It's fair to say that Drake boosted the profile of the post-millennium Afrobeat-oriented sound by way of his recent WizKid team-ups and dabbling in the genre, but the sound has been around, been ever-evolving. With and without him, the current pan-African sound, with an EDM mindset, is growing in global awareness.
Enter compilation Afrobeats Hot Hits: New Urban Dance Grooves from Africa, an attempt to establish and introduce Ghanaian and Nigerian artists who have been doing their thing for a minute to a larger audience. So tracks like "Rotate" by Wande Coal, Davido's breakout track "Skelewu," and the vibe of Skales' "Your Body Hot" reveal how the West African genre has been evolving over the years to incorporate hip-hop, soul, grime, reggae and Diplo-esque electronica influences. Timaya's "Shake Ur Bum Bum" gets reggae vet Sean Paul to reorient the sound for North American ears, as does "I Don't Mind," a surprising yet soulful twist by R&B's Anthony David.
The aforementioned WizKid turns up — literally — along with Seyi Shay for the frenetic "Crazy," while the remix of "Wetin Day" by Rayce and DaVido is a standout. There are good vibes here — nothing that the initiated wouldn't already know about, but overall, it has the potential to earn a few more listeners for the growing Afrobeats bandwagon. (Shanachie)