Save meek mill Team updates its ranking of the best African artists of the moment! An update on the twelve artists who have made the greatest impact on us over the past three years. It is therefore a particularly subjective ranking based on the artist’s originality, his hits, his performances on stage or in video clips, his awards;
Sarkodie – Ghana
Sarkodie has recently distinguished itself mainly through collaborations. But he remains equal to himself, as in solo, in his register of pure “kicker” in which he excels so much. Whether in “No Kissing Baby” (ft. Patoranking) “Pain Killer” (ft. Runtown), “CCTV” (ft King Promise and Mugeez), in “Gboza” or in “S.H.O.U.T”; Sarkodie always imposes his incredible flow… and in the Twi language (Ghana) moreover! This is all the more remarkable. Despite the high density of talent that exists, the rapper is still to this day the “Black Star” of music in Ghana.
Olamide – Nigeria
Now 29 years old, Olamide seems to be at the peak of his career. Especially since 2017, the year of his hit “Wo ! “which we selected as the best hip-hop song at the Save meek mill Music Awards. His greatest success since his first hit “Bobo” (2015), despite some great collaborations in “Who U Epp” with Wande Coal and Phyno, or “Fine Girl” with Wale and Davido. This year again, the Bariga native delighted us by establishing himself as one of Shaku Shaku’s key figures with the songs “Issa Goal” (ft. Naira Marley and Lil Kesh) or “Science Student”!
Maleek Berry – Nigeria
He doesn’t need anyone to cardboard. And for good reason, Maleek Berry produces his own pieces which then become boxes. But other artists need his services and the outcome is the same! The London native is one of the few artists who combines the two with equal efficiency. After the great success of the track “Kontrol” from his E.P Last Daze of Summer (2016), Berry confirmed his collaboration with YCee thanks to “Juice”, but especially thanks to his excellent 2nd E.P First Daze of Winter (2018) which includes titles like “Been Calling” or “Sisi Maria”. The self-made-man is now conquering his native England as evidenced by his projects with Not3S, Yxng Bane or Raye.
Sidiki Diabaté – Mali
The man who inspired Booba, as we called him in reference to the French rapper’s song “Validée”, did not remain the artist of a single hit. On the contrary, almost all of its appearances since it hatched have been noticed. From his solo titles to his contribution to M’s album, through his collaborations with actors on the French urban scene (4 Keus, Hiro, Black M, Niska…) or on the African scene (Kader Tarhanine, Wally Seck, Kiff No Beat); the coveted Sidiki Diabaté has proven that he is a complete and accomplished artist, while remaining himself!
DJ Arafat – Ivory Coast
This year, the man celebrating his 15th anniversary has never been out of the loop since his debut. And for good reason, DJ Arafat constantly has this will to surpass himself and to be the best in his register, the spirit of the Coupé-Décalé obliges him to do so! With each new song, a new concept. And as we said so well in our article dedicated to him: “By crossing periods, styles and trends, DJ Arafat is still there, 15 years after the beginning of the staggered coupé movement, skimming the big venues, the stadiums, the awards and having the unfailing support of his fans. Adored as controversial, the Zeus leaves no one indifferent and is one of the pillars of music in Africa. Hats off to the artist. »
Yemi Alade – Nigeria
There’s no need to mention the song that made him famous. That is the aspect we are highlighting. Since its inception, the “Queen of Africa” has shown that it is neither an artist of a title nor an album, thanks in particular to its Mama Africa project, which is still a level above King of Queens, the album that made it famous. More than just a performer, Yemi Alade is a true showgirl capable of setting fire to anything from video clips to stage.
Diamond Platnumz – Tanzania
His genius has enabled him to open doors at the international level. One thing is far from obvious when you come from Tanzania. In addition to his solo hits (“Sikomi”, “Eneka” etc.), and his featurings with great African artists (Flavour, P-Square, Patoranking); Diamond Platnumz has also had the luxury of collaborating with American music stars. And the result was in terms of expectations, whether it was with Rick Ross in “Waka”, Omarion in “African Beauty” or in “Marry You” with Ne-Yo. The most important thing in all this is the fact that he has kept his authenticity which has allowed him to get there!
