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Afrocritik Top 25 African Music Videos of 2022

Afrocritik Top 25 African Music Videos of 2022

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By Omowale Bokinni, Emmanuel Daraloye, Chinonso Ihekire, Yinoluwa Olowofoyeku, Hope Ibiale, Fatiat Saliu, Samson Jikeme, and Owanate Max-Harry

Afrocritik Top 25 African Music Videos of 2022
Afrocritik Top 25 African Music Videos of 2022

Audiovisual representation of music videos in African music has become more poignant with the increasing global spread of African music. Audiences want in even more on the visual formats of the current worldwide music wave. In 2022, the likes of TG Omori, Director K, Dammy Twitch, Top Shotta, and their contemporaries raised the bar to fit this bill, as the audio-visual scene became even more sought after.

The Afrocritik music board has thus put together a curation of the top 25 music videos in Africa for the year 2022.

25. Bloody Civilian – How to Kill a Man

For having one of the best fight sequences in a Nigerian music video, Emose Khamofu, professionally known as Bloody Civilian, slides into the Hall of Fame for 2022, with the stunning visuals for her recent single, “How to Kill a Man.” Interestingly, the storytelling used in the video follows through on the theme of the song, avoiding any self-censorship. Bloody Civilian, who was also featured on the Black Panther Official Soundtrack faithfully embodies the character of a gang turf leader, with a daredevil costume and aura.

Her gothic-themed black outfit, daggers and the hood-esque set design are visual pleasure points that carry the story. She maintains a lot of extreme close ups and continuous shots, keeping the pace action-themed and vibrant. She defeats her protagonist in the video, kills him and sets a car on fire with his corpse. The cinematic experience with the video is also noteworthy, save for some transition issues.

24. Focalistic & Kabza De Small, Mellow & Sleazy, M.J and Myztro – Tabela Hape

A continuation from Focalistic, Mellow & Sleazy & M.J’s “Sjepa,” where they had robbed a warehouse, we spot the trio at a party enjoying the feel of a successful heist. In the end, there’s a police officer hot on their trail, but when he reaches, he discovers that they’ve left.

23. K.O – Sete ft. Young Stunna & Blxckie

https://youtu.be/jsKnJv6DabM

South Africa’s rap veteran, K.O, also known as Mr Cashtime, can never go wrong. When it comes to elegance, luxury, and swag, the “Sete” crooner has gained a reputation over the years as one of SA’s bankable rappers. In this video, the SA rapper embodies and epitomises the definition of swag, as always.

22. Moliy – Freak

For her latest offering, Moliy released the visuals to “Freak,” one of the songs off her EP tagged Honey Doom. The video which was directed by Casey Brooks, centers around domestic violence. The video starts with Moliy bleeding on the floor, and her lover is seen taking her back to his house and locking her in a secret room. In another scene, Moliy finds her power and fights against her abuser. Casey Brooks captures all these events and highlights the joy that comes with being free from any kind of abuse.

21. Ruger – Girlfriend

Jonzing World-signed artiste, Ruger, called on TG Omori, arguably Nigeria’s most famous music video director, for a party-filled visual for his hypnotic song, “Girlfriend.” In the video, Ruger takes it to the beach along with his numerous girlfriends. While Ruger’s much-touted novel dance moves in the video have failed to crack the industry, it is safe to say the video remains a delight among fans as it currently has more than twenty-nine million views on YouTube.

 20.Wanitwa Mos, Master KG & Lowsheen – Sofa Silahlane

Wanitwa Mos teamed up with fellow South African singer, Nkosazana Daughter (who dropped an impressive verse), and Master KG on “Sofa Silahlane.” The central theme of the song is love. Nkosazana has always shown in her songs that love is unbounded by laws and constraints.

The video “Sofa Silahlane” is a follow up to “Dali Nguwe.” In this new video, the story continues, with the characters in their blissful honeymoon phase. The mellow sound is spiced up with some Amapaino-like dance moves.

19. DJ Spinall ft. Asake – Palazzo

Asake teamed up with veteran disc jockey, DJ Spinall, on “Palazo.” The song has proven to be one of the major highlights for Spinall. The frenzy video features some dark and colourful scenes. The opening sees Spinall and his gang parading around an energetic Asake performing on stage, rousing the fans to the dance floor. Directed by TG Omori, “Palazzo” is a beautiful work of art.

18. Ayra Starr – Rush

On “Rush,” Ayra Starr serves several blond looks with daisy dukes, an oversized sweater, and an unforgettable black leather outfit with a matching jacket and shoes. It also features dancer Poco Lee whom she gives a shout-out to and who delivers some dance moves in the three-minute long video. The rhythmic anthem bristles with the Gen Z trailblazer’s signature confident lyrics that reflect Starr’s laser-sharp focus on forging her path amidst uncertainty.

