‘U Hxve Nx Idxv’ Bridges Gap Between Party And Life

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If there’s one thing Ghanaian creatives are excellent at, it’s their ability to covert and localize popular trends. The history of Ghanaian music is full of such examples: western big band music was incorporated into highlife music of ET Mensah in the 50s; the innovation of Ebo Taylor birthed afrobeat in the 70s. The highlife of the 80s adopted elements of funk and pop into its make-up, as reflected in burger highlife. The global explosion of American hip hop saw the likes of Reggie Rockstone and DJ Rab localizing the genre into what became hiplife. Crunk music and now trap music were or have become staples in our music. Through the work by the likes of Major Lazer, Steve Aiko, DJ Snake, Calvin Harris, electro, pop and house music are receiving a local feel thanks to innovative producers and DJs in Ghana.

The DJ duo of DJ K3V (pronounced Kev) and Eff The DJ, collectively called IFKR have moved from playing electro, house and pop records during their DJing gigs to putting out a nine track album- it has an intro and outro-that bask gloriously in these musical genres. ‘UHNI’ has been in the works for many years, and as DJ K3V stated, the holdup was caused by Eff, whose quest for perfection, deemed as a curse at first, ended as a blessing in the long run.

Read: IFKR on friendship, future of afro-EDM and debut album

The album is opened by poet, Akotowaa. Her introduction summed up the album: the power of self-belief and being unique. ‘The word genius ends where ours start’ may qualify as an ode to the two DJs, but also, an inspiration for all. According to the two DJs who became friends during their student years at Ashesi University, Akotowaa’s poem shaped the direction of the album.

‘UHNI’ celebrates life and its nuances: love, joy and happiness. These themes are reflected on records such as ‘Rain’, which featured Zepora, a young singer whose singing talents bubble to the fore a few seconds into the song. Zepora’s delivery focused on love: she’s heard assuring her love interest not to be shy; rather open himself up to be consumed by the love she’s emitting. The enchanting feel of ‘Rain’ can be attributed largely to the South African house music groove on which it is built. Interestingly, Zepora was not the artist they considered for this record. But, hearing how well she vocally executed her part, it was a smart suggestion from DJ Eff to have her on the album.

Watch: IFKR Discuss their debut album, UHNI

The tales about life and impact of making wrong decisions continued on the ‘Bad Decisions’, featuring Kula. Carrying both afro-pop vibe, Kula encourages the making wise decisions when it came to finances and choosing friends. ‘Bie Mu’, a fusion between EDM and tropical influences featured Hama and Spacely, who shared tales about their desire to ‘explore’ the company of a lady. The up-tempo beat, coupled with the energy from the two artists made ‘Bie Mu’ an excellent fan pick. Like any human endeavour. Love isn’t all rosy. ‘Blue Tick’, another up-tempo song has Legacy and TeePhlow visiting the topic of unrequited love despite their efforts at being the best lovers. ‘Blue Tick’ takes its title from the blue ticks seen on WhatsApp messages after it has been read. Legacy sums up their predicament: ’43 days, no reply’ despite being constantly online.

The fun side of life is fully explored on songs such as ‘Omi Gbono’, ‘Lie B3n and ‘Do What You Want’. These records fully display the EDM/pop influences that K3v and Eff are disciples of. Nigerian artist/producer Odunsi (The Engine), on ‘Omi Gbono’ described a party scene where he encouraged ravers to have a ball. The Ayat assisted ‘Lie B3n’ followed the EDM/pop format except the beat switched to trap at a point. ‘How you gon’ come to the spot wey you no go dance?’, asked Ayat. With the craziness that social media offers today, people prefer to be present at a party to capture moments rather than enjoy the party. For AYat, he wants people to have fun, to get lost in the moment when they find themselves at raves. The beat switch from EDM to trap is one of the best moments on the album. Like the over-arching theme of pursing dreams and living free, Adomaa echoed these sentiments on ‘Do What You Want’, another dance heavy song about thrusting oneself in the moment.

‘U Have No Idea’ is an album that reminds us about the importance of living the best moments of our lives no matter what. It’s a provocative piece of work that inspires and encourages one to showcase their innermost strengths, disrupting the normal state of affairs as exemplified by K3v and Eff who abandoned the popular rap/afropop genres for EDM/house music; an unpopular genre in this part of the world. It’s made for the dance floor as confirmed by song sequencing.

