The 10 best African albums of 2024 so far


The year 2024 has not been a great year of music by any stretch of the imagination. In contrast, while last year many summer hit singles topped the charts, this year has yet to do the same.

While Afrobeats and amapiano remain popular music genres in Africa, there has yet to be any successful talent discovered in the African music industry. 

This stagnation has left many fans craving the thrills and glorious new sounds of what the previous year brought forth. Nevertheless, there are several great records in the first half of 2024 that are worth mentioning. Besides offering streaming success, hit tracks, charts, and giant numbers, these albums have given us a captivating experience. Just with those elements of their melody, tracklists, and instruments, those albums have been able to entice the community to keep continuing with African music. 

In this piece, we take a look at ten of the most superb African albums that have been produced so far in 2024. These selections are proof that Africa’s music scene is vast and talented even if some of the biggest names released fewer songs than usual. They include album debuts from emerging artists and comebacks from musicians whose works have been highly anticipated in 2024 in African music.

Here are the 10 best African albums of 2024 so far;

10. King Promise - True to Self

Currently at the No. 57 position on Nigeria’s TurnTable Charts, with a top position on Ghana’s Apple Music album charts, as well as charting in at least 10 other countries’ Apple Music charts, King Promise’s True To Self is one of the best African albums released in the first half of 2024. The album has a total length of 37 minutes and was released on June 14, 2024, under license from 5K Records Ltd and Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd. The album includes 12 tracks featuring singles like Perfect Combi with Gabzy, Terminator, Favourite Story featuring Olivetheboy and Sarkodie, and Continental featuring Shallipopi.

King Promise’s journey is radical enough to portray his transformation as an artist and determination towards Afrobeats. With each release, he always goes up a notch and enchants the global audience with his work. True To Self combines highlife, Afrobeats, dancehall, and much more into a perfect blend. It is, therefore, untrue that True To Self is just another body of work from King Promise; songs like Paranoid—a slow-tempo song with Fridayy—and the other singles on the album illustrate why True To Self is one of the best music projects to come out of the African continent in 2024.

9. Vibez INC - VICM Vol 1

I’m sure everyone expected Vibez Incorporation Mixtape Vol. 1 by Vibez Inc., led by Seyi Vibez, to be among the best African albums so far. The album not only introduces Muyeez, with his debut song Instagram featuring Seyi Vibez, but it also marks Billion Solar and Nerryckole’s first offering under the record label. Released on May 10, 2024, and dominating Nigeria’s TurnTable Chart, having spent seven weeks on the chart and peaking at No. 1 as of the time of writing this editorial piece, VICM Vol. 1 is undoubtedly a historic release.

The 10-song project features British rapper Tion Wayne and Nigerian singers Bloody Civilian, Dwillsharmony, and Balloranking. VICM Vol. 1 is a blend of street-pop, afro-adura (a sub-genre of street-pop), Afrobeats, and hip-hop. Its relatable lyrics, amapiano-dominated afro-fusion sound, and groovy melodies are already associated with Seyi Vibez, who clearly A&R-ed this project. Having songs named after social media platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram adds another unique element that stands out on this project.

8. Ruger x BNXN - R&B

Released on April 17, 2024, featuring singles like Romeo Must Die (RMD) which dropped on February 29, 2024, Ruger and BNXN’s joint extended play R&B is one of the best African albums of 2024 so far. Having spent 10 weeks and counting on TurnTable Charts and charting on Apple Music album charts in about 12 countries, including the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, R&B stands out as one of the notable joint projects by Nigerian singers in recent years. While most joint projects are a result of years of friendship or testament to a harmonious relationship between creatives, such as 2 Kings by Olamide and Phyno released in 2015, Ruger and BNXN’s R&B emerged after more than a year-long beef between the two singers.

Aside from the beef-turned-friendship that birthed the project, standout tracks like Ilashe, POE, and Bae Bae, along with the single RMD, make it enjoyable with their sensual melodies.

The melodies in the project are world-class as expected. BNXN and Ruger are proper vocalists with alluring voices and rare songwriting skills, and they only enhance their sound by working with top-tier producers like Sarz, Blaisebeatz, and Kukbeatz.

7. Young Jonn - Jiggy Forever

With his 16-track debut album Jiggy Forever, featuring artists like Don Jazzy, Zlatan, Ya Levis, Sean Paul, Blaqbonez, Kizz Daniel, and Seyi Vibez, Young Jonn sits at No. 7 on our list of the best African albums released in 2024. The album includes hit singles such as Aquafina, Big Big Things, Sharpally, and Go Hard, showcasing Young Jonn's impressive talent and creativity.

Running for 42 minutes, the album features a Chinese interlude sampled in Pot of God produced by ePianoh, as well as groovy tunes like Bahamas, Bucket List, and Full My Tank featuring Don Jazzy. Peaking at No. 2 on Nigeria’s TurnTable Charts and spending 10 weeks on the Official Top 100 Albums chart, Jiggy Forever is undoubtedly one of the best African albums released this year.

6. Illbliss - Sideh Kai

Sideh Kai by Illbliss is the only hip-hop album on our list of the best African albums released in Nigeria this year. With his hard-hitting punchlines, excellent breath control, groovy instrumentals, and brilliant A&R with spot-on features, Illbliss has delivered one of his best albums to date.

