THE CUTS is a short weekly review of songs, videos and albums that you must hear. The songs and videos covered are not genre or rregion-specific If we find it dope, we’ll share our thoughts on it here.

Raës – Not Like You

Shards of happiness drools over this soulful, love ballad. Raës’ tender voice breezes across the guitar and finger snap that runs across the Reynolds The Gentleman produced song. “Not Like You” is a toast to finding and feeling loved. It a song about a new beginning – shirking off the pain and hurt of past relationships. “Searching for someone to give me reason/Reason to believe that I’m worth it”, Raës lays bare her desire on the opening verse of the song. On the second verse, her desire is fulfilled: “So glad I found somebody now/Who treats me better”. The simplicity of the record, in terms of both production and delivery – Raës does not inflate the song with harmonies- makes it a pleasant listen.

Bebelino – Djormor

Bebelino is an OG in Ghanaian hip hop. Though young, he has been actively involved in the game for years. He’s part of a crop of young rappers who helped push the genre to where it is currently despite the initial resistance. The success of hip hop/rap as a genre was built off the backs of people like Bebelino. His long hiatus came to an end this year with the release of “No More Excuses” EP.

The rapper has dropped a visual of “Djormor”, a standout off the EP. In his typical laid back, one-bar-at-a-time, punchline filled flow, Bebelino raps about his career (what makes him the rapper) while thanking God for his talent.

Naya Akanji & Lemar Abdul – Eyes On You

Naya and Abdul are ready with their full EP “Vivid Emotions” but before the EP is released on April 17, the lead single “Eyes On You” is here. The RnB inflected record has the trappings of early 2000s RnB, which made use of hip hop chops. This is highlighted in the big chunks at the beginning of the record.

Naya Akanji’s sultry delivery glides across the beat, giving off that Snoh Aalegra warmth. Her lyrics are embedded with sensual and raunchy talk: “I’ll make you eat me out like a full dinner” and ”Dig my treasure like a gold digger”. Naya and Lemar met at Medical School in Nigeria and have since become great collaborators

Paybac – Boy Band V3

I’ve been keeping taps on Paybac since the release of his 2018 album “The Biggest Tree“. The Nigerian rapper’s style is more alte inclined than mainstream. That lane affords him the chance to be more expressive in his creativity without the pressures of meeting mainstream expectations. This approach to music-making is alive on his latest 15 track tape “Cult“. And, that approach is present on the second track “Boy Band V3“. Paybac opens his verse, quoting the great Chinua Achebe, before his “I no dey for geng, this is my boy band”, a retort to Mayorkun’s “Geng”. ” Boy Band V3″ is a fusion between hip hop and dancehall, with Paybacc’s well-timed lyrics cutting through the beat with precision.

MID ft. Kirani Ayat – Jaiye

Ivorian artist, MID drafts Kirani Ayat on one of the songs that make up his multiple genre “Outside, Unchained”; a five track EP with a running time of 11:43 seconds. Kirani Ayat is featured on “Jaiye”- he is actually the only featured artist on the EP. On the afro house record, Kirani Ayat drops a melody-driven performance with a call to party as its central theme.

The Black Esper ft. Tenola – Mr. Right

Nigerian hip hop fusion artist, The Black Esper pours out his heart about his new found love on”Mr. Right”. This is not your bar heavy record. Here, The Black Esper adopts a melodic rap approach in painting a picture about the bumps and highs of being in a relationship on the $tretto produced somg.

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