As Johnny Stone amply stated on the ‘Outro’, ‘the diction of improving, learning and leveling up’ is what defines these two DJs. This is their first output and surely, they’d be picking lessons on how to improve on their next offering. By choosing this musical direction, IFKR confirm themselves as ‘’the earthquake that’s coming to seize the throne and shape their foundation’. Now, let’s watch how great the tremors would be.

Buy or stream UHNI

 

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New Music: Maayaa Basks In Love In ‘Ride’; Obed Makes Commitments When ‘Sober’

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Maayaa feat Worlasi – Ride

Maayaa is a tease, musically speaking. For months, following the release of her soulful love song ‘You’, people have inquired if there’d be more songs from her. Her responses to these queries have been either flippant or nebulous. One, therefore couldn’t establish if she wants a career in music or she belongs to the crop of singers who’d step into the studio and make a record just to escape their state of boredom.

Surprises are always good. They excite the recipients and also leaves the giver with a degree of fulfilment when their ‘gifts’ are appreciated by recipients. That’s exactly what Maaya did with ‘Ride’, her latest single released over the weekend. The song came with a beautiful, scenic visual. Featuring the talented Worlasi, ‘Ride’ is a love song that dwells on assurances, promises and dreams. It has the two protagonists taking turns to vow to each other.

The video for ‘Ride’ is elegantly put together by the director, Akwadaa Nyame. From the panoramic view of the love-birds nestling at the back of a pickup truck, to them waking up to a new day and new love- the dramatization-and all its flirtatious schemes- makes ‘Ride’ makes for an enchanting love tale. The video is cast as a vacation trip for the two.

‘Ride’ is the first single from her debut album ‘Chapter Red’ with no known official release date. The song shows how different vocal tones and deliveries come together into a beautiful renditions as well as what real love should look like. The positive response ‘Ride’ has received should encourage Maayaa to do more-in terms of releasing a follow up. But, again, it’s Maayaa; one can’t be too optimistic since she does what she wants.

Obed- Sober

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It is always not the case that words from an inebriated person is the truth. Sometimes, the words are nothing but a cautionary tale. Again, it is always good to be forewarned of an intent so as to prevent oneself from getting hurt by an (in) action. Obed is a believer of the latter school of thought.

On his new single, ‘Sober’, a fusion of sublime synths, trap-soul influence, the producer, singer/songwriter cautions a lover not to take his words serious since ‘I’m not the one for love/tried it before no luck’. For Obed, being in love isn’t something he believes in after his experiences thus his cautionary reminder: ‘don’t miss me if I love you when you know that I’ll tell you different when I’m sober’

Obed’s voice, layered with a tinge of auto-tuned at certain points hands ‘Sober’ its dreamy feel, whereas on other points, it sounds like a labyrinth of voices stacked together, obviously from Seyyoh and Ansah Live who played shot-gun on the track. The choir-like harmonies and the pulsing piano thumbs adds to the moroseness of ‘Sober’, the debut single from the talented artist.

THE CUTS: EP 03 Vol. 25

THE CUTS review songs, videos or albums we think you need to hear or see. The music covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed here. THE CUTS is available each FRIDAY


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Narah -Lost

The heavy piano melody on the opening seconds of ‘Lost’ prepares you for what is to unfold. ‘Lost’ is a soulful ballad about a lost love. Narah paints a picture of a relationship in dire straits; with her doing her best while quizzing how the relationship got to this breaking point. ‘You run again, I come looking for you/ Can’t see your smile, this has got me feeling blue’, she describes succinctly the state of affairs.

Aside the strong vocal display, Narah’s songwriting is also worth talking about. She’s able to capture moments in simple words: Do goodbyes come so easy for you? Do you not think of me as the only girl you knew?’ and ‘Play with me, frustrate me, turn my pain into mockery/You lead me always astray’. Sounding like someone whose very existence hinges on the love from her guy, she pleads to ‘take all the risks, Let me fall, let me fall, Dissolve into your mist’. Narah courted attention online after releasing a video of her performing a cover of ‘Wo Da 3nda’, a soothing highlife tune by the late Dasebre Dwamena. ‘Lost’ is Narah’s first single and clearly, she has something to add to the current state of music in Ghana.

 

Juls feat Akan & Kwesi Arthur – Saa Ara

The call for Akan and Kwesi Arthur to be on one song has been answered, thanks to Juls. The latest single, ‘Saa Ara’ from the DJ/Producer features the two talented artists. ‘Saa Ara’ (which translate as The Way It Is) carries Juls’ signature sound- chopped up palmwine highlife beat infused with hip hop elements. Kwesi Arthur, on verse one raps about his unique qualities from the pack (‘I hope you understand we not the same…don’t deceive the people cos you no go fit crown the game’) and how he won’t allow himself to get played.

Akan extends this narrative with a short verse. But it’s the chorus that best situate the song’s theme: ‘This is how we do it/ our game is loved so watch us move’. The palmwine highlife vibe of ‘Saa Ara’ sounds like a piece of music Ebo Taylor would make.

https://itunes.apple.com/gh/album/saa-ara-feat-kwesi-arthur-akan-single/1425496299

 

Darkovibes feat Stonebwoy – Stay Woke

Darkovibes abandons the hard trap beats or the highlife sound found on his previous songs for an afro-dancehall feel on ”Stay Woke”. Featuring dancehall ace Stonebwoy, the two take turns to sing about love and how, together with his lover, will be ‘living till the day they fall off’. This assurance comes after exalting her sensual attributes.

Stonebwoy praises the elegance of his lover: you’re me joy and laughter and you know say you are the diamond in my life’. The JumpOFF produced record carries a mid-tempo, danceable vibe with the aura to attract many to the dancefloor. ‘Stay Woke’ shows the extent of Darkovibes’ musical range. He’s indeed foking up the place.

Mau’Miller –Alive

Mau Miller’s latest song ‘Alive’ is a deviation from the afropop trope of today’s music. ‘Alive’ is a fusion of electro-pop as well as house and afrobeat elements. Over its strong synths and brass kick and snares, Mau Miller reminds all of the need to rise above the challenges of life. The lyrics conveys a sentiment of hope and inspiration: ‘out of breathe but me can’t never rest’. The song is driven by the old adage of what doesn’t kill you make you stronger.

A man of many hats- he is a singer, fashion designer- Mau Miller’s attempt to sing with different vocal styles chipped a bit from the song. Granted he wants to show off his dynamics of his singing, the sometimes inaudibility of his words chipped a bit from his very decent output.

 

Admire The Hustle: How Bryan The Mensah is Defining The Concept of ‘Indie Artist’

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In an industry with no recognized structures -big labels, financial backing and major distribution channels – the work of the independent (indie) artist is back breaking. These young, passionate creatives put their feet to the pedal to create; find the best cost-effective ways to sell their works while cultivating a fan base in the process. All this is done on a shoe string budget- mostly money from their savings, family (if they are fortunate).

For those with dreams and no dollar, friends come in to offer a little help. Ghanaian rapper M.anifest captured the daily struggles of many young creatives in an article in the Guardian: ‘’Dancefloors are ruled by tunes toasting the glamours of life, tunes that are made in small, bedroom-sized studios, often with broken-down air conditioners rather than platinum discs decorating the walls’’.

One medium young artists employ in growing their fan base and sell their work is social media. Through twitter, Instagram, Facebook feeds, they share updates on their creative process, event updates and daily engagements. A strong fan base is both a guarantor of income and an insurer for longevity. It’s like the river that sustains the growth of the tree. In other to achieve this, an artist must stay creative, innovative, consistent and exciting. Inspiration in this direction abound in artists like Chance The Rapper, Tyler, The Creator and Brent Faiyaz, who have built a legion of fans thanks to this model.

One young artist who embodies these qualities is Bryan The Mensah. Since his formal entry into the music foray, Bryan has always stayed ahead of the curve with his innovative schemes. Not only is he employing social media to advance his visibility, he also embodies the spirit of a true indie artist.

The release of his highly praised debut, ‘’Friends With The Sun’’ saw him picked as Apple Music’s ‘’New Favourite Artist’’. This humble success was enough motivation for more work towards leveraging on the attention that was coming. The team ventured into merchandizing.

READ: Bryan The Mensah and The Gift of Being Yourself

From sweatshirts, tank tops to baseball caps, Bryan diversified his income sources by selling these merchandizes. The ‘Me Ho Twa, Whallabow You’ inscription was heavily promoted and caught on with fans. The interest shown in the products steered them on. A source close to the team tells me of parents placing orders for kids wear, a line they are considering.

The paucity of resources meant embracing the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) module. The designs on the merch, their album covers and website were carefully conceived and designed by the team. (Bryan built his own website). The website serves both as an information board on his activities and a shop for his albums and merchandise. This model means that, he can track his core fans and have a certain level of personal interactions with-a model popularized by singer/rapper Ryan Leslie, Talib Kweli and Lupe Fiasco.

READ: Review of Friends With The Sun

Weeks before the release of his second album, ‘’Wildlife’’, Bryan embarked on another smart promotional campaign for his ‘’Freesound EP’’. With an excellently conceived advert that made rounds across social media, Bryan The Mensah, creatively offered ‘a few special people’ (fans) an opportunity to purchase ‘’Freesound’’, digitally. Buying the EP guaranteed a 30% cut on all merch bought from his store, an invitation to ‘’Wildlife’’ listening session and a digital book.

What makes this a novelty is that, many artists -including the A-List artists- usually follow the traditional album release model where they build hype about their projects, circulate their artwork and subsequently release it online, usually as free downloads. The approach taken by Bryan is significant and a break from the normal routine of album releases

So, what keeps Bryan The Mensah going? Well, it could be his passion for music, or he is bent on proving to his family-both medical doctors that, he can pursue music as a career and still make it; that by showing the business side of him, they may be willing to support him, financially.

In an arena where the efforts in creating a piece of art outweighs the benefits one accrues, it is quite a daunting task to give it your all. For the majority of artists, the passion is the fuel that sustains their dreams of fame and riches. Passion will definitely inspire you, but, constantly staying creative and innovative could be the best means to reaping the rewards – even if it’s a small percentage of your overall output. That’s exactly what Bryan The Mensah is mastering.

THE CUTS: EP 03 Vol. 24

THE CUTS review songs, videos or albums we think you need to hear or see. The music covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed here. THE CUTS is available each FRIDAY


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M.anifest feat Worlasi – Okay

When M.anifest and Worlasi meet up on a song produced by Rvdical the Kid, you surely know it’s going to take over the airways. The two teamed up again on ‘Okay’; a smooth, danceable tune filled with poignant lyrics about staying focused and paying no mind to the haters. Over two verses, M.anifest laces his lyrics with anecdotes about his reputation, musically: ‘I’m here to last, not to carry last/M.anifest the god with a funny laugh’. He also offers advice to those who keep hating: ‘tell a low life to reach higher’.

Worlasi opens the song with a half-truth-half cheeky hook.  He mentions how transient fame is: ‘Agogo sef come go’, before asking why people are still hating. The Rvdical production is minimal-clanking kicks, soft drums and a bubbly bassline. ‘Okay’ is a certified jam and one clearly see why the ‘Manifans’ went crazy when M.anifest pushed the release date a couple of days back. ‘Okay’ brims with what many would assume sublime diss to a fellow artists. Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Wayo – Champion Banana

Months after releasing his catchy, afro-tropical tune ‘Muscatella’, Wayo return with a new tune titled ”Champion Banana”. Boasting production traits similar to his breakthrough song, ‘Champion Banana’ is mid-tempo afro-pop groove with a sparse yet steel drums from the production boards of Kuvie.

Wayo sing-raps on this afro-pop beat about a secret relationship and how ‘today, I want to be your papa; champion banana’. Champion Banana is strong on melody and a catchy hook. Wayo and his team need to promote this song more than they did with ‘Muscatella’ if he wants to be counted among the new age artists.

 

Denzel Roberts feat Pambour – WYSIWYG

Denzel Roberts’ ”WYSIWYG” (What You See is What You Get) focuses on the realities of life, dream burning challenges that young creative faces, and the need to be more determined if you want to actualize your dreams. Denzel goes further to question the degree of loyalty of people around him- whether they’d stay with him during the trying times.

Pambour offers a more vivid illustration about the pressing realities of life when you don’t have money: ‘fine things you can’t taste/who you go blame?/Ohia or family chain’, and how the ‘illegal boys dey give we gap’. WYSIWYG is a low tempo tune adorned with a smooth bassline and horns, and a sing-along hook. What thing about Denzel’s music is the fact that, it mostly reflect the realities of life; perhaps his own reality.

 

DredW – Anaa feat Bucho DeGo

Producer DredW shows off another side of him-his production range- with ”Anaa”. The song is built around a fusion of dancehall and afrobeat elements. Bucho DeGo, who is featured on the song drops a two part verse about wanting to ‘rock her body’ over a mid-tempo tune. ‘Anaa’ is a follow up to ‘Abu Dhabi’, a trap influenced song DredW released about two months. With ‘Anaa’, Bucho DeGo blends pidgin, Twi and patios, showcasing his voice range. It’s interesting to hear him shout-out Magnom.

 

 

 

Poetyk Prynx Shares Chapters of His Ordeal With Anxiety On ”Collywobbles”

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Anxiety, Depression. Mental Health

Conversations around these conditions have assumed prominence in recent times. From health professionals to psychologists; from the church rostrums to individual households, and work places, the discussions surrounding mental health and its concomitant effects is gathering attention. The debilitating effects of mental health conditions has resulted in the death of many people- celebrities, TV personalities, highly qualified professionals-who appeared very healthy, physically and mentally on the outside.­

In Ghana, the conversation is beginning to gather moth. Mental health issues have traditionally been considered a ‘taboo’ topic. It is treated as an ‘alien’ disorder. Our traditional society makes it highly uncomfortable for many, especially men, to express emotions. Any signs of depression, anxiety or mental health disorder is considered a ‘spiritual attack’. Some families would rather send relatives suffering from such conditions to religious camps than to the hospital for proper examination.

The statistics on mental health disorders may not reflect the exact situation on the ground, but it is quiet revealing. According to a 2017 data from the Ghana Health Service, 42% of Ghanaians suffer some form of psychological disorder. Despite the lack of education on this condition, some individuals are, in their small ways, opening up the conversation by sharing stories about their struggles with these disorders.

One individual contributing to the discourse on mental health issues is Poetyk Prynx. A spoken word artist, guitarist, sax player and engineering graduate, Prynx (mentioned as Prince) has managed to draw attention to the issues via his twitter timeline and events like “The Sanctuary’’, which has been held twice this year.

Read: Poetyk Prynx Talks The Sanctuary and Mental Health 

Last week, he released ”Collywobbles”, a three track EP with focus on mental health disorder. Employing his own bouts as example, Prynx offers the listener a detailed insight into his personal struggle with anxiety and depression.

”Collywobbles” is presented like a stagy piece of performance where he discusses the ‘dark’ themes of his poetry in recent times. Poetyk Prynx opens up to a confident about his situation on ‘’Navel-Grazing’’: ‘’Of late de3, the poems I dey write, I no dey fit write any happy poems. Either I dey write about depression or my anxiety, and e dey make I dey worry waa’. The confident, in response, assures him to not give up since ‘whatever you wanna talk about, you still have listeners’. On the second part of the opening track, a conversation on his potential message between two people of his ‘audience’ comes up after his introduction by the MC. The guys complain about his recurring commentary about anxiety and depression; a sentiment he confirms with his introductory remarks.

Collywobbles is an exploration of his mental challenges: his fears, struggles, low self-esteem. Delivered in a voice that evokes vulnerability , Poetyk Prynx succeeds in highlighting how his fears holds him back from chipping into conversations with friends because ‘I’m too afraid I might ruin it for them’ and how he ‘fakes’ phone calls just to escape a gathering. For a little over 8 minutes, Poetyk Prynx paints a picture of how debilitating his battles are on his being. Finding solace in sleep or a state of solitude isn’t a solution that works. In fact, it is rather an aggravator of these wild, charring thoughts. He makes a lucid presentation on how his fears get emboldened by his state of solitude: ‘’I’m afraid I may be drowned by the voices in my head and die in my sleep/ that my dreams might be sucked by my nightmares’’.

The ‘dreams’ refers to him becoming ‘one of the greatest humans, poet, and engineer’. He proceeds to weigh in on how the burden of being the eldest of the family fuels this fear of failure that keeps vanquishing his dreams. To defeat his fears and anxiety, he leans on friends for feedback; something to validates his existence.

Unlike some poems that paint a picture of grief without recourse to ‘solutions’ on how to deal with the situation, Prynx takes a different approach: he offers solutions on how to address the situation by featuring simple advice from two medical officers on the precautionary steps to take when one feels depressed.

‘’Collywobbles’’ is Poetyk Prynx’s smallest way in drawing attention to this ‘taboo’ subject. He has moved the conversation from his social media timeline, where he often used his 280 characters to begin a conversation around health issues; building a community of interested people- victims either directly or otherwise and health volunteers. The commitment he shows to the course is gradually adding to his reputation. With ‘’Collywobbles’’, Poetyk Prynx did not wail about his afflictions; he did offer a useful advice for both victims and non-victims on how to handle it.

 

 

 

Album Review: Nana Benyin Is A Man In A Happy Place

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His disappearance from the music scene in 2013, after the release of his second studio album, “Poetic Licence”, was felt among fans who had been following his career. The disappearance came with no notice. It was a sudden act; an idea the rapper, perhaps, had conceived for a while. What prompted that action is a question only Nana Benyin can answer. But, speculations abounded: he left because of frustration about the lack of strong support for lyric biased hip hop; others cited his quest to pursue other opportunities than rap, if he wanted to keep the lights in his house on.

As questions grew about his whereabouts and his career, Nana Benyin decided to undergo a name change. He first traded his known rap moniker, Rumor, for Kid Named Ru. He finally settled on Nana Benyin as his ‘legal’ rap name. (Interestingly people are still not sure if Nana Benyin and Rumor are one of the same).

The skills and talents of Nana Benyin aka Rumor shone from his days with Skillions. Impressed by a verse he laid while recording a song during his Senior Secondary School days, rapper, producer and founder of Skillions, Jayso, drafted him to the rap group he was assembling called Skillions New Generation.

Nana Benyin was one of the stand outs from the group. His lyricism and intellect sparkled across songs. Unlike breakout artists Joey B, Shaker and BraKevin Beats whose verses where humor clad, Nana Benyin was like the student who conformed to the tenets of rap purist. He was like the Ab-Soul of the group.

It is clear Nana Benyin hasn’t lost the qualities that got fans and rap critics enamoured. “Happy Place” is a tale of a man who took a step back, studied the scene and returned invigorated.

After releasing two albums- “FFF” (Fans, Friends and Followers in 2012) and “Poetic Licence”(2013), as well as few singles, Nana Benyin blacked out on fans. A glimpse of his return to rapping came by way of a verse off Lil’ Shaker and Ko-Jo Cue’s highly regarded “Pen & Paper” album. A few days ago, he was on E.L’s, ‘Dare To Dream’.

“Happy Place”, the third studio album by Nana Benyin doesn’t deviate from the sonic and themes portrayed on his previous works. The soundscape drifts from soulful, trap to funk to azonto. The themes reflect issues of love, dreams and triumphs. Take the opener of the tape, ‘Bittersweet’, a song about doubts, frustrations and unflinching self-belief in his pursuit. Backed by singer, Boyd, whose soulful delivery adds a layer of attraction to the piano chunks and reflective lyrics, Nana Benyin reflects on the unrewarding nature of hip hop in Ghana: ‘So, what am I doing wrong?/ maybe I’m crazy for doing these type of songs in this damn nation”. “Bittersweet” shares traits a favourite song of mine, ‘’My Epitome’’ (ME), off ‘’FFF’’, where he recounted the economic struggles of his family.

On songs like “Everything”, “Nothing New” and “In My Heart”, he addresses the subject of staying steadfast (‘dem do try deter you/but, I swear if you keep your head up and speed up/you go see them in your rear view’); ignoring the fake love from people; and the pressure of being a celebrity as Shaker quib quizzes: (‘You believe everything you read? /You believe everything you see? Pressure s))”). “In My Heart”, featuring E.L and Lil Shaker, extends the story told on “Broke & Famous”, on “Poetic Licence”. (Broke & Famous featured Lil Shaker).

Sonically, “Happy Place” veers into the world of funk and azonto, as well as neo-soul. ”Freaky Tonight” is pop-funk, club groove in character, and sounds like a record Daft Punk or Pharrell Williams would make. Assembling JumpOff and the versatile Darkovibes for support, they urge party goers to get loose and get freaky. The slithering synthesized bassline on this certified bop, prepares you for what’s to unfold. On the cajoling love song, “Smile”, Nana Benyin veers into the realm of azonto sound. “Smile” reprises the Joey B single, “Cigarette”, produced by NSHONA Muzik, and it made sense to have Joey on. If there’s a record for radio, it is the trap-sounding ‘I Be Jerh’. Featuring Magnom, ‘I Be Jerh’ (which means I’m unique) is up-tempo, riveting song. Magnom adds sheen to the track with his ebullient delivery.

Even though the singing done by Nana Benyin is a great addition to his musical repertoire, there are moments when he struggled with his low notes, as ‘’Tell Me (Digital Talk)’’ exemplifies. It goes unnoticed how, on a song like ‘’Smile’’-a typical azonto beat, Nana Benyin peppered his lyrics with few pidgin phrases and more ‘textbook’ English.

It is clear Nana Benyin hasn’t lost the qualities that enamoured fans and rap fanatics. “Happy Place” is a tale of a man who took a step back, studied the scene and returned invigorated. It marks a happy return for the rapper formerly called Rumor

Get ‘Happy Place’ on aftown.com