17. Pheelz ft. Davido – Electricity

The video of Pheelz’s “Electricity” is a colourful and eye-pleasing work of art. With sonic assistance from Davido who delivers a moving verse that widened the ethos of the song, director TG Omori captures the lyrics in the visuals. Pretty women as well as light collide to form an appealing video as Pheelz and Davido deliver new dance steps which have so far failed to gain wide popularity.

16. Camidoh ft Mayorkun, King Promise & Darkoo – Sugarcane Remix

Ghanaian singer and songwriter, Camidoh, unites with Nigerian singer, Mayorkun, UK-based rapper, Darkoo, and Hiplife exponent, King Promise, for the video of the remix of the hit song, “Sugarcane.” Just over 4 minutes long, the  video boasts of several well-shot frames, pretty women and aesthetically-pleasing colours, providing the perfect drop for each of the featured artists to make their appearances on screen. As the video winds to a close, viewers are treated to some last minute dance moves, a beautiful, serene waterside view and Camidoh’s satisfied and contagious smile right at the end.

15. Macky2 ft Fjay – Olijaba “Intro”

Macky2’s latest body of work, Olijaba, preaches uniqueness in the face of sell out. On the opening track, “Intro,” Macky2 wears the traditional Zambian ooutfit with some body painting to preach more about the message. Through the video, Macky2 shows the colourful state of Zambian culture, teaches the listeners the power of self awareness, and at the same time shows why he ticks the “legend” box in the Zambian music industry.

14. Slmkrez – Different ft. Kpemeshi 

“Groovy,” “eccentric,” and, perhaps, “monotonous” are the best words that describe Slmkrez’s “Different” which features talented singer and songwriter, Kpemeshi. The video takes it to another level with colourful and pretty costumes.

13. Bella Shmurda, Omah Lay – Philo

Steeped in melodic lyrics and street pop baseline, “Philo” sees Bella Shmurda and Omah Lay professing love to a girl. While the mid-tempo bounces instantly hook the listeners, the visual takes it to another level as it broadens the song. It shows Bella Shmurda’s edgy fashion sense and the bromance between he and Omah Lay.

12. Tiwa Savage ft. Asake – Loaded

Tiwa Savage and Asake displayed a high level of urban fashion amidst colourful shots in the TG Omori-directed music video. It remains one of Tiwa Savage’s 2022 highlights. For the first time also, she addresses in her music her infamous sex tape.

The video and audio of “Loaded” were released simultaneously on midnight of Tuesday, November 8, 2022. The video surpassed 1.2 million views and gained over 60,000 likes on the first day of its release and debuted at number 1 on YouTube’s Trending music charts. It currently has more than ten million views on YouTube.

11. Burna Boy – It’s Plenty

Burna Boy’s instant street anthem, “It’s Plenty,” got a visual treatment courtesy of director Troy Roscoe.  Burna Boy’s positivity and energy oozes out from the video as he leads the party on. The lively, carefree music video encapsulates why the global music star is self-styled as the African Giant.

Clips from Burna Boy’s world tour as well as his celebration at the Notting Hill Carnival in the United Kingdom are featured. It also includes visuals of a smiling Burna Boy at a barbershop, enthusiastically handing ice cream to fans.

10. Wizkid – Bad to Me

For Wizkid’s first single of the year, he collaborated with P2J and Sammy Soso to deliver “Bad to Me,” an Amapiano-inspired tune. The visual experience is a representation of Wizkid’s current mindset. The video captures Wizkid having fun on a TV show where the showrunner is his secret lover. In this video, Wizkid wields his star power and depicts himself as a fashionista, lover and preacher of the “soft life.”

9. Crayon – Ijo Labalaba

In the music video for Crayon’s “Ijo Labalaba,” the Mavin Records-signed artist takes the role of a rebellious student who appears to be the popular kid. The video features a group of high schoolers who display their dance steps while being their free and liberated selves. Crayon appears to be in his finest form and the clean pictures make it all the more exciting to watch.

8. Black Sherif – 45

This year, Mohammed Ismail Sharrif popularly known as Black Sherif, worked his way into global ears and eyes, attaining a higher level of visibility with the Joker Nharnah-produced track “Kwaku the Traveller.” After his big break, Black Sherif has gone on to release his debut album The Villain I Never Was, a 14-track project that provides a safe haven for sad boys. For the visuals of the standout songs, “45,” Black Sherif collaborated with TG Omori, and together they tell the story of a fugitive.

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The video depicts Black Sherif reminiscing on the events that led to his arrest. TG Omori utilises his familiar style of transitioning seamlessly. By the end of the video, it is as if we are watching a replica of Kwame Kwei-Armah’s “Breaking,” a story about a Marine Corps veteran who robs a bank and threatens to blow up the bank if his demands aren’t met. One of the similarities between “Breaking” and “45” is the bank scene where both characters don’t rob the bank but use it as an avenue to be heard and seen. The scene where Black Sherif is surrounded by police officers wraps up the video and leaves the audience anticipating for a follow-up.