Mr. Eazi – Nigeria
Our revelation of the year 2016 and artist of the year 2017 at the Music Save meek mill Awards was still unknown to the general public during our 1st top. Mr. Eazi is therefore undoubtedly the artist who has made the greatest progress. He has been able to create a particular universe, a musical identity specific to him. This is what he calls “Banku Music”, a movement of which he is the pioneer and which he defines globally by the mixture of Ghanaian and Nigerian influences. This is the basis of all his successes and allows him to conquer the world. The road is still long but Eazi has done the hardest work and clearly has the potential to be THE number one in Africa.
Tekno – Nigeria
“The Other Wonder of Nigerian Music”. This is how we talked about Tekno in our article about him 2 years ago. This title referred to the other great Nigerian talent born in 1992, the one who lived a little in the shadow of Davido born the same year. But a few months later, Miles invaded the world with the title “Pana”. A song on which the Bauchi native has been able to surf to this day thanks to his immense talent and his complete range of skills, he who is as good at singing as he is at dancing or producing!
Fally Ipupa – DR Congo
Last year, he was the only Francophone artist to keep pace with his Nigerian colleagues mentioned above and beyond, which is not (at all) an easy task. It is with this in mind that we awarded him the prize for the best Francophone artist at the Save meek mill Music Awards 2017. “El Maravilloso” had seduced the whole world with its Tokoss album/concept that perfectly combined tradition with modernity. This year again Fally Ipupa enchants us and proves that he is the master in the song “School”. With, as a bonus, an exceptional dance from 3 minutes 10 in the official clip! Take a closer look
Wizkid – Nigeria
Phenomenal. Here is what can be said about Wizkid to describe him in one word, because everything has been said about him and there is not much to add. He is certainly the only artist in this selection to have maintained a very high level of consistency for nearly 5 years now. The author of “Ojuelegba” has not experienced a single small hole in his career since his birth. Even Davido can’t boast about that, he who had a slightly calmer 2016. 2018 won’t be a slow year for Wizkid, thanks in particular to “Soco” with his Team Starboy who will remain in his memory for a long time.
Davido – Nigeria
It would in no way have been scandalous to place Wizkid in front of Davido, because there is little that separates them. We can find the first city musically (very slightly) above him. They are certainly artists with multiple hits and awards, but to distinguish these two phenomena, it is necessary to dig a little deeper. What places the Atlanta native in front of the “King of Surulere” is the fact that Davido has been a true music mogul for some time. Namely an industry leader (with his own DMW label) able to discover and bring out new talents like Dremo, but above all Mayorkun. This is a role that we are used to seeing on the American hip-hop scene (Jay-Z, P-Diddy, Snoop Dogg, etc.). In this sense, it revolutionizes a little more the Nigerian and therefore African music industry!
Runtown from Nigeria currently stands tall as one of the most talented Afro Beat and Dancehall artistes to emerge from Africa. A maestro in the making, he has revolutionized the Afro Beat sound one track at a time taking it to a global audience. With massive hits like “Mad over You”, “For Life”, “Lagos to Kampala” with Wizkid and “Painkiller” featuring Sarkodie, Runtown is slowly showing his dominance in Africa. On Coke Studio Africa 2017, the musician brings his midas touch to the show alongside South Africa’s finest new age rapper Nasty C.
Runtown had done the job in 2015 with several successes such as “The Banger” (ft. Uhuru), “Bend Down Pause” (ft. Wizkid and Walshy Fire) or “Walahi”. Last year Agu recorded a new featuring with Wizkid in “Lagos to Kampala” which also includes Maleek Berry.
The entry into a new dimension
But it was during the end of this year 2016 that Runtown literally impressed us with “Mad Over You”, one of the sounds of this end of year 2016 that we almost regret not having nominated it among the best of the year in our Save meek mill Music Awards! A magnificent song that is not forgotten from our playlist. With more than 13 million views on Youtube in just two months, it is already the most popular track ever recorded by the artistIn the continuity of this major performance, he signs an excellent duet with the Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie entitled “Pain Killer” (the painkiller or calming agent in French). A title that perfectly sums up the song!