Wednesday 20 July 2011


Afrikan Boy, who got his first big break featuring on the MIA song 'Hussel', has received another leg-up into the mainstream with his next guest spot on new DJ Shadow song, 'I'm Excited'. Released digitally 31st July, the single comes ahead of the producer's newest album The Less You Know, the Better, set for release on 2nd September.

But far from being handed opportunities by artists bigger and more well known than him, the other side of the story perhaps isn't addressed. Could it be the case that DJ Shadow is just using Afrikan Boy (real name Olushola Ajose) to his advantage? Either way, the star of the track is clear - with his vocal stylings, the Woolwich-based Nigerian lends to the track his distinctive grime dish (themes of immigration resurfacing in lyrics like "I am an alien living in the ghetto"), served with Afrobeat flavours and urban swagger.

'I'm Excited'

Though I'm being unfair to DJ Shadow. He's definitely made an impact with this song. The variety of sounds within just the bare bones of the beat is a jumble of metals, beefed-up bongos, and woodblocks that cascade around Afrikan Boy's flow like sparks around a fire. The song is so strong in fact that it can rely wholly on its insane drum beat alone to get us from 0 to 2:50 without realising it's happened. More Afrobeat than grime, more dancehall than dance, 'I'm Excited' is a mix of styles that feels more dirty DIY than it probably is.

More than anything else, however, DJ Shadow - though pulling punches throughout the song - has managed to not divert attention away from Afrikan Boy whatsoever, it being a perfect collaboration and not just a 'feat' appearance from the 22-year-old rapper. With this in mind, could we ever expect a DJ Shadow-produced Afrikan Boy album? Probably not, but at least we have a little taster, a little answer to the 'what-if'. Who's next then?

DJ Shadow on Myspace
Afrikan Boy on Myspace!
• Here's the Afrikan Boy official site
• And you should probably follow him on Twitter

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