) Black man
You just a Black man in this world You just a barcode, ayy You just a Black man in this world Drivin’ expensive foreigns, ayy You just a big dawg, yeah I kenneled him in the backyard No probably ain’t life to a dog For a big dog
When last he was on ROTW (Record of the Week), Lethal Bizzle had just delivered the bass heavy club banger that was ‘Fester Skunk’.
Fester Skank Lyrics — In part:
You might see me in a Lambo Camo snapback, Rambo 500 horses, Django 2 2 chicken, Nando You might see me in a Rari Old school fella, Atari It’s a new dance, no tango Anywhere I go, I make the gang go
Featuring the seemingly oversimplified rhymes that thereafter made the song a perfect sing along, ‘Fester Skank’ rose quickly in charts and while it was later overtaken by even bigger bangers, Lethal Bizzle is taking back his crown with ‘Flex’.
It’s got that bass and that flow that we love him for, ‘Flex’ takes over from Nicki’s ‘Chun Li’ which is still doing heavy rounds on radio airwaves across the world.
Whether the assumed beef between Nicki Minaj and Cardi B is real, Nicki Minaj only just released a few songs right at the time when Cardi B seems to be enjoying her rise to fame and the success of her album ‘Invasion of Privacy’, and one of those jams has just enjoyed a week’s airplay as Record of the Week (ROTW).
Referring to herself as a worldly popular video game character Chun Li, Nicki Minaj definitely delivers on ‘Chun Li’, talking up her musical success in lyrics that go…
Ayo, look like I’m goin’ for a swim Dunk on ’em, now I’m swingin’ off the rim Bitch ain’t comin’ off the bench While I’m comin’ off the court fully drenched Here, get some haterade, get ya thirst quenched Styled on ’em in this Burberry trench These birds copy every word, every inch But gang gang got the hammer and the wrench (brrr) I pull up in that quarter milli off the lot Oh, now she tryna be friends like I forgot Show off my diamonds like I’m signed by the Roc Ain’t pushin’ out his babies ’til he buy the rock
This track came out almost at the same time as her Beats 1 Radio interview with Zane Lowe who got Nicki to talk about her beef with Cardi B, to which the rapper said;
“The first interview she did, it just hurt me because she looked so aggravated and angry. She just kept saying she didn’t hear it…I was like, What? ….Up until this recent interview she did, I had never seen her show me genuine love in an interview,”
Well Chun Li is clearly Nicki’s statement that she really is back and what’s more, Nicki may have just made history for its music video which is filmed entirely in selfie mode.
He was one of EDM’s most praised and most loved deejay and producer so it makes sense that the world now mourns the untimely passing of Tim Bergling aka Avicii.
The 28 year old passed away this past week (Friday) in Oman and the world received the news via one of his representatives who did not disclose any cause of death and only asked that we respect the star’s family’s privacy.
“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii. He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”
Avicii made his big break onto the world wide scene close to a decade ago, rising to ‘superstardom’ in the years that followed, even appearing a few times in Forbes Magazine’s list of highly acclaimed deejays.
Most known for notable hits such as ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Hey Brother’, here are 7 songs by Avicii that prove that he’ll be living on through his music.
Wake Me Up
Released as part of Avicii’s 2013 album ‘True’, this jam quickly became a hit, charting at no. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100, going platinum six times.
With over three hundred million views on YouTube, ‘Levels’ was Avicii’s breakout hit that showcased his musical prowess by his use of soul music icon Etta Jame’s vocals from her hit single ‘Something’s Got a Hold On Me’. The video featured dance theatrics that included a man in a suit who couldn’t seem to stop himself from dancing and who is seen scribbling the name Avicii in the earlier parts of the video.
I Could Be The One
Released in 2012, this Avicii single was a collaboration with Dutch deejay Nicki Romero and featured one of his most iconic music videos that embodied the message of ‘being truly free’. In the video, we follow the life of a middle aged woman, living a painfully monotonous life, until she wakes up in her dream life.It’s currently enjoying over two hundred million views on YouTube.
From the same album as ‘Wake Me Up’, Avicii continues to show his musical ability to turn any genre into dance, by collaborating with country artist Dan Tyminski to create this country-edm jam that got radio success and earned over one million likes on YouTube.
Waiting For Love
Working alongside other EDM deejay, Martin Garrix, Avicii created yet another timeless hit with ‘Waiting For Love’ which like most of his other singles was a definite sing along!
Probably one of Avicii’s most prolific songs to live on, ‘The Nights’ was co-written with American singer Nicholas Furlong and preaches the message of escapism and always striving to live our best life.
Friend of Mine
By now it’s clear that Avicii loved to make music that held within it, an impactful life message. ‘Friend of Mine’ is a single off of his last released EP ‘Avicii’, and speaks of the value of friendship with a music video that even features an awareness call to Alzheimer’s .
Avicii’s untimely death caught the whole world by surprise but as is evident from those jams, it’s clear that he’ll be living on through his music.