The year 2018 witnessed lots of album releases from your favorite African music artistes. Most of these albums were top-notch as they did quite well in the journey to restoring the album culture back to the consciousness of African music fans.
The year witnessed the release of over 50 albums by top tier music stars in Africa from the likes of Burna Boy, Nasty C, Kizz Daniel & so on. That number far outweighs the number of albums put out in the past year.
The albums are considered based on its critical acclaim or elite artistic excellence [reviews and analysis of each project] , profound impact and recognition and mainstream spread [that is it must be a body of work that is known to a large scale listening audience and available on major streaming sites] .
So here is DM list of Top 10 African albums of 2018:
10. Adekunle Gold – About 30
About 30 is Adekunle Gold’s mature, cohesive and creative attempt at progressive music. It was originally released on the 25th of May, 2018 to the delight of anticipating music fans.
The album has 14 tracks and 2 bonus songs, and they were all really cool sounds. The album gained enormous acceptance from Nigerians due to its originality and very “deep” lyrics and even tipped by some as the only meaningful song to be released in 2018.
As far as the African sound goes ‘About 30’ embodies it essentials hence it caught the attention of the Grammys panel.
“DIY 2” is the debut 3rd studio album by South African hip hop recording artist Emtee, which was officially released by Ambitiouz Entertainment on September 21, 2018.
The 13 tracker Album feature 4 different artiste generally and he used the project to change the game of rap music in South Africa and also Africa.
“Sweet and Short” is an album is inspired by kwaito—most of the beats have that kwaito bounce and basslines. It was released on November 30, 2018 with 9 tracks.
The album went Platinum in just 24 hours which is actually a miracle as Cassper reportedly sold 10 million copies.
The album which features the likes of Frank Casino, DJ Sumbody, Boskasie and Shwi Nomntekhala follows the path of his past projects, which last year reportedly sold a cumulative figure of 10 million album units.
7. Mr Eazi – Lagos To London
Lagos To London has all the Mr Eazi’s elements, melodious with a global appeal. Lagos To London fuses elements of highlife, reggae, dance-hall, hip hop and disco.
Mr Eazi released the album masterpiece titled “Lagos To London” on the 18th of November, 2018, he featured quite a number of artistes, local and international artistes as it consists of 15 tracks that are truly enjoyable.
“Lagos To London” also attained staggering levels of streams on Spotify and other streaming platforms just days after its release, the roll-out was solid as it was a blend with cultural sounds.
The album is created to highlight his journey over the last one year from Lagos to the city of London and to showcase his influences and growth.
“The Reign” is a 3rd studio album by Ghanaian reggae-dancehall singer Shatta Wale, which was released by Shatta Movement Music Production and Zylofon Music. The album sits at 17 Tracks in total as expected, with guest appearances from Nigerian superstar Olamide.
The album was filled with enough classy rhythm and content. It was a project that primarily seek to emphasize Shatta Wale’s position as occupying a reigning capacity,
5. Seun Kuti – Black Times
Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, released his third album “Black Times” on the 2nd of March, 2018 for the culture. The singer upheld the basic elements of Afrobeat.
Seun Kuti is a political maverick, his fourth album, Black Times with Egypt 80, his father’s band further proved that Afrobeat and protest music is embedded in his DNA. In Black Times, There were 8 tracks of protest statements fights the prevailing corruption in Nigeria and other African countries.
The sound of it doesn’t differ much as the heavy percussion, rhythms and instrumentation are meant to give that nostalgia of the Afrobeat sound. This body of work earned Seun his first Grammy Awards nomination.
4. AKA – Touch My Blood
“Touch My Blood” is the third studio album by South African rapper AKA, released on 15 June 2018 through Beam Group in partnership with NYCE Entertainment.
AKA used this album to cement his great potentials and consistency as he completely shaped South Africa’s Hip-Hop with his bona fide lyricism over the stabbing bass and dramatic percussion.
The album went on to become gold just on week after its release and also ended as a certified platinum by RiSA four months later. The album also helped him in receiving the Best Hip-Hop award at the recently held Soundcity MVP Awards.
3. Kizz Daniel – No Bad Songz
Kizz Daniel’s sophomore album “No Bad Songz” is an ambitious Afropop hit with no bad song. The boldly titled project has the usual Afropop elements with a groovy and infectious vibe.
The album was released on the 30th of November, 2018, with a whooping 20 tracks. The album is definitely living by its title; “No Bad Songz” as Vado as he is fondly called delivered perfectly and he even went on to break Boomsplay records.
2. Burna – Outside
“Outside” is a 38 minutes unapologetic offering of fine-tuned Afro-fusion which contains 13 tracks. It was released on the 26th of January, 2018.
This was the project that marked a revival and also a springboard in Burna Boy‘s career as he described his kind of music as Afrofusion started the year on a good note.
The album track by track from talking about his growing up, struggles, love and living the life. The originality of his album narrative and delivery made it resonate with a vast majority of Nigerians. As a bonus, the album was put in consideration for a nomination by the Grammys in the World Music category.
1. Nasty C – Strings and Bling
No one on the streets of hip-hop in Africa has more flows like Nasty C at the moment, and ‘Strings and Bling’ 17- tracks album is a befitting testament to that.. Nasty C‘s aim for kingly status gathers the right momentum as his brilliance shine through on the album.
‘Strings and Blings‘ is a satisfying effort dipped in glistering production, melodies, charm, versatility, growth and the right attitude to achieve a delightful mix.
The album eventually helped him in becoming the 2nd most streamed rapper in Spotify behind Ice-Prince and also took him from the normal local levels to that International standards.
Below are his other mouth-watering achievements: