jesus dj

instagram

If this ain’t me in the car when my song comes on

Eyes Closed (M)

G-Dragon: Angst/Small amount of fluff/Eventual smut

PART 2-A: The One About The Night Before

A/N: Crap sorry it’s so late you guys, I was trying to edit as fast as I could I swear! But if there are typos my bad lmao Anyway I feel like this one is a bit short but I hope you enjoy nonetheless! 

P.S. Part 2-B should be out some time tomorrow.

(Part One)||(Part Two-B)

Originally posted by s-tttop


       I woke up with a jolt and a cold sweat, feeling like the entire room was still spinning; physically feeling like I got hit by an eighteen wheeler. I brushed some of the mess of hair from my face and through half lidded eyes I tried to look around the room to make sure I didn’t end up in some stranger’s place; thankfully for my dignity I wasn’t but unfortunately for my ego, I wasn’t.

      “Ugh what time is it?” I groaned reaching for my phone on the nightstand. Fumbling around the nightstand the only thing my hand was met with was the touch activated lamp that blinded me with a bombardment of light. “Argh no!” I threw my arm across my face. I frantically hurried to shut off the lamp that felt like it was emitting the rays from the sun. Only managing to open one eye I looked around for my phone and discovered it was strewn on the floor with a mess of clothes and shoes. I groaned again not wanting to leave the comfort of the bed, I outstretched my hand nearly falling off the bed and quickly nabbed my phone and hauling myself back into my previous position under the covers. Pressing the home button to my phone I again was greeted with a flash bomb of light and covered my face with my hand; slapping myself in the process. Still adjusting to the light I peeked through my fingers desperately looking to find the time. ‘2:00 p.m. fuck’ With my phone unlocked I went wide eyed, ‘Shit, shit, shiiiit’ I thought; I had 17 missed calls and 10 voicemails from Saige. Looking for some kind of answer I scrolled through her text messages that only seemed to get more and more aggressive the further I scrolled along.

      ‘Alex where the hell did you go?’ <received 1:44 am>

      ‘Itsf o k im with djsaho’ <sent 1:52 am>

      ‘Ok bitch you are waaaaaaay too fucked up, where are you?’ <received 1:52 am>

      ‘Urd th e bitc yo bcht’ <sent 1:55 am>

      ‘I’m being serious Alex, if the paparazzi or some douche bag from the internet get a picture of you like this we are royally screwed’ <received 1:55 am>

      ‘Dnt wrry Gbe okie’ <sent 1:56 am>

      ‘Dont do this to me McMahon, WHERE ARE YOU????’ <received 1:56 am>

      ‘Byiii cee yu ntx wek’ <sent 1:57 am>

      ‘Wtf do you mean see you next week???’ <received 1:57 am>

      ‘Alex?’ <received 1:59 am>

      ‘HELLO?!’ <received 2:01 am>

      ‘ANSWER YOUR PHONE I KNOW YOU KEEP DECLINING THE CALL’ <received 2:05 am>

      ‘I swear to God when I see you I am going to kick your ass’ <received 2:06 am>

      ‘AND WHO TF IS DJ SAHO?! YOU SAID YOU WERE DONE WITH DATING DJS’ <received 2:06 am>

      ‘Oh my God Alexandra PLEASE JUST ANSWER YOUR PHONE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE’ <received 2:10 am>

      ‘Ok somebody told me you went home with someone, for your sake I hope it was Jesus and not that DJ Saho or whatever’ <received 2:15 am>

      ‘Open the door! You know I can hear you and DJ what’s his face laughing!’ <received 2:30 am>

      ‘I don’t care that we are staying at the Palace Hotel Alexandra. I WILL break down this door if you don’t open up!’ <received 2:32 am>

      ‘OPEN THE DOOR’ <received 2:33 am>

      ‘No oo itd coolr ift yo u berki t don’ <sent 2:33 am>

      ‘I SWEAR TO GOD’ <received 2:34 am>

      ‘Fine see if I care when you end up on the cover of some Korean tabloid and Ji-Yong finds out you’re here’ <received 2:36>

      ‘wh att’ <sent 2:36>

      ‘Good night Alex :)))’ <received 2:37>

      Re-reading the last exchanges between us my heart felt like it started beating so fast that it was bound to burst right out of my chest any second. ‘Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuuuuuuuuuuck. How could I have been so stupid?!’  I thought to myself. Normally I’d say I don’t care but that is far from where I am mentally. Suddenly I was brought out of my thoughts by a loud knocking on my door. Still paranoid with the thought of J-him seeing me I climbed out of bed and approached the door carefully. The closer I got to the door the more anxious I became; that mixed with the killer hangover that hit me like a ton of bricks was quite possibly the worst combination of things that could happen at a time like this. The knocking started to feel like the noise was pounding against my skull, wanting to rid myself of this monstrous beating on my brain I opened the door without hesitation. Only to be met with the last person I would ever think would show up at my door.

      “Alex?” he raised an eyebrow.

      “Tim?” I reciprocated.

      “Jesus H–no offence but Saige wasn’t kidding when she said you might look like you crawled out of Hell this morning”

      I clenched my jaw “Just come in before anyone else has to endure my ugly” I slammed the door shut behind him causing myself to wince at what sounded like an explosion went off in my brain.

      Trailing behind him I watched him maneuver his way over the mess that was all over the floor; just clothes and shoes in different piles scattered in every square inch of the room.

      “Jeez, you didn’t want to clean up first?” he said finally making it to the bed.

      Too exhausted to argue I rolled my eyes and plopped back on the bed beside him.

      “Man, guess you had a good night last night?” he smiled leaning back on his elbows.

      “Ugh, if this is what this hangover from Hell is indicating…I wish I hadn’t” I covered my eyes with my arm “When did you get in by the way? I thought you were going to be in Japan until tomorrow? And not that I don’t love you but why are you here in the first place?”

      He chuckled “To answer your questions: I got in about three hours ago, I had a change of plans aaand Saige sent me on a recon mission”

      “Why?”

      “She said and I quote ‘Dear God Tim would deal with her because I can’t take her after last night’ end quote” He chuckled again “Also seeing as two of my best friends just got here the night before and one of them was already causing trouble I decided that spending time with that girl in Japan was not really worth it…”

      I uncovered my eyes with a gasp “Oh my God, you are such a jerk–”

      “Relax” he put up his hand “whatever we had between us wasn’t really going anywhere anyway. I think she really just wanted to be with me so she could say she was with me. Seeing as who I hang out with nowadays, it’s getting harder and harder to figure out who wants to hang out with me for me and not for ‘Tim Drake, the DJ who so happens to be signed to Seungri’s music label so that must mean he is friends with BigBang’. I mean they’re not wrong, I am friends with them but still it the principle of the thing” he rolled his eyes.

      Merely looking at his face I could tell he was genuinely hurt, he was one of the nicest and most sincere people I have ever met and just knowing that my selfish wish somewhat came true made my heart hurt.

      “I mean I guess that’s what you get for being such a hot shot DJ with an attractive everything to match” I said trying to make light of the situation.

      “Shut up” he laughed “By the way, are you just gonna chill in your underwear the entire time or are you gonna put on a robe?”

      I looked down at my bra “Tim it’s not like it’s the first time you’ve seen me in my underwear. I think we are past that point in our friendship”

      “I mean I don’t have a problem, I just don’t want you to think I’m being a perv” he said sincerely.

      “I would never” I jokingly gasped and placed a hand on his shoulder “Anyway, tell me about your new life here: How do you like it? How’s it been? Besides that girl, how is your love life here? You know all that good stuff” I rolled over on my side to face him.

      “Its been..good?”

      “That doesn’t sound too convincing Timmoth” I squinted my eyes at him.

      He let out a small laugh “No I’m serious! Everything’s been great so far, minus the whole ‘love life’ thing” he air quoted.

      “So does that mean you and Chaerin still haven’t talked?” I rested my head on my arm.

      “Yes, that means I still haven’t talked to Chaerin. Honestly I don’t think that’ll ever happen. I mean I invited her to my party so the only thing I can do now is wait and see if she decides to show up. But I’m not going to be completely heartbroken if she doesn’t, at this point I’m used to getting the short end of the stick with her” he sighed.

      “She’ll show I’m sure of it, if there is one thing that sticks with you after breaking up with your boyfriend no matter how long ago it was you always remember those tiny details about them. She, I’m sure, is no different”

      “Don’t even get my hopes up” he playfully pushed my shoulder “Alright enough about my lackluster love life, what about you huh? I’ve only heard about your rendezvous through what people tag me in on twitter”

      I rolled on to my back again staring up at the ceiling “Ugh. I’ll just say it’s slim pickins in LA. I seriously feel like I’ve about dated everyone in Hollywood at this point. I’m just so bored with everyone there, Saige suggested we move to Manhattan for a while to get a change of scenery and…men”

      He let out another small laugh “Orrr

      “Or what?” I turned my head to face him.

      “Or you could come move here and not only would have a complete change of scenery but you’d get to be with me and also an entire new buffet of men to choose from” he wiggled his eyebrows “Ya know” he cleared his throat “I happen to know one or two, single, billionaire musical geniuses that–”

      “Ha-ha very funny” I interjected “don’t even go there Tim”

      “Oh come on Alex!” he put a hand on my shoulder “You’re gonna see him this weekend anyway, why prolong the inevitable?!”

      I brushed his hand off my shoulder.

      “Okay, okay I take it you’re still mad at me about me not telling you that he was coming until you were on your flight over here, but what was I supposed to do? If i had told you earlier you would have either A) not come at all or B) run out of the airport and go AWOL again!” he scrunched up his eyebrows.

      I took and deep breath and looked away from him.

      “And I couldn’t just not invite him when all of the other guys were going to be there, that would have looked super shady on my part. Besides I know you two have your issues, that you still refuse to tell anyone why you guys broke up about in the first place, but he’s also a homie”

      I turned back to glare at him “Okay well then why don’t you marry him then if he such a good homie?”

      “Very mature” he stuck out his tongue “look you and I both know I love you more than anyone in the entire universe, but you also gotta understand he and I are still cool. He’s also one of the biggest musical influences here and I’d really rather not get on his shit list”

      “Are you just doing this because you want me to talk to him?” I raised an eyebrow “What about girl code? If I hate someone you hate them right back, you don’t just hang out with them like it’s nothing and twiddle your thumbs up each other’s asses!”

      “First off, ouch how dare you say I broke girl code ” he pretended to act hurt “And secondly, I didn’t just do this because I wanted you two to talk…well actually that’s partially it…but that’s not the point! What matters is that we all enjoy ourselves this weekend and celebrate not only my day of birth but also my first album finally dropping; all while making sure it is completely drama free for everyone involved” he smiled.

      I crossed my arms and let out a big sigh.

      “Besides, I think after last night you don’t need anymore drama to be broadcasted out for the world to see”

      I sat up quickly “W-what do you mean?”

      “Oh, you haven’t seen?” he sat up with a concerned look on his face “Well ummm…here let me show you”

      ‘Oh God, Saige was right why didn’t my drunk ass just listen to her?!’ I thought to myself. ‘Oh man she really is gonna kick my ass when she sees me…’

      Tim, taking out his phone pulled up some news article that held embarrassing pictures of my drunk self with some guy. Thankfully most all of them were grainy and the pictures were kind of dark, all except for one.

      “What.the.f–” I let out a blood curdling scream.


      “Hyung, don’t get me wrong I just don’t think this is a good idea” Seungri tried for the thousandth time to pull Young-Bae back by his arm.
      “I already told you, we at least have to make sure he’s alive” Young-Bae said undeterred by the maknae’s actions “What are you so afraid of?”
      “And I already told you, if Ji-Yong Hyung is even possible of being conscious he is going to be pissed that we woke him up just to see if he’s still living and have us maimed!” the younger man pulled on his Hyung’s shoulder.

