Nneka is set to be Nigeria’s next breakout international star, and while her laidback soul/reggae style is more akin to the conscious lyricism of Me’Shell Ndegeocello, prime-era Lauryn Hill or The Roots than the usual bass-heavy fare featured on this blog, her material is certainly dancefloor-ready – just check the drum ‘n’ bass suspense and menace underpinning “Heartbeat” – a track that was also re-rubbed to growling effect by dubsteppers Chase & Status (embedded below).
Earlier this year, Nneka made her first assault on the US market after releasing two great European long-players on Yo Mama’s and winning a MOBO Award. The album, Concrete Jungle, was accompanied by a fantastic mixtape put together with the aid of respected hip-hop practitioner J. Period. Nneka’s originals are collaged with vocal and beat contributions from M-1 (Dead Prez), Jay Electronica, Zumbi (Zion I), Rakaa (Dilated Peoples), Aceyalone (Freestyle Fellowship), General Steele (Boot Camp Clik) and Talib Kweli – plus there are three bonus tracks that feature legends Lauryn Hill, Nas and 2Pac.