UK Tings: Done’o

by Winston "Stone" Ford


Done’o – Party Hard

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

It’s become more and more clear that Africa has got “next.” From the new M.I.A. tipped single to, to the worldwide attention of DJ Underdogs Africa Plays On Mixtape, to second and third generation African rappers dominating the Class of 2009, the continent is long overdue for more exposure. An on top of that, African beats, which form the basis for a majority of modern music, seem ready to be hit the mainstream just like reggae and even bangra have done recently.

Enter the UK’s Doneo. Fresh off of his MOBO nomination (aka Music of Black Origin), the London artist combines African rhytyms with more contemporary house, and hip-hop styles. His lead single “Party Hard,” plays off of a subtle African riddim. The simplicity of the beat reminds me of other “more with less” tracks like Clipse’s “Grindin’,” and while not a club banger in most sense of the word, it’s something that would get the bodies moving.

Done’o – African Warrior

My favorite track of his is African Warrior, a funky house track with some heavy almost DC go-go like percussion on the back end mixed with subtile dubstep, which sounds almost ripe for a dope remix.

Also, I doubt Done’o will translate easily to US audiences, his use of African beats should be a template for US producers to do the same.