Blitz The Ambassador -Accra City Blues

Accra, the city that became the capital of colonial Gold Coast in 1877 is a dreamer’s paradise. It is the heartbeat of Ghana, the country, and the heartthrob of many residing outside the perimeters of the city. In the eyes of many of such people, Accra is where dreams become reality.

According to the 2012 population census figures, Accra is inhabited by 4 million people, made up of both urban and peri-urban residents. This city also plays a dual administrative function: as the capital of the nation Ghana, and the capital of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly.

Like any other great city in the world, Accra is a melting point of many things including culture, arts, activism and economic undertakings. It’s a place where the clash of these various activities produce fissures that often engulfs other regions. Accra is also the intersection between riches and poverty. That is, the stark difference between the super-rich, middle class and the poor is very poignant. They live side -by- side of each other.

Like scars on a body, the unprintable affection for the city, especially while away from home cannot be denied. Once you’ve lived in the city and tasted its ambience – whether positively or otherwise, you are bound to miss it when you are domiciled elsewhere. Whether the city handed you a raw deal or tapped your back with success, the love and affection often runs deep. Once you are away, nostalgia floats on your mind like a foam on top of a stout.

Blitz The Ambassador (real name Samuel Bazawule) captured this feeling of affection and longing for the city he lived in as a teenager prior to his sojourn to the United States on ‘’Accra City Blues’’. Blitz The Ambassador’s cry for the love – and pain the city offered him is one that can be easily forgotten.

Found on his acclaimed ”Native Sun”, a title I surmise was inspired by Richard Wright’s seminal 1940 novel about race relation in America’s Deep South, Blitz The Ambassador’s album was an exploration of themes on Africaness, Neo- colonialism, stereotype construct of Africa and the power of positive thought and black excellence.

Saturated with a production style that has become a signature template of Blitz (formerly known as Baza of Last 2 fame). “Native Sun” leaned heavy on chopped classic Ghanaian highlife, Fela’s afrobeats and other old African songs – either sampled or re- created. These vintage works are fused with highly energetic and riveting hip hop drums.

“Accra City Blues” does not deviate from these production qualities. The song reeked of soothing, almost orgasmic feeling. Its low-tempo character coupled with the dusty aura of sampled or recreated highlife chops added to its overall enchantment. The classic highlife sample on which the song is built sounds like “Kyenkyen Bi” song made by Alhaji K. Frimpong.

The breezy nature of the opening, led by a radiant syrupy bass guitar and the gorgeously yet morose horn section perfectly set the mood for Blitz to croon and rap about feeling home-sick. One of the ultimate features on this song was the singing done by Blitz, especially the first verse which was delivered entirely in Twi. This was a shocker since I had never heard Blitz rap or sing in full blown Twi. (He did rap in Twi on “Akwaaba” off the same album).

“Accra City Blues” is an expression of love with ‘’Accra City’’, as he called it. Blitz The Ambassador metaphorical addressed ‘’Accra’’ in feminine term- a woman of his affection. On the song, he talked about how much he longs for her due to his long sojourn. To convey the emotional sentiment stirred up within, Blitz borrowed the story of Cinderella as reference. ”Accra City Blues/ Oh, she left her shoes/ Need her, want her / Tell me, where did she go’, he sang, his voice evoking steams of unabashed loss and a tingle of reunion.

On the second verse- where he rapped, Blitz described the tumultuous relationship he’d had with her (Accra): ‘’its funny how things change/ Used to be familiar now it all feel strange/ Screaming at each other all crazy and deranged/ Love shot me in the heart/ Point blank, close range’’.  What followed was a chain of flashback of tragedy mixed with beautiful moments: he lying on the floor ‘gasping for air’ his mind paddled back to the time they listened to ‘Sade’s ‘’Love Deluxe’ album, the polarized picture and the memories she left behind.

