Aaron “Lil Afrika” Yusef was born in Africa but was raised in Los Angeles California. Now Lil Afrika resides under the bright lights of Las Vegas where he feels right at home. This combination allowed him to see both worlds and put those perspectives into his music. His energy and passion mixes the sounds of Hip Hop, Pop and R&B with Reggae and subtle Dancehall flavors. Lil Afrika, who has opened for artists like Lloyd Banks, Freeway and Beanie Man, recently dropped his 17 track album, entitled “Love Life”. Technology and instant gratification now rule the day. The focus on human rights and politics have been replaced by myopia and materialistic lyrics — spiritual bling. With these human elements and the heartbeat of the music gone, much of what’s left behind is lifeless, soulless and no longer recognizable as the pulse and consciousness of the Reggae music that once conquered the world.
To bring the genre back to its right place, Lil Afrika blends it with a multitude of popular styles making sure that lovers of other genres get to hear the groove of Reggae. Because at the end of the day it is always all about the riddim.
That fat bottom end, supplied by a top-end rhythm section runs rife on this album, but in a totally different way. Strong, simple and melodic, the deep, rock-solid bass and drums are undeniably the foundation of the music, as Lil Afrika drops a stream of consciousness over the soundscapes. He puts his warm and lyrical vocal stamp on each song, marking them with nostalgia, gravity, humor, love, and odes to life and women.
From the first song “Feels so Right” (ft. Quiten Smith) sublimates a sweet melody that thanks the feminine gender. This optimistic song driven by an EDM beat, is one of highlights of the album. “Ladies Night” is the kind of track that really belongs both in the pop-charts and on the dancefloor with its driving beat and fleshed-out production.
The majority of the tracks on this album certainly convince as they guarantee a number of surefire underground hits. Up-tempo melodic crossover tracks like “She Knows How To Move (ft. Young Suavé), “On My Mind”, and “S.E.X.” can hardly be ignored by any radio or club.
While slower tracks like “Give Love a Try”, “Slow Dance” and “Love You Right” showcase Lil Afrika’s smooth croon, making just as much of an impression as the groove-filled dance tunes do. This album trods an almost faultless path, resulting in a solid debut that will hold your interest from start to finish.
It is a convincing demonstration of the artist’s writing and performing skills. If you want something to keep you dancing, keep you awake on a road trip, help working out, cleaning the house, this is the one.
Many of the songs on this album are a blend of diverse urban genres all wrapped up in reggae, as synth beats underlie the melodies, giving the tunes an extra edge and that dance vibe. “Love Life” is Lil Afrika’s chance to take it to the next level. Which he promptly does on the fun tracks “Live It Up”, “Wind & Turn Up” and “Good Luvin”. It’s just so hard to resist getting up and dancing to any of these tracks.
Lil Afrika is a very talented and authentic artist who sings and raps, which is one of the things I admire about him. He’s not pretending to be something he’s not, like so many artists today try to do. He brings a unique sound that you’ll just love. With this album Lil Afrika delivers tight bars and melodic choruses, while keeping every song locked in with that original reggae groove.