The 16-track album features a variety of genres, including trap music, hip-hop, Afrobeats, highlife, and more. It showcases collaborations with talented artists like Umu Obiligbo, ODUMODUBLVCK, Vector, Ladé, Yukel, FAVE, Cobhams Asuquo, Mádé Kuti, and Deborah Prest.

Like the fifth track on the album, the LP is a masterclass. Beyond the well-thought-out collaborations and meticulously curated tracklist, the punchlines are undoubtedly one of the unique selling points of this album.

5. Tems - Born in the Wild

Born in the Wild is another debut album on this list. Following the release of the GuiltyBeatz-produced Me & U alongside Not An Angel in 2023, Tems dropped Love Me Jeje, an afro-fusion record produced by Spax and GuiltyBeatz that samples Seyi Sodimu’s classic of the same title. The 18-track LP was released on June 6, 2024, peaking at No. 3 on Nigeria’s TurnTable album charts. The album features production credits from Tems, Spax, Sarz, London, GuiltyBeatz, Nsikak David, DameDame, and P2J.

Aside from the singles, songs, like Get It Right featuring Asake, Wickedest, Gangsta, Boy O Boy, Free Fall featuring J. Cole, and Turn Me Up, are standout tracks that justify the inclusion of Born in the Wild as one of the best African albums released in 2024. Each track showcases Tems' unique sound and exceptional talent, making this album a must-listen.

4. Victony - Stubborn

Victony’s debut album Stubborn is far from the regular. The direction is unique. The melodies, lyrics, and instrumentation are not only contemporary, the songs are groovy and futuristic. Victony invites a versatile squad of collaborators into the fold, for some of which it’s their first time getting their feet wet in the Afrobeats scene. Teezo Touchdown, Saint JHN, Asake, Shallipoppi, and Shorae are among Stubborn’s special guests. 

With collaborations on production from KTIZO, P2J, Gaetan Judd, Blaise Beatz, Nineteen85, Western Weiss, 1Mind, Louis Bell, Brendan Grieve, 255, Harri, Fritz, and Cole; the 14-track album came out on June 21, 2024. The album is charting in over 14 countries’ Apple Music album charts.

The journey to the current status was not a smooth ride for Victony but he had to fight many battles. He fought for a shot at life after a devastating crash and took mainstream relevancy by force and making the music that embodies him. Victony found a way to follow his passion for music, and he displays this in an album that is a quintessential expression of his daring innovation.

3. Kizz Daniel - TZA

Kizz Daniel's EP, TZA (short for Thankz Alot), feels like it was given a working title during its creation, a seemingly disposable title that nobody bothered to change.

The EP features recent singles Twe Twe and Too Busy to be Bae, both ultra-popular hits that have been inescapable since the Detty December period. The former, in particular, merges inventiveness with typical Kizz Daniel functionality, pairing folk drums from Nigeria’s north-central region with the singer’s knack for breezy melodies.

Peaking at number one on the TurnTable album chart, this solo 4-song extended play was released on March 11, 2024. All the songs on the EP—Sooner, Showa, Too Busy to be Bae, and Twe Twe—are hit tracks. The EP boasts production credits from Reward Beatz, AyZed, P. Prime, and Killertunes.

2. Tyla - TYLA

Tyla's debut album, Tyla, was released on March 22, 2024, and features guest appearances from Kelvin Momo, Tems, Gunna, Skillibeng, Becky G, and Travis Scott. Sonically, it blends elements of amapiano, pop, afrobeats, and contemporary R&B, with lyrical themes of empowerment and relationships.

The album has made an impressive impact globally, charting in 30 countries on Spotify and 64 countries on Apple Music, including the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. Tyla debuted at number 24 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, peaked at number 26 on the Canadian Albums Chart, and reached number 19 on the UK Albums Chart. It also peaked at number 25 on Nigeria’s Turntable Charts.

Tyla transcends cultural barriers, resonating with listeners globally. It marks a significant triumph for Tyla as an artist and a pivotal moment for African pop music.

1. Ayra Starr - The Year I Turned 21

    Before Ayra Starr even turned 21, she had already graduated college, signed with the powerhouse West African label Mavin, and dropped her debut album, 19 & Dangerous. Her second LP, The Year I Turned 21, is the next chapter in her pop stardom storybook. While 19 & Dangerous spotlighted an angsty Ayra jaded by toxic past relationships, TYIT21 captures a Grammy-nominated Starr fixated on getting the bag.

    Turning 21 is both a milestone and a trope, but Starr’s portrayal across the record feels refreshingly complicated, filled with contradictions and uncertainties. She sparkles on 21, a heartfelt meditation that wrestles with the weight of self-definition.

    The album features collaborations with Asake, Anitta, Coco Jones, Giveon, Seyi Vibez, Milar, and includes the single Santa by Rvssian, with Raw Alejandro and Ayra Starr. Producer credits go to London, Marvey Muzique, P2J, Ragee, AOD, Off n Out, Sparrq, Mike Hector, and more.

    The Year I Turned 21 peaked at number 1 on the Turntable Charts and charted on Apple Music in over 40 countries. This album marks a significant milestone in Ayra Starr’s career, showcasing her growth and solidifying her status in the music industry.