One would have thought a soothing afro-soul ballad like “Accra City Blues” would have stood on its on hind without a rap verse. But, Blitz thought otherwise. His rap verse, however, did not dim the brightness of the track. Again, Blitz and his Embassy MVMT band revisited something that was associated with traditional highlife songs: enough space for the beat to rock uninterrupted by any vocal deliveries, chants or any form of distraction. The relatively ‘long beat’ meant the listener could imbibe the beauty of the production while also, appreciating the piece of art that the Blitz and his band mates had served on the record.

“Accra City Blues”, similar to other songs on the “Native Sun” album combined aspects of live recording and digital aesthetics. This fusion of styles is easy to spot across the album. As someone who loves to perform live, this approach- which has become something of a trademark was/is a calculative move. And if you have seen Blitz live in concert, you would appreciate this approach even more.

“Native Sun”, released under Jakarta Records in 2011 reverberated with a lot of socio-political and economic commentary bothering on black power, a sharp critique on poor governance and the machinations of Western powers to exploit the continent to fuel their development and not ours. He channeled the spirit and thoughts of his heroes like Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Fela Kuti, and Nelson Mandela across songs like “Akwaaba”, “Dear Africa ft Les Nubians”, “Free Your Mind”, “Victory”, and the ebullient “Wahala” ft Keziah Jones. Despite each track echoing a certain degree of feeling in the listener, “Accra City Blues” towers above the rest in this respect.

Blitz The Ambassador’s debut film, “The Burial of Kojo” would be screened on Nextflix on March 31 after it was scooped by Ava DuVernay’s film collective, ARRAY.

Advertisements

Ebony Tribute: Long Live The Queen And Her Legacy

I can remember vividly where I was the first time I saw Ebony. It was at the house of Ebo Brew (video director at Slingshot Media)  around the West Hills Mall in 2015. The image of this beautiful, dark skin lady spotting weeks old dreadlocks singing and partying with her friends in the video for “Dancefloor” was beaming on 4Syte TV.

For me, it was less about the song and more about her disposition: she sounded comfortable, appeared confident and radiant on screen. She exhibited genuine attitude of someone who knew what she was about. All of us in the room concluded she had the requisite character to become a big act in Ghana after our long, winding commentary about her poise.

It was the morning of 8th February 2018. A Thursday for that matter. I was preparing to leave the house for work. The house radio was on Citi 97.3 FM. The signature tune for their morning news played, and the first headline was that Ebony had passed- along with her close friend, Frankie and a soldier friend – after a road accident.

I have never been hit so hard by news of the passing of an individual like that of Ebony’s. I wasn’t wrecked by the news. I was disoriented the whole time I was riding from the house to work for the reasons that, she was evolving and fans were witnessing a certain growth in her sound and attitude – along with her versatility. Second, I had seen her two months prior, at the Citi FM’s ‘’Decemba 2 Rememba’’ concert where she was the main attraction. And boy, did she give out a good performance.

The grief that befell the country was palpable. It was comparable to what engulfed the nation following the death of  ex- president, John Atta-Mills. We were not prepared for her death, considering that, her nascent career was taken shape.

Ebony’s rise was astronomical, albeit short. Her natural attributes combined to hand her the success she chalked. She came to prominence off her own vibe. That is, she already had an idea of what and how she wanted to be regarded. She unapologetically embraced all her ‘bad girl’ persona without thinking of anything the world would say. Watch the video for ‘’Dancefloor’’ and you would note these traits.


Ebony was not a creation of a system or anyone’s idea. Of course, some might point to Bullet and Ruff Town’s attempts at ‘moulding’ her to fit a certain stereotype. But, honestly speaking, all that Ruff Town did was to accentuate her already ‘90s bad girl character’.  

Again, she emerged at a time when dancehall music was popping off. And the female category needed a true representation. MzVee, who was the ‘leading’ dancehall act at that time was thrusted into the dancehall foray off a business decision. For those who have followed her career from the jump when she was part of D3 would note she was not cut for her ‘chosen’ genre. Ebony, however, had emphasized on numerous interviews her love for dancehall music and as such, had built her craft along those lines prior to her professional career.

