It's a bit lazy to describe Nneka as the Nigerian-German answer to Lauryn Hill, but it is a reasonably accurate shortcut. Erykah Badu's cosmic hip-hop soul sound would be another obvious reference point, but Nneka comes across as much more grounded than either Badu or Hill. Her voice also has a unique brassy quality that sets her apart from the American conscious R&B set even before she slips out of English and starts rapping in Igbo.
“Where do I go when this world forsakes me?” asks Nneka Egbuna on “My Home,” from her second U.S. full-length, Soul is Heavy. The question is not rhetorical; she really needs an answer. These songs chronicle spiritual despair and confusion, a sense of existential turmoil that in this context sounds larger than one person.
Intelligent, affecting third album from Nigerian/German chanteuse. Daryl Easlea 2012 Ever since her debut EP of 2005, The Uncomfortable Truth, Nneka Egbuna has quietly built a catalogue of challenging, political soul and hip hop. Best known for her 2008 single Heartbeat, a bittersweet earworm of a hit, her work has been compared to Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill.
The political is personal for Nigerian-born Nneka, a product of the Niger delta, the streets of Lagos, and the clubs of Hamburg, Germany. On her second U.S. release, oil-patch politics, tribalism, and economic inequality give grave urgency to her hook-laden, reggae-tinged neo-soul. More Macy Gray than Esperanza Spalding vocally, Nneka kicks off with the propulsion of Peter Tosh on "Lucifer (No Doubt)," drops the clubby, danceable "Sleep" (chanted prayers and guest rapper Ms.