J Hus & Naira Marley – Militerian

23rd January 2024 · 2020s, 2024, Hip-Hop, Music

This collab between two London rappers of West African origin is a hymn to their families’ mother continent… and the women they find there. But it’s the music as much as the sultry vocals that really catches my ear, with its shuffling rhythms, lazy swing and joyful, jazzy undertones.

It combines the Afroswing style of East London boy J Hus, who grew up in Stratford, with the Afrobeats influence of Peckham boy Naira Marley.

The video, set in a palatial mansion, finds Marley performing the hook backed by dancers in an all-white room while Hus, dressed like a prince, is living the high life, wining and dining under the protection of black-clad masked bodyguards.

The rest of the video involves African dancers and musicians performing in the streets, while Hus and Marley enjoy the attentions of a multitude of stunning African women.

Hus, whose parents came to the UK from Gambia, grew up in Stratford while Marley grew up in Nigeria before his parents moved to London when he was 11. This is the first time they’ve recorded together.

I’m fairly sure that lady-in-waiting who briefly made the news when she asked a woman of colour where she “really came from” would find it a lot easier talking to these two boys, judging by the lyric: “Wherever we go we gotta stand strong, when they ask me where I come from I tell ’em straight: ‘I’m a African’.”