The conversation and the controversies that brewed after her passing – along with her two other colleagues- is well documented. But, I would like to ask what happened to the person who leaked the video of her in the morgue? And the disgusting handling of her corpse by the two mortuary attendants?

It has been a year since her untimely death. The hurt of her passing still lingers. The crater she left is yet to be filled, not in terms of the ‘bad girl’ vibe she exuded but the music she made. The hurt lingers because we knew she had more to offer. 2017 was her launch pad. 2018 was to be her take off year. Unfortunately, death took her off the stage before we were ready. The only consolation lies in the fact that she left behind an album that fans could revisit anytime they miss her.

What was remarkable about Ebony and her art was that, she gradually won people over- even her critics- with her music and nonchalance. With songs like ‘Sponsor’, ‘Date Ur Fada’, ‘Poison’, ‘Kupe’, ‘Aseda’, ‘Maame Hw3’ and ‘Hustle’, she was able to showcase her versatility; something that excited us all.

Despite her ‘bad girl’ image, Ebony did not exploit controversy as currency to sell her art. Granted some of her lyrics were deemed by conservative Ghanaians as ‘uncouth’, that was exactly where it ended. Outside of music, she did not draw any controversy towards herself. Once the music stopped and the stage lights went off, Ebony was just a simple, ordinary person – a girl next door.

Ebony might not be a legend, as some of her fans were trying to describe her. Obviously, she made a mark on the scene that won’t be filled anytime soon.

Ebony, a brave hearted young woman whose impact and legacy shall toll louder. May we never forget her.

THE CUTS: EP 05 VOL. 4

THE CUTS reviews songs, videos or albums we think deserve your attention. The songs or videos covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed or featured. THE CUTS is available every FRIDAY.


Ayat ft Efya – For You

Ayat has been busy these few months with his releases; something he is continuing from from 2018. After delivering tunes like ‘Honey’, ‘Shagantaka’ and ‘Stages’, the ‘Guda’ hitmaker returns with another soothing song that delves into the concept of love. ‘’For You’’ is a mellow song that showcases the emotional side of Ayat. Replete with confessional lyrics about love delivered in both pidgin, Ga and Hausa dialects, ‘’For You’’ carries a lovely warmth.

Ayat’s vulnerability is showcased on the bridge of the song when he croons with the conviction of a first time lover. Efya appears to do what she knows how to do best: bringing a touch of class, radiance and vocal flavouring to the song courtesy her melodic delivery. The only disappointment is that, her verse ends exactly when you are warming to the song. This might be my second favourite song from Ayat after the evergreen ‘Play For Keeps’. These songs are enough validation of Ayat’s versatility. And if you are smitten, this should be your go to song. Big ups to PlugN6ix for stitching a good production work together.

Alee –Kae Me

My first introduction to Alee was off Worlasi’s ‘Mawena’. Now, the songstress has released her debut single under the #emPawa100’ initiative. The highlife ballad ‘’Kae Me’’ (Remember Me) has Alee reminiscing about her previous relationship- how she can’t forget the impression he had on her and wonders if her ex thinks of her like she does.

On the second verse, she questions if ‘ebi your fault we went our separate ways’’ before acknowledging the unpredictability of relationships. A line like ‘’hope you found someone better’’ points to a relationship that did not end rancorously. On ‘’Kae Me’’, produced by Nii Quaye, Alee exhibits her beautiful singing prowess: hitting the low notes with precision. One distinguishing quality about these female #emPawa100 entries are the brilliant vocal quality on display. There is everything to love about it.

Reynolds The Gentleman – Ewurama

The last time I wrote anything about Reynolds, I made the point that, he needs not to chase trends. He should pursue what interest him. I also took a dig at his recent songwriting skills. So, hearing his new song ‘’Ewurama’’ delights my heart. The song is an ode to Ewurama, whom I presume is his bae. Reynolds’ voice is whispery and tender; the singing is flawless and the production is jazzy. Similar to the caressing tone of the song, the lyrics aren’t over the top: they are delightful, assuring and beautifully composed. ‘’Ewurama’’ feels like gentle raindrops on a window pane. I want to hear more of this good stuff from Rey.

Bryan The Mensah – Assumptions

One of the things I admire Bryan The Mensah for is his penchant to draw listeners attention to subjects that are important. He peppers his songs with life improvement edicts, which is quiet fascinating considering how young he is. ‘Assumptions’ was his entry song to #emPawa100’’ contest. The song preaches against idling around and challenges all to ‘go outside’ and be useful. He also reminds the listener against comparing their hustles with others: ‘’if you give it to the pressure, you’ll be living without the answers’.

The video for ‘Assumptions’ is an exciting piece of work. The storyline follows a guy who had an argument with his girlfriend over his ‘always-at-home’ lifestyle. He storms out of the house to get something doing. The rest of the video follows his pursuit from dawn to dusk. The video is funny especially the Circle scenes.

Lykay feat Manuel Ossei – Begging You

Lykay is one of my favourite rappers out here. His calm demeanor shines through records. And his voice is one you can listen to without getting bored. Plus, Lykay doesn’t just piece words together for the sake of it; each line feeds into a broader narrative. This quality shines across ‘Begging You’’, a chilling and smooth tune built around hard piano chords, reverb aesthetics and horns. Lykay appeals to his girl to take him back after cheating on her. Lykay is aware she won’t forgive him for ‘breaking his promise’ to her, but, he’s still hopeful she might have a change of heart. Performing hook duties, Manuel Ossei flips Ceelo Green’s ‘’Fuck You’’ to suit the theme of the song. If you are unfamiliar with Lykay, I hope this would be your opportunity to explore his music.

TSD – Feels

The TSD guys are back again with a brand new single ‘’Feels’’. Over an afro-hip hop beat with a neatly tucked sample, the rappers take turns to pour over their feelings for a girl. Employing dancehall vibes (on the hook), rap and a sing- rap style, they make a pitch to the girl(s) while acknowledging the haze of love they are trapped under. Produced by Perry Mingle, ‘’Feels’’ carries a mid-tempo aura; its groovy and melodic. ‘’Feels’’ has the potential to become a big record if handled the right way.

Let’s Talk About A.I And His Verse On ”My Life” Remix

Put A.I on any record and you are hundred per cent guaranteed an excellent outcome. The genre of music is not going to be a restriction. And the tone of the song will not dissuade him from putting his foot on the neck of the record. For those who have followed his career path from 2014, A.I is the type of talent who cannot be boxed.

His versatility is endless. Whether it’s a feature or a full song, be rest assured that this guy would blow the roof off the record with a stellar performance. This, he has exhibited across the years since registering his name on the music soundscape with ‘Anger Management’.

Like the proverbial water taking the shape of the object it occupies, A.I continues to enchant the listener with his set of musical skills: his voice and lyrics. Even if the song is a party tune, like the highly consuming ‘Grind’, he will do his best to offer you some thought-provoking lyrics. Same goes for the songs on his ‘’Headstrong’’ EP. Quality is something A.I. does not compromise on.

Trigmatic, one of the last bastions of conscious rappers recently drafted three of the best music acts around for the remix of his award-winning single ‘’My Life’’.  The acts – A.I., Worlasi and M.anifest- along with Trigmatic put a spin on the original record by ripping off its sentimental and aesthetic aura. (I did hold the opinion that the original song did not need a remix when Trigmatic aired his intentions out on twitter about an upcoming remix last year). What they gave in return was a more sombre, low-tempo sound with a reflective commentary about life and success from different perspectives.

Despite the applauding performances by the four, the standout verse came from A.I. In his very unmistakable voice, his lyrics were centered on his positive mindset from the beginning of his career; the long walk towards his dream; and the potent advice his mother offered him life and its numerous chains, all delivered in a tone that was both mesmeric and chilling. The ebb and flow in his delivery coupled with the deliberate vulnerability in his voice felt like gentle ripples across the surface of a river.

He’s not oblivious of how tough it is to succeed. A.I still had a sense of positivity and offered an introduction into his state of mind: ‘’As hope abounds, I smile rest assured/ I’ll not faint, I’ll not worry/ Still cherish the path, won’t let it bore me’. In this tough city or world, losing your sense of hope is the beginning of your death- both in a literal and metaphorical sense. And like a preacher man sermonizing to his congregation, A.I. prayed that ‘we glimmer and glow’ in the future.

’And the voices would know what must be told /So, as the future still unfolds/ Oh may we glimmer, may we glow/ Persecuted but not forgotten/ Mama said this shit is a battlefield”.

A.I. recalled the advice his mum offered him while young; that ‘the world is a battlefield’ so ‘don’t you quit, don’t you bend no knee/ keep the faith cos love is the remedy’. (This ties in with the ‘armed with wisdom’ line in his opening verse). Clearly, his mum not only prepared him for the battle ahead, she also gave him the nuggets to surviving: not to be soft, always stand firm even when the road became rugged with his chin up; that, love and faith are the two qualities that would propel him towards nirvana so he should try ‘to make it through the day and never you say you ain’t enough’.

In this advice, one recognizes how his mum was planting the seed of self-belief within him. She acknowledges how explosive self-doubt could be especially when the walk towards success becomes daunting and blurred. In 95 seconds, A.I offered us a moving, inspirational message to fan the fire that sustain our dreams.

It is quite common to hear some people criticize the current state of music as lacking substance – messages that excite, educate and appeal to the conscience of the listener. This assertion might not be wholly true. What is true is that there are some artists putting out great music. The issue is how much support they receive from others who are not their fans.

And until these artists get the same support as their colleagues who are regarded as ‘mainstream’, such good music shall evade many. That’s not to say the artists are not expected to do their part aside making records. Good music won’t sell itself if much effort is not put in pushing it. It requires a collective effort. A.I. undoubtedly nailed his verse effortlessly.

Akan – Edwom No Freestyle (Lord Kenya Cover)

Rapper, Akan went into his bag and came out with a freestyle that once again, exhibits his incredible rap skills and also, offers a hint of nostalgia to rap fans above age 20.

Borrowing the beat of Lord Kenya’s “Endwom No”, Akan in 2 minutes, 34 seconds remind us of what hiplife used to sound like -a reference to the original song. Lord Kenya, arguably the most delightful rapper of his generation, released this song in 2001. It was a song found on his “Yeesom Sika” album. The album also boasted such singles as “Mr. P.O.P”, “Mobrowa” and “Medo”, arguably his magnum opus.

Akan picking this beat might not be an act of spontaneity. The choice seem very deliberate as proven by the song’s lyrics. Akan has a message to share and doing so over a song whose title translates as “the song or music” makes sense.

Akan, in his monologue offers a reminder of what real hip life from the past sounded like. He re-echoes comparisons between himself, Obrafour and Okomfo Kwadei as conferred on him by fans based off his rapping style and contents. He mentions the validation from Sarkodie as well. It must also be said that, this is the first time Akan is laying claim to this comparison on wax.

He proceeds to express his unique place in rap (‘no one is above or below him’) before questioning the credentials of some rappers. In his view, a true rapper is someone who cares about his legacy and influence. That is, the rapper should make music that positively impacts society. ”Lately, everybody has something to say, but not all rappers are true rappers”, Akan declares, before adding: “What does this generation rap about?/ What type of music do you make?”.

He doesn’t pull the plugs at this point. Akan takes aim at rappers whose music centres on partying and negative indulgences (like encouraging drinking and calling on women to gyrate). “I don’t regard these crop as rappers”, he intimates. He considers such rappers as pandering to pressure of mainstream success thus making records for “radio”. (This remark, is debatable considering such songs- which I describe as ‘social songs’- serve a purpose as well even if the content is shallow).

Akan has demonstrated over the years how much of a left field rapper he is. His music is not tailored for radio yet is loved by his growing fans and true appreciators of music; a fact he acknowledges in this freestyle: ”I make music that transcends eras so when the radio shut down my records shall live forever” (translated from Twi to English).

One year after releasing his highly acclaimed album, “Onipa Akoma”, Akan – also called Kwapiah – continues to serve us message driven music. With each single, feature or freestyle, he grows his fan base. His rapping abilities, his mastery of the Twi language and the themes he covers in songs makes him an outstanding rapper among his peers. Akan believes the music one creates should reflect the thoughts of the artist- a point he emphasizes on this freestyle.

Watch video below

THE CUTS: EP 05 VOL. 3

THE CUTS reviews songs, videos or albums we think deserve your attention. The songs or videos covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed or featured. THE CUTS is available every FRIDAY.

Yung Pabi ft Worlasi – Undastand

When Yung Pabi raps, be assured to hear something positive. His songs, over the years teaches, motivates and leaves you feeling the weight on your shoulders are nothing short but temporary. “Understand” follows in the same spills with same verve.

The assurance from Pabi and Worlasi is not to give up; that a beautiful story awaits you. With his impressive delivery and Worlasi tackling the hook with excellence – which is unsurprising, “Undastand” is a song set to invigorate you when you feel down.

KiDi ft. Kwesi Arthur – Mr. Badman

They say, one good turn deserves another. KiDi and Kwesi Arthur exemplify this mantra. After lending his vocals to Kwesi Arthur’s biggest song of 2018, the Tema based rapper has reciprocated the kind gesture on KiDi’s single for 2019.  On the song, KiDi has one simple request: he wants to enjoy life so ‘Mr. badman don’t jealous me’. The afropop song, produced by Mog Beatz is not overwhelming. But, knowing how things work, don’t be surprise if it blows up. (It’s Lynx you know?!)

The video, however is more appealing than the song, honestly speaking. The models used for the video are from different colour persuasions; all looking regale in their African costumes with KiDi sitting in their midst like a king. The ‘royal scene’ gives way to another scene, where KiDi and the models are dressed in all black. Great to see an ad placement from Alomo Bitters. Secure the bag moment for KiDi.

Kidd Black feat Darkovibes – Snapchat

Nothing is real on social media, from the pictures, videos and captions. What is real is masked, replacing it phony acts for reasons of clout, acceptance and escape from ones harsh reality. It’s often said that, social media is the worse place to find love. Rapper Kidd Black obviously did not get the memo.

“Snapchat”, the first song from the rapper this year, is a narrative about getting played by a London girl he met on snapchat. Over a guitar tinged, mid-tempo production by Boye Sowah, the baritone voice rapper details his encounter in a flow that mirrors the temperament of the beat. Darkovibes tasked with hook duties warned on the hook. It’s obvious Kidd Black failed to learn from his La Meme Gang fam when he said IG girls don’t ”impress me no more’

Sneakbo ft Kwesi Arthur & Darkovibes – Gang

For UK rapper, Sneakbo, the test of true friendship is being present at one’s lowest point. Any friend of his who bails out during difficult times isn’t one to be trusted. That’s one of the messages on ‘‘Gang”.

