Teju Cole’s Afrolicious Playlist

One of our favorite writers and producer of far and away the best Twitter feed we’ve seen, novelist Teju Cole (@TejuCole) has been curating and tweeting incredible ‘top-ten’ playlists of African music this past week. We’re honored to share one of these in the A/V section here. All text comes from Cole’s tweets.

To improve your Friday immeasurably, here’s an Afrolicious top ten.

10. Just A Band- “Usinibore”

An amazing music/video collective from Kenya. Are they funk? House? Disco? Who cares. They’re simply fearless Kenyan lads.

This is not your anthropologist’s African music.

Next track is Kezia Jones, funkiest brother of them all. I’ve met him in Lagos and in New York. he’s always on point.

9. Keziah Jones – “Lagos vs New York”

Now here’s a cat I’d love to meet, because he’s simply on another level. The decidedly futuristic and darkass Spoek Mathombo.

8. Spoek Mathombo – “Mshini Wam”

Next track is from Nneka. She’s German-Nigeria, she’ll give you all kinds of arrhythmia.

7. Nneka- “Heartbeat”

Next: BLK JKS. Fueled by South African Township Jive, but clearly aware of Radiohead. Saw them play at Poisson Rouge, and was like “What!”

6. BLK JKS – Lakeside

My main man Siji combies video and song perfectly in this next selection. Last time I was with my siblings, we had this on endless repeat.

5. Siji – “Ijo”

Bajoli is a Congolese brother I saw perform in Brooklyn last summer. He’s an Adebayor lookalike! Next cut is a laid back number from him.

4. Baloji- “September”

The last three tracks are Nigerian, beginning with “Gongo Aso” by 9ice. A modern classic: years after its release, it still rocks the party.

3. 9ice – “Gongo Aso”

Next track’s from DaGrin, who died in 2010 at the age of 23. A wordsmith without equal, he transformed Yoruba-English rap and we miss him.

2. DaGrin, feat. Omawumi- “Thank God”

The party is over, people don’t want to go home. I send them on their way with another Omawumi track, a retro-funky one.

1. Omawumi- “If You Ask Me”