      The older man simply smiled “Not me”

      “Oh must be nice being the golden star best friend! In case you haven’t noticed, Ji-Yong Hyung loves to show me gestures of his affection by inflicting nothing but pain on me and therefore gaining some kind of sick pleasure from hurting me!”

      The older man stopped in his tracks causing the maknae to slightly bump into him “Seungri we’ve all been friends for longer than ten years, don’t you think if he actually wanted you dead he would have done it by now?” he smiled and continued walking.

      Seungri stuck in the spot that he stood thought before he spoke “You know that’s not actually very reassuring!” he called after his Hyung.

      Young-Bae now at the end of the hallway shot Seungri another smile but this one evoking an eye smile along with it. The maknae picked up his pace and swifty jogged to the older man’s position. Both now staring down the door to Ji-Yong’s condo they both were thinking about the repercussions of actually waking the dragon. Young-Bae not wanting to take the first blow pushed the younger man in front of him.

      “Well go ahead, knock on the door” he gestured with his hand.

      Seungri dramatically pointed to himself “Me? You want me to knock on the door?”

      The older man nodded.

      “Hyung were you not listening to anything I was saying back there?” he stared at Young-bae incredulously “Wow. you all must really want me out of BigBang, well it was nice knowing you”

      “Yah” the older man smacked him behind the head “Don’t be so melodramatic and knock on the door would you? And besides we can’t afford to lose you. You’re too important”

      The younger man rubbed the back of his head “Wah. do you mean that Hyung?”

      “Yea if we lose you then who else are we going to pick on? Dae-Sung? Not on your life” he said with a smug smile on his face.

      The maknae looked to the heavens and closed his eyes, cursing at his Hyungs in his head; the only place he was safe to do so.

      “Yah!” another smack to the back of the head “Quit being a dick in your thoughts and knock on the damn door!”

      Seungri went wide eyed; guess he wasn’t so safe in his own mind after all. He shakily raised his fist in the air toward the ever menacing black door. What laid beyond that threshold could either be a nice Ji-Yong welcoming them into his home or the actual Ji-Yong who was going to rip Seungri a new one for waking him. The maknae took a deep breath before he gave three small knocks.

      “Hyung?” he whispered.

      Young-Bae side eyed him “What human being in your right mind is going to be able to hear that?” The older man grabbed a hold of the maknae’s fist and raised it to pound on the door.

      “No, Hyung wait!”

      With not even a full knock, the door swung wide open. As if it were some cartoon, the two stuck both their heads over the threshold and looked inside.

      “Hello?” they said in unison.

      The two stood up straight and began to walk over the threshold at the same time only to get halted by squashing into each other. The older man glared at the maknae and shoved his shoulder to get by. Seungri merely rubbed his shoulder and closed the door behind him. Looking around the living room gave no impression of anyone actually living there, everything was perfectly in its place making it look like it was some kind of eerie museum.
      “Ji-Yong-ah?” Young-Bae called out peeking into every doorway.
      Seungri having already accepted his fate decided to go rifle around his Hyung’s things in his living room; picking up a sculpture here, touching a nicknack there, leaving fingerprints on his vinyl records…whoops, breaking off a piece of said sculpture.
      “Yah” Young-Bae called out to him.
      The maknae quickly put down the abstract sculpture and shoved the broken piece behind some books on the bookshelf. He looked to his Hyung who was whispering ‘he’s in there’ and pointing to the door that was left ajar.
Again as if the two were in some Scooby-Doo cartoon, they carefully tiptoed into the sleeping man’s room. There sprawled out all over the bed, with half of the sheets and comforter dangling off the bed, was the sleeping form of their best friend. With his mouth parted and a slight trail of drool coming out of his mouth Ji-Yong let out a loud snore that startled the maknae causing him to step back onto a squeaky cat toy; Young-Bae slapped him on his shoulder.
      “Yah! Are you trying to to get us killed?!” he whispered loudly.
      “I thought you said you had nothing to worry about!” Seungri loudly whispered back.
      “I don’t! I’m just worried about you” the two of them continued their whisper argument only to be startled again.
      “Yah! If you two are done pretending like I can’t hear you, you can both kindly get the fuck out” Ji-Yong lifted his head up sleepily.
      “Sorry” the other two said in unison.
      “What do you even want at this hour?” he said plopping his head back into his sea of pillows and tangled bed sheets.
      “It’s three in the afternoon” they said again in unison.
      Ji-Yong dazedly lifted his head again looking toward his window “No it’s not there’s no sun”
      Walking to the window Young-Bae pulled the curtains back “that’s because you live like a vampire and have black out curtains “
      “Yah!” Ji-Yong struggled to bury himself under his sheets “What are you trying to kill me?!”
      “Ok enough” the dreaded man walked to his bedside “we dealt with your drunk ass last night, it’s all been fun and games but now it’s time to wake the fuck up” he pulled him by the only foot that was sticking out of the covers.
      Ji-Yong clawing at his bed like a cat protested.
      “Come on man just get up!”
      “Do we have a photoshoot?” he asked in a muffled voice with his face firmly planted onto the mattress.
      “No?”
      “Music video shoot?”
      “No?”
      “An interview?”

      “No?”

      “A record to write?”

      “No, Ji-Yong why–”
      “Then I have no good reason be even be conscious” he said taking his foot back “
      “Seriously man come on, Seungri and I–”
      “Seungri?” Ji-Yong quickly lifted his head and snapped it in in their direction.
      “Yea Seungri, who the hell else did you think I was arguing with?”
      “I don’t know Young-Bae, I’ve stopped questioning the voices”
      The other two glanced at each other raising an eyebrow.
      The dazed man rubbed his face with his hand “Ok I’ll bite, why the fuck are you here?”
      “Because you can’t keep living like this! I hardly get to see you when we’re not on tour or doing some kind of press junket or variety show, even then we pretend like everything is all ok when it’s not. All you do is drink yourself stupid, complain while you’re drunk, smoke so much that I swear one of these days you’re going to need an iron lung support or something!  It’s like the Kwon Ji-Yong I grew up with doesn’t even exist anymore!”
      Ji-Yong pursed his lips “Tsk. What are you my girlfriend all of a sudden? Get in line you’re not the only one who noticed. Any other complaints or can I just go back to sleep?”
      The dreaded man let out a heavy sigh “Pfft. yea right we’d all know where that would go real fast…” he said under his breath.
      “What was that?” he threw off the covers hopping off the bed and walking to square up to his best friend.
      Seungri, having been silent the entire time, noticed this was going to take a turn for the worse and intervened before any fists went flying.
      “Ji-Yong Hyung”
      He turned to glare at him.
      “Young-bae Hyung” he held up his hands between the two “Why don’t we just go to the kitchen and get some food and some coffee in you guys huh? We can eat a little, talk a little…not using harsh words…and just get rid of the bad energy from last night”
      The two older men glanced at each other “fine..” they said in unison and headed out toward the kitchen.
      “Hey Hyung” the maknae trailing behind the two spoke up again “Don’t you wanna maybe change out of your clothes from last night?”
      Ji-Yong stopped in his tracks to glare at him.
      “N-nevermind…”
      Along the way Ji-Yong stopped to boot up his laptop that was sitting on the kitchen island then made a b-line for the coffee maker and his pack of cigarettes. Young-Bae simply leaned against the furthest wall and looked down at his feet, still fuming about his little spat with his best friend. Seungri, even in everyday situations, made his way into the kitchen last. He caught a glimpse of his Hyung’s laptop screen and immediately stopped mid-step.
      Ji-Yong raised an eyebrow “what did some porn pop up or something?” he asked lighting his cigarette
      “N-no. just a picture of” he cleared his throat “Kim Tae-Hee popped up” he gave a weak smile.