Featuring Kwesi Arthur and Darkovibes, Sneakbo talks about his road to success on the second verse. Kwesi Arthur delivers a hook that summarizes the themes of the song over an afropop beat from Kuvie’s board. Darkovibes ends the song with a short verse delivered entirely in Ga, adding extra balm to this bop

Queen Ayorkor – Faya

Queen Ayorkor has debuted her single under the#empawaafrica Initiative spearheaded by afropop artist, Mr. Eazi. She becomes the first female artist from Ghana to have her song released.

“Faya” is a love song that describes the strong bond that exist between her and her lover: one that gossips and rumors can’t break. Queen Ayorkor showcases good vocal work on the track – her voice radiates excitement. Queen Ayorkor is an exciting addition to the growing list of female artists.

Willy With D’Juice – Jeje ft Shaurel,  Joel Prodigy

There’s often an avoidable misstep that some artists or producers make when cutting a song. One of them is adding a rap verse that dents an otherwise good record. Willy With D’Juice avoided this pitfall with “Jeje”. The surprising rap verse tucked at the end was a success. It’s a surprise because I never expected it. The song sounds excellent – the singing, the production, the tempo.

The acts on the song croon about keeping their business on the low (lowkey) over a slithering guitar, vibrant horns and delightful drums. ”Jeje” falls under the category of songs that effortlessly delight as soon as you hear it.

John Hill ft Yung Pabi – Icon Lomo

“Icon Lomo” is purely a turn-up music primarily because of the energy behind the sound and the fiery delivery by these two rappers. John Hill has been consistent this year with his releases – he dropped “Vex” in January.

The trap heavy “Icon” is produced by Kwamzy and mixed by Supa Gaeta with John Hill and Yung Pabi touching on a few issues about their careers. Having followed John’s career over a period, “Icon Lomo” is a testament to his continuous growth.

 

Sarkodie and Akan Share Travel Tales on “All Die Be Die”

“I won’t play with my time on earth’, Sarkodie opines towards the end of ”All Die Be Die”, his latest single with Akan. The song explores the story of life and the agonies associated with trying to make it out hustle. The two rappers take turns to narrate their ‘personal’ ordeals in their attempts at breaking the mould of poverty across two verses.

This collaboration has been long overdue considering the position they both hold within the music scene. Sarkodie is the patron saint of rap in Ghana and Akan is considered by many as the next in line to carry on the torch of true rap.

”All Die Be Die”, produced by Ware is a hip hop composition resting on a sampled classic highlife tune. Akan opens the song with the perfect introduction that places the verses to follow in context. Sarkodie takes over after the beat switch, rendering a story about his struggles: how poverty could turn a king to a slave; taking up menial jobs and sleeping rough in the streets. Sarkodie rapping about life struggles isn’t new. This theme has been running through his stellar catalogue.

Read: How Sarkodie Is Staying Relevant In This Changing Music Scene

Akan’s verse did not deviate from the theme at hand. He adds his perspective, couching a tale that captures his circumstances as dictated by the hardship confronting him. ”Somebody tell my mum bad eating habits is killing me”, Akan raps, pointing to the difference between the ‘easy’ rural life he traded for a better life in the city.

His torrid circumstances not withstanding, Akan is still hopeful of succeeding so he could take care of his family back in the village, even if it would cost him his life. Like Sarkodie, Akan has also touched on the subject of seeking greener pastures elsewhere on ”Matu Meto”, a song off his brilliant album, Onipa Akoma.

Read: Album Review of Onipa Akoma

”All Die Be Die” is a good song. The production is elegant and pays homage to the beautiful highlife compositions of old. The theme covered, albeit old, still carries a molecule of relatability- after all, it’s about the harshness of life as we live it. However, I expected the song to be a huge commercial single that would, at least, crossover beyond social media timeless and rotations on a few radio stations.

That is, a record involving the biggest rapper in Ghana and the heir to the throne should be able to elevate both of them- and more importantly Akan beyond the confines of his fanbase. As it stands, ”All Die Be Die” might end up being a forgettable record; the brilliance of the two talented rappers notwithstanding.

Listen to the song HERE