The Slice, Episode 65 [Hip-Hop + R&B]

Rising Nigerian R&B singer and producer TEMS opens up this week’s episode of The Slice with “Damages” while announcing her forthcoming debut EP For Broken Ears. The mid-tempo bop is an unapologetic self-empowerment anthem that exudes personal growth. This release follows her recent collaboration “Disclosure” with Khalid and Davido.

Canadian singer OCHÉ gives us his own definition of true love on “Thug Passion”—a smooth sexy jam peppered with various hip-hop elements. Inspired by real-life events, OCHÉ gives a passionate performance with his unique drawl and steamy lyrics. “Thug Passion” is the first single off OCHÉ’s sophomore EP scheduled for release on October 3rd.  South-London grime artist and producer, Crafty 893 takes us deep into the gritty parts of the capital on “Luv Me.” The self-produced cut is dark and the moody production serves as the perfect backdrop for his unapologetic lyrics that detail his lifestyle and deep roots.

Eclectic musical collective Africali fuse Afrobeat and hip-hop on their new release “African Gold.” From tribal chants, afrobeat driven rhythms, and warm basslines, the crew goes the route of the griots that came before them and deliver an extraordinary piece that is thoughtful and inspiring. Singer-songwriter Zèra‘s “Tell Me” is an introspective jam that is ripe with questions and reflective piano-driven textures. She dives deep and searches for answers as she reevaluates herself. Tel-Aviv based Producer Daïda throws in a nice instrumental he calls “Shimmering Skies” to change the mood a bit. The track is a downtempo piece laced with funk basslines, futuristic sequences, and a solid rhythm to complete the job. Big Haz teams up with veteran emcee Kool G Rap for a lyrical slugfest titled “The Mobster and The Scholar.” The duo makes use of a dark soundscape to showcase their excellent penmanship. Big Haz goes for a scholarly view with the lyrics while Kool G Rap bares his fangs with his legendary mafioso style.

Singer-songwriter Willow Stephens and producer/beat-maker Jaye Locke  link up for “The Odds.” A solemn, nostalgia-inducing track peppered with sublime melodic runs and a timely question for 2020 when it seems like the list of things stacked against us grows longer each week. “Face 2 Face” is a collaborative single between Cologne-based producer, singer, and composer Moglii. Joined by  Joel Montagud, singer of Berlin’s future-soul outfit, Lion Sphere,  the track dwells on long-distance relationships and sees the duo make use of a soul-infused pop-style that is quite catchy.

Mancunian soul collective Pieces of a Man share “Running (POAM Remix)” taken from their remix project Reframed. The track is a smooth soulful bop that draws from both classic and futuristic soul elements. We get two cuts from indie singer 1OAKB. “Free” is a reflective piece that dwells on the core of human kindness while “Countdown” sees 1OAKB in full confident mode.

New York is in the building as we get two edgy cuts from Agallah & Sadat X taken from their forthcoming collaborative project, The Gods Have Arrived. “Praise The Lords ” features Greg Nice on the hook and showcases a no-nonsense rhyme scheme and hard-hitting production. “The Boppers” is produced by Agallah himself and it’s an absolute heater packed with unrivaled sh*t-talking from legendary duo.

To close out this week’s list, we head to the UK with Miles From Kinshasa who delivers a catchy melodic cut titled “Best of You” for our listening pleasure. No better way to wrap things up than with something soothing, honest, and soulful. The song is off his 8 track EP Beloved.

Check our past episodes of The Slice here.

For a full tracklist of this week’s featured artists:

TEMS – “Damages”
OCHÉ – “Thug Passion”
Crafty 893 – “Luv Me”
africali – “African Gold”
Daïda – “Shimmering Skies”
Big Haz (feat. Kool G Rap) – “The Mobster and The Scholar”
Willow Stephens, Jaye Locke – “The Odds”
Moglii – “Face 2 Face” ft Lion Sphere
Pieces of a Man – “Running (POAM Remix)”
1OAKB – “Free”
1OAKB – “Countdown”
Agallah & Sadat X – “Praise The Lords ” (feat. Greg Nice)
Agallah & Sadat X – “The Boppers”
Miles From Kinshasa – “Best of You”