You might remember the Very Best from a couple years ago when the band released an album called Warm Heart of Africa, in which they collaborated with Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend and M.I.A. The Very Best has a new album coming out on Tuesday, July 17, called MTMTMK, which will feature collaborations with K’naan, Amadou & Mariam, Baaba Maal and others. If you're looking for a summer dance party with some killer songs, this album is the one!
Check out the song "We Ok" featuring K'naan (co-written with Bruno Mars):
Here's the Very Best featuring Seye with the song "Kondaine":
A few months ago, the Very Best released the single “Yoshua Alikuti” from MTMTMK, and they’ve made a parody of Lil Wayne’s video for “A Milli” to go with it. In Lil Wayne’s video, he gets off his private bus and walks onto his film set. He’s given a haircut and made pretty. Wardrobe gives him a clean shirt and he grabs some food off the catering table. Lil Wayne is escorted by a muscled security guard and followed by an entourage. He walks up to a new car wrapped in a bow, jumps on the roof and gets tossed the keys. The song starts with the lyrics, “A millionaire, I’m a young millionaire.” Lil Wayne goes on rapping about cars, women, drugs and money.
In the Very Best’s video for “Yoshua Alikuti,” singer Esau Mwamwaya emerges from a tin hut in the slums of Nairobi. He visits a communal toilet, while band member Johan Karlberg guards the door. Mwamwaya goes for a haircut at the local barber, is given a shirt by someone and a goat on a leash by someone else. His entourage of friends grows as he walks through the slum. He poses in a new leather jacket and is handed some hot flat bread right off the skillet. A street party breaks out and Mwamwaya climbs to a high vantage point overlooking the tin roofed shacks, raises his arms like a champ and spins his dollar sign belt buckle as the camera zooms in on the spinning dollar sign.
It’s a pretty accurate parody of Lil Wayne’s “A Milli.” The Very Best seems to be having fun, parodying the bling lifestyle of mainstream American hip-hop. But the message in the video seems to run much deeper than the band’s sunny dance-party stroll through the dirt streets.
What do you think, is this video parody just a lighthearted way of saying hey, here’s another way people in the world live? Or is the Very Best paying homage to Lil Wayne? Or does their parody criticize him and mainstream hip-hop? Let us know in the comments.
Must Hear: Baloji spits rhymes from Belgium to the Congo
Amadou & Mariam’s joyful Folila
Ethiopian Music: An emerging force in popular culture
on Jul 16, 2012