Ever wondered what the streets of Kinshasa sound like? Dark and menacing, apparently.

‘Bapesi’ is the opening track of Jupiter & Okwess International’s debut album, Hotel Univers

The band is led by Congolese music stalwart, Jupiter Bokondji. The track perfectly captures the excitement and energy of the Congo as well as the underlying tension and menace of the country too. 

In the street slang of Kinshasa, ‘Bapesi’ means ‘If you want something done you’ve got to do it yourself.’

While a lot of current Congo music stars flatter those in charge, Bokondji has a reputation for telling it as he sees it. 

He encourages Congolese young people to take the future into their own hands rather than seek a better life in the west. 

‘Bapesi’, then, is a rallying cry to the young, the oppressed and forgotten in the crumbling Congolese capital.

And it’s a damn fine song as well.

Official website: jupiterandokwess.com