2019 has been intense on many fronts, especially with all the political and social uproar. But all through the drama, music helped us blow off steam. Nonetheless, we live in a time when our incredible access to music is both a blessing and a curse. With more than 100 million hours of music available, choosing the best of the bunch can be difficult.
GuardianLife engaged rapper Ikechukwu Onunaku to assist with this festive dilemma. Ikechukwu is taking us through his favourite albums released during this eventful year.
In no particular order, see all his favourites.
Ikechwukwu says, “Burna Boy served an Afro-fusion masterpiece we didn’t even know we needed. The message from Burna here is, every black person should remember that we were Africans, before we became anything else.”
On A Good Time, he adds, “2019 has been a really good year for Nigerian music, and Davido’s album was one of the many reasons why. His charisma and delivery were smooth from start to finish; you should listen to this.”
On Zanku, he gushed, “Zlatan has to be the best newcomer in 2019, for the back to back banger he released. His talent is definitely one to watch out for.”
The number of artists to break out this year is beyond mind-blowing. Each with a fresh perspective on how to make good music. I particularly enjoy how Fireboy DML infuses African harmonies with bits of country and soul. You don’t see stuff like that often.
Inglewood rapper, D. Smoke, caught my attention for the first time on Netflix’s Hip Hop Series ‘Rhythm + Flow’. He raps in Spanish but reminds me of Kendrick Lamar. His multiple flows and introspective storytelling is the future of rap.
If you’re a big fan of hip-hop, you must be aware the Atlanta rap scene is extremely competitive. Rapper, Lil Baby, is one of the young rappers to cement his place as an Atlanta OG in 2019. I respect his art; the album is smoking hot.
Finally, on Revenge of the Dreamers III, he says, “J. Cole’s compilation album is pure fireworks. Revenge of the Dreamers III is a school lesson on collaboration, every rapper needs to take notes from J. Cole. I loved the energy involved in this album.”