      The older man gave him a questioning look “Ahh ok?” and turned to ash his cigarette in the ashtray before him. His fingers slightly trembling from the actions of the previous night caused him to accidentally drop his cigarette into the sink.
      “Aish!” he hollered as he threw his now soggy cigarette into the bin and turned away from the other two to light another one.
      The maknae, wide eyed, looked to his other Hyung as a plea for help. Trying to subtly beg the dreaded man with his eyes that he needed him to distract Ji-Yong while he closes out of the webpage on the laptop’s screen; needless to say his actions were lost in translation. Young-Bae not understanding what the younger man was trying to tell him raised an eyebrow and mouthed ‘what?’, Seungri balled his fists in silent frustration and turned the screen toward his oblivious Hyung and emphatically pointed to the news article that blatantly held pictures of ‘DO NOT CALL HER’ in the arms of a man that wasn’t Ji-Yong and at the same exact club they were at the night before no less! Young-Bae went wide eyed and quickly dashed in the direction of the unsuspecting man before he could turn back around; he put his arm around his shoulder. Ji-Yong feeling suspicious about his two friend’s actions wasn’t sure what to think; truthfully he didn’t want to think at all he’d much rather be back in bed ignoring everyone.
      The maknae glanced as his two Hyungs talked it out and as Young-Bae took it upon himself to have a death grip on Ji-Yong’s shoulder forcing him to look out the window as he poetically described the meaning of their friendship to him. Seungri acting quickly turned the laptop back toward him and carefully closed the article but not before looking at all the pictures and reading the headline. ‘Alexandra McMahon Out Partying in Seoul With Mystery Man: Keep reading for pictures below’. Oh shit he was really going to be in trouble now.

youtube

Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod

Afro-Luso 2015 Halftime Report

25 Portuguese-language songs by Africans or people of African descent. I’m not nearly immersed enough in the musical cultures of six different nations to have the temerity to call this any kind of definitive list; it’s just what’s struck me as pretty terrific after a month or so of fairly intensive YouTube trawling. Fully half the tracks are Angolan, because that’s the largest Portuguese-speaking African market, but I like to think I got some diversity in there.

As usual, I’m counting the video release date (by which I mean first upload to YouTube by someone with an ownership stake in the product, whether that’s artist, label, or video production house) as the release date; most of these were first released as audio in 2014 or even earlier, because that’s how the music industry works around the world. I’ll try to provide a little context with each one, although I’m very much a blundering ignoramus in this area.

I was going to embed every video, but Tumblr has a dumb limit on native embeds and I’m too tired for workarounds. So each video is linked on its title. To start the YouTube playlist, click here.


In a very particular order {title translation in brackets}:

1. DJ Jesus ft. Kataleya “Ser Boa”

Kataleya is a Brazilian singer and model who has found success in the Angolan market; in this collaboration with producer DJ Jesus (the fellow in bow tie and dreads), she sends up light-skinned stereotypes by embracing them fully. {Be Good}

2. Ludmilla “Te Ensinei Certin”

The rare Mozambican pop singer who crosses the Atlantic; the Brazilian edition of the single has a local feature, but this sassy teen-pop is the original. {I Taught You Right}

3. Agre G ft. Titica “Na Boca É 1000″

Agre G is the reigning kuduro king of Angola; if he seems young for that position, that’s the point of kuduro. Grown-ups aren’t supposed to like it. {A Thousand for the Mouth}

4. Karol Conka ft. Tropkillaz “Tombei”

Karol Conka is possibly Brazil’s premier female rapper at the moment; Tropkillaz are the (white) producers on this colorful, raucous track. {I Fell}

5. DJ Smuck, Ivan Alekxei & Gari Sinedima “Kamutupu”

Angolan hipsters making deep house (or acid jazz, if there’s a distinction with a difference) soundcloud-wave. {You’re on your own for the meaning of words in non-European languages.)

6. Rita Seidi “Lisboa, Lisboa”

A contestant on the second season of Portual’s The Voice, where her coach was the great Cape Verdean-born jazz singer Sara Tavares, who makes a cameo here playing a cavaquinho. This adorable shuffle was an entry in Portugal’s Festival of Song, which chooses their Eurovision entry. {Lisbon, Lisbon}

7. Nsoki “Vai-Te Embora”

Angolan singer and actress with a sweetly soulful, not to say hippie-ish, style. The video was shot in Lisbon, and its acoustic foundation sounds very Iberian. {Go Away}

8. Lizha James x Afro Madjaha “Xingomana (Remix)”

Afro Madjaha are a Mozambican afrohouse group; they put out the original “Xingomana” (the name of a Mozambican dance style) last year. Lizha James is perhaps the biggest pop star in Mozambique; with her vocals on top it’s such a hell of a groove I’ve decided not to try to figure out if there’s any Portuguese in there at all, or if it’s all in Shangaan. {Yes, that’s cheating, but oh my god there’s SO MUCH of this stuff and it’s all SO GOOD.}

9. Adi Cudz ft. Nelson Freitas “Essa Mboa”

I honestly think it’s a tribute to my iron willpower that it took us this long to get to kizomba, the reigning sexy dance of the global Lusophone community, concomitant with Francophone zouk, and it’s coming to Spanish any day now mark my words. Adi Cudz is Angolan; Nelson Freitas is São Tomean by way of the Netherlands, but operates in the Angolan industry. They’re both very sexy singers, and this is a very sexy song. {That’s Good}

10. Mahmundi “Sentimento”

Still the only time a publicist email has worked on me; Mahmundi is a Brazilian art-pop singer, in the gauzy, woozy vein of Dev Hynes or FKA Twigs, but there’s a specifically Brazilian lushness of melody and reserved emotion in this still pool of a song. {Feeling}

11. Ary “Não Me Faças Desistir”

The foremost Angolan pop singer of the decade, best known for her sembas but there’s not a genre she’s left untouched. This ballad was recorded as part of the double-album various-artists project Team de Sonho {Dream Team} Vol. II, which gathered many of the biggest Angolan stars into one album (or YouTube channel) with sky-high production values. A project that major will show up on this list more than once. {Don’t Make Me Walk Away}

12. Elida Almeida “Joana”

A gentle Cape Verdean singer in the morna tradition of Césaria Évora. The Joana of the title is an pregnant teenager Elida is giving wise counsel to. {Joanna, I guess, if you need your hand held that much}

13. Yola Semedo “Você Me Abana”

The great semba singer who immediately proceeded Ary shows that she’s still got it in this very fun knees-up. I’m not culturally competent to get all the jokes in the video, but I did catch the Titica cameo. {You Shake Me}

14. Twenty Fingers “Assuma”

A Mozambican R&B singer, which often means he’s providing hooks for the lively hip-hop scene, but here he gets his own kizomba, and there’s enough delight in the production details that his relative non-sexiness isn’t much of an issue. {Assume}

15. Titica “Você Manda Fogo”

If this were a ranked list, this song would be at #1, the best Portuguese-language song of the year, and in my top three of any language. Titica is a famous Angolan singer, rapper, and dancer; she’s also unabashedly trans in what is still a pretty homophobic society; her native genre, as it were, is kuduro, but this kizomba, which may slam too hard and be nagged by too many disparate percussive elements to truly be considered a kizomba, marks the moment when her wide variety of experimentation over the past five years has synthesized into a single, deliriously sexy, whole. She uses her barking chest voice, her keening head voice, and most devastatingly, her gasping throat voice to magnificent effect. {You Send Fire}

16. MV Bill ft. Ramonzin & Nina Black “Raiz”

A legendary Brazilian rapper – if such comparisons can ever mean anything, he’s Brazil’s Jay-Z in terms of longevity, diversification, and reinvesting in the community – returns with a boom-bapping black-pride anthem, with a young hip-hop hotshot and a classic soul singer along for the ride. {Root}

17. Dji Tafinha “Cara de Pitbull”

(You pronounce his first name “Gee.”) Angolan rapper and singer, namechecking US pop figures with the sort of cockiness that suggests he intends to be among them. On the strength of this high-powered trifle, he deserves to. {Pitbull Face}

18. Lil Star “Eu ou Ela”

A former member of Portuguese girl group TLX (Thanya and Xineza are still at it; judge for yourself how they’re doing), singing a kizomba with more maturity than her age would imply. {Me or Her}

19. Big Nelo ft. J-Lourenzo “A Lenda Nunca Morre”

Big Nelo is a veteran Angolan rapper, having been at it since the early 90s, and J-Lourenzo is a honey-voiced R&B singer of at least a decade’s experience; together they made a song any old-school head can love, as part of the Team de Sonho {Dream Team} project. {The Legend Never Dies}

20. Crack & Da Page “Põe Te a Pau”

Crack is a long-serving Mozambican rapper; Da Page is a long-serving Mozambican hip-hop producer. I’m definitely showing my age with my hip-hop choices. I like them so much I don’t care. {Fetch Me a Switch}

21. Maya Zuda ft. Bebucho Q Kuia “Dois a Dois”

Maya Zuda is a fantastic afrohouse diva from Angola; Bebucho is a pretty good Angolan rapper; “Dois a Dois” is a worthy follow-up to her “Kwankwaram” and his “Tamu a Vi,” both from last year. {Two by Two}

22. Tati Quebra-Barraco “Se Liberta”

The legendary queen of funk carioca is still at it; surveying a genre overrun by opportunistic trashy white kids, she’s more soulful and political than ever. {Free Yourself}

23. Landrick “Pão com Chá”

Up-and-coming Angolan R&B superstar with a creamy voice sings a tarraxhina (basically kizomba, but more complicated); the lyrics video is even creamier. {Bread with Tea}

24. Lippe Monteiro “Ku Xintidu Na Bó”

Up-and-coming Cape Verdean R&B singer does magnificent afrohouse. {In Cape Verde, dance music is generally sung in kriolu, a Portuguese Creole; after some brief research, I’m hazarding a translation along the lines of Such Feelings for You.}

25. DJ Callas ft. Zoca Zoca, Yola Araújo & Eva Rapdiva “Hey Hey (SBF)”

We close with the magnificent centerpiece of the Team de Sonho project, with rappers Zoca Zoca and Eva Rapdiva, singer Yola Araújo, and producer DJ Callas (all Angolan) going hard and the heavenly choirs backing them up. Maybe it’s afrohouse, maybe it’s kuduro, maybe it’s just straight-up rap; either way it’s awesome, and the only possible way to end. {Hey Hey (I don’t know what SBF stands for)}


Remember, this is only a half-year’s worth of music. As usual, the back half of the year is where the action really is. I’m really excited for what’s around the corner. I didn’t, for example, include anything from São Tomé & Príncipe or Guinea-Bissau; smaller countries always get shorter shrift. And there’s inevitably a lot I left out; this list was whittled down from around 300 “possibles.” Naturally, given the fact that I’m a middle-class white guy in the middle of the USA, I leant towards music (and video production!) that conforms to Western norms; and I left off nearly all of the very most popular music (as counted by YouTube plays), because my appetite for romantic ballads is well below that of the general Anglophone population, and the Anglophone appetite for romantic ballads is well below that of the Lusophone.

Okay, I could go on and on here. Thanks for listening and reading, or even just one of the two.

Don’t worry I won’t be long,
eventually I’ll return to the time
when love felt normal, when love felt right
don’t you dare cry, it’s just the weather
rain always made me feel safe, calm almost
open windows breezing through my soul
pick those flowers and dry those eyes–

save my life with your most delicate smile

—  poetically yours,
forever and ever