7. Asake – Terminator

This year, Asake and TG Omori have continuously merged their individual creativity to deliver stunning music videos that have created a persona around Asake, and shown Omori’s skills as a top notch cinematographer. In August 2022, clips from the music video for “Terminator,” one of the songs off Asake’s debut album, Mr Money with the Vibe, began to spread like wildfire on social media, putting the spotlight on Asake and TG Omori once again.

The video is a cool, slick production that shows Asake in a fighting ring. We follow the transition from a fighting ring to the scene where Asake sings to his love interest. Some of the best things about this video was the styling and easy transitioning. Overall, “Terminator” is an impressive video helmed by one of Nigeria’s talented directors.

6. Rema – Calm Down

On his debut album, Raves and Roses, Rema showcases his brilliance and affirms his artistry through a well-curated project. One of the endearing standouts on the album is one of the pre-album singles, “Calm Down,” an infectious tune that sees the artist wooing his love interest. Heightening the song’s dominance, Rema enlists Director K for a stunning music video depicting Rema attempting to woo a lady.

It shows the singer hosting a party and riding through the streets of Lagos with his love interest. The Director K-directed music video matches the song’s lyrics with apt symbolism. The video documents how two people find each other and fit into each other’s worlds perfectly. The quality of the set design, costume design and the way the cameras focus on Rema and his lover keeps the audience engaged and takes them on an enjoyable ride.

5. Blaqbonez – Back in Uni

Chocolate City’s signee, Blaqbonez, joined forces with one of Ghana’s top producers, JAE5, for “Back In Uni,” a catchy tune that reveals Blaqbonez’s romantic escapades in the university. However, the real interest of many lies in the impressive music video, directed by Blaqbonez and creative/video director, Perliks.

Through humorous representation, Blaqbonez addresses the bad blood between Ruger and BNXN, recreates Wizkid’s “Bad to Me” cover art, cosplays Oxlade’s “Ku Lo Sa” performance, amongst other replications. He also impersonates Portable, Carter Efe, and Ayra Starr. The ease with which the cameras move from each personality is impressive, and gives the viewers the chance to unravel all the characters in the music video. “Back in Uni” visuals put Blaqbonez and Perliks’ creativity in our faces.

4. Fireboy DML – Bandana

TG Omori exposes an undeniable bromance that exists between label mates, Fireboy and Asake, in these spectacular visuals. Fireboy is seen in a different light in this video as he unveils a more intense side to him. The “Playboy” crooner teams up with the theatrical Afrobeats sensation, Asake, to take on a rival gang. Omori dazzles with his camera once again, providing viewers with some top-notch shots and some eye-catching scenes in this fine high-voltage thriller.

3. Kizz Daniel – Buga

The much-anticipated visuals for “Buga” came through, and again, TG Omori displayed dexterity at the highest level. Cast in festive/carnival settings, with a cameo from ace Nigerian comedian, Mr. Sabinus, TG Omori employs costuming and colours across diverse gradient scales to produce a masterful video. Represented by flags from various countries, the diversity of this video is stellar, albeit not neglecting core Nigerian themes. It is this mix that makes “Buga”’s visuals the ultimate Nigerian Pop emblem. The costuming of the artistes, Kizz Daniel and Tekno also largely compliments the video’s theme. TG Omori brings conceptual brilliance to one of Nigeria’s biggest Pop songs of 2022.

2. Asake – Organize

TG Omori came with incredible cinematography on this one. The picture quality, set, props and costuming is nothing short of what normally obtains in a TG clip. Asake relays that the ‘crowd’ effect is not limited to sonics alone, but uses them unsparingly in these visuals. Getting scores of bald men with tribal marks, well costumed to relay his message, and with the manner he did, showed creative genius on display.

The forest scene was another show of aesthetic brilliance with the costuming tailored perfectly to fit the scene. “Organise” is, frankly, one of the most aesthetically-pleasing visual representations of a hit song in recent times.

1. Omah Lay – Soso

Music video Director, Top Shotta, evokes a very dark spiritual and emotional awakening in the mind of the viewer, by revealing the mythical deity known as Soso. “Soso” is the imaginary being who Omah Lay repeatedly calls upon in this song, to help unburden him and help take his pain away. These daring visuals perfectly illustrate the two sides of the singer’s struggles. First parts are the three female models/dancers covered in pitch-black paint who, presumably, represent Lay’s demons and personal battles. They are seen continuously rubbing paint all over Lay. The other part is the Soso masquerade to whom Lay runs in his time of despair.  A stupendously creative experiment carried out by everyone involved, the concept therein is well executed.

 

 

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