Azonto fever has already taken over in Ghana, conquered Nigeria and spread through the UK. An unstoppable African dance craze, it primarily affects the knees, feet and hips of the populace whenever that certain twitchy rhythm comes through a set of speakers. Those who catch but start twisting one leg and bouncing a little. Then they start gesticulating wildy. Soon they’ve formed a line and next thing you know there’s a video of it on YouTube. (Watch the videos. You’ll get it.)
There is no way to know where it will strike next, but recent cases have been reported in Brooklyn and as far away as Sweden. The madness began in Ghana’s secondary schools but rapidly took over the nation’s dance floors. Now you will find it anywhere there are people from Ghana, which is pretty much everywhere. Ghanaian soccer star Asamoah “Baby Jet” Gyan may have helped it cross international borders early on with his habit of breaking into the unmistakeable moves after scoring goals. Mostly though, we blame the internet. Well, truthfully, we blame Sarkodie, E.L., Castro, Itz Tiffany, D’Banj and Wizkid, but more on that in a second.
We at MTV Iggy want to make sure our readers are informed about this shocking epidemic. And what better way to bring you up to speed than with a top ten list? There are a lot of hot azonto bangers out there but the ones on this list are absolutely essential. You can do this dance to anything you want, but these are the tracks you hear and can’t not do it. Fair warning. #KeepCalmAndAzonto
10. A’Won Boyz – “Azonto”
In their video for “Azonto” Brooklyn’s Nigerian-American A’Won Boys provide insight into the finer points of azonto style. Take notes.
9. Atumpan Ft. Stone – “The Thing”
Another azonto upstart, Atumpan’s hiplife hit “The Thing” takes the dance back to school, where it all started.
8. Sugar N Spice Ft. Ruff-N-Smooth – “Azonto Lesson”
This video is one of the best tutorials you are likely to find on how the azonto is done. The track featuring two hiplife heavyweights is an equally good representation of why people can’t stop doing it. Hint: Listen to the beat.
7. Sarkodie Ft. Appietus & Kesse – “Azonto Fiesta”
For “Azonto Fiesta” Ghana’s (and probably the world’s) fastest rapper teamed up with two of his countrymen to meet the burgeoning demand for azonto bangers. It’s included here both for the panoply of azonto swag presented by the MV and because we really, really like it.
6. Itz Tiffany Ft. Castro – “Last One”
It may not have the word “azonto” in the title, but rest assured, if you came to get down Itz Tiffany our man Castro are here to back you up.
5. E.L. – “Obuu Mo”
E.L.’s hit “Obuu Mo” was an instant azonto classic. It may be more conducive to the moves than any song ever written. The azonto-heavy video crushes it and emphasizes that the dance doesn’t discriminate between men and women.
4.Wizkid – “Azonto Freestyle”
Nigerian wunderkind Wizkid’s gloss on azonto quickly became an indispensable component in any party from Lagos to Accra. It announced that the dance was definitely not just Ghana thing anymore.
3. D’Banj – “Oliver Twist”
If you are going to point fingers in this azonto business, you can start with Nigerian superstar D’Banj. His “Oliver Twist” dance contest instigated the creation of countless azonto oriented videos. And the official video for “Oliver Twist” featured Bricka Bricka, the UK’s one and only “Azonto White Boy.” Pretty incriminating if you ask us.
2. Sarkodie Ft. E.L. – “U Go Kill Me”
But this, this is the true beating heart azonto. Sarkodie and E.L. lit a fire in Ghana with this one. It’s seminal. There’s only one track that’s more azonto than “U Go Kill Me.”
1. Fuse ODG Ft. Itz Tiffany – “Azonto”
No azonto DJ set or mix can be even remotely legit without this “Azonto.” Researchers at the WBO (The World Boogie Organization)theorize that this is the number one song responsible for the international transmission of the dance. We’re going to stop here because, hoo, that’s a lot of azonto. Any more and we’d pass out. Azonto cam go: