Writers Project of Ghana Host Author Dannabang Kuwabong At June Book Reading

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Writers Project of Ghana and Goethe-Institute Ghana present writer, poet and professor of Carribean Literature and Culture, Dannabang Kuwabong as the author for the month of June, 2018. Dannabang Kuwabong is a Ghanaian-Canadian writer and professor at the University of Puerto Rico, San Juan. He is the author of several collections of poetry.

Dannabang is author of the collections of poetry Visions of Venom (Woeli Publishers, 1995), Echoes from Dusty Rivers (Capricornus Enterprises, 1999), Caribbean Blues & Loves Genealogy (TSAR Publications, 2008), Voices from Kibuli Country (TSAR Publications, 2013), and a collection of folktales, Naa Konga and other Dagaaba Folktales (Woeli Publishing Services, 1992).

He has taught in several institutions of higher learning, including Rivers State College of Education, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, University of Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, University of Ghana and McMaster University, Canada. He is also widely published in academic journals and has contributed numerous essays in books, and is on the editorial boards of various journals.

Dr. Kuwabong obtained a B.A. (Hons) degree in English from the University of Ghana, Legon, a Magisteriate in Environmental Studies (MES) in Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada, a Master of Letters (MLITT) in Modern Poetry in English, University of Stirling, Stirling, UK and obtained his doctoral degree in English, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Join us for an exciting evening of readings. Books will be on sale at the WPG book stand.

Date: Wednesday, 27th June, 2018

Time: 7.00 PM – 8.30 PM

Admittance is Free.

Venue: Goethe-Institut, 30 Kakramadu Close, East Cantonments, Accra.

 

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Video: R2Bees And Efya Seek Answer to The ‘Could This Be Love?’ Puzzle On New Song

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Rap duo, R2Bees ponder on the ‘Could this be love’ question on their latest single, featuring label mate and afro soul act Efya.

The Killbeatz produced slow tempo, RnB oozing “Could This Be Love” has Mugeez posing the question on the opening lines of the song: ‘could this be love? Is this forever? Or ebi say i dey waste my time/ you dey waste your time?’

Mugeez proceeds to reveal the back story to his question: he can’t tell who she is again; she brings fire when he walks with her through the rain. Efya, in her notable soulful tone put forth her own burning questions like wishing to know if he ‘could be her king’ and ‘the one that sets me free?’

Omar Sterling (aka PaeDae) charts a path away from the musings of Mugeez and Efya. Rather than harbour negative doubts about the outcome of his love affair, he puts all his cards on the table in a very sobering and confessional delivery. ‘I put my trust in you/I put my hopes in/ I put my heart on my sleeve/I put my soul in it’, before anchoring his feelings on this the lines: ‘I’ve fallen for you, I’m falling deeper’.

The Video

The video opens with Mugeez stretched out on a couch in his hall. The table at the centre has cards, cups spread on it. An hour glass sit on the table. (Guess you know the significance of the Queen card that was singled out from the pack)

Mugeez descends downstairs to a makeshift studio where his engineer is cooking up a beat after waking up from sleep. A closer look at video appears like scenes from a dream Mugeez had.

The Babs directed visual are largely presented in a slow motion format with the scenes shifting from indoors to outdoors- basketball court where Mugeez and Efya exhibit their balling skills. Selasie Amewusika makes an appearance in the video, playing the role of Omar Sterling’s girl.

The video isn’t only a feature on love. It’s also a display of some artworks of significance such as the Beatles crossing Abbey Road painting, the couple caressing, the portrait of an ebony queen, the ‘smoking man’ all alluding overtly or covertly to the message of love.

Off the back of songs like ‘Slow Down’, ‘M’akoma’ and now ‘Could This Be Love?’, R2Bees keeps proving their worth on mellow, soulful beats.

Video: Here’s Edem’s Latest ‘Hurricane’ Video

 

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Edem and Pascal Aka serve a video that incorporates magic realism, colour and good energy that matches theme of song


Rapper, Edem, has released some incredible videos across his almost 10 year rap career. Some of his visuals have been compelling pieces of art as seen in ‘The One’, ‘Over Again Remix’, ‘Egboame’ and ‘Nyedzilo’. These videos have enhanced both his image as an artist with good artistic vision.

‘’Hurricane’’, his latest single and its accompanying video follows the same artistic concepts of Edem. The Coptic produced song is a fusion between hip hop sound-from the chambers of the New York based producer- and rock elements courtesy afro rock band Dark Suburb.

‘’Hurricane’’, like its name, reflects the theme of greatness: how Edem and those featured on the song-and by a stretch many other artists from Ghana and Africa are about to take over the music scene as Jojo Abot, tasked with hook duties and ad-libs, declares on the opening hook: ‘believe it or not, we here to win/Like it or not, we here to stay, look on your blocks, its masquerade/ it’s a hurricane’.

The Pascal Aka directed video features element of magical realism, with fusionist and experimentalist Jojo Abot cast as a speaking orange tree in what appears as a jungle. (The orangey tone adds extra gloss to the video). The video transitions between the jungle scene ‘inhabited’ by fire eating people and a studio set up where Edem and Teephlow take turns to drop some bars about their status within the music industry, knocking out haters and moving ahead with their careers. Teephlow, for instance offers a history lesson on his come up. Dark Suburb also brings along their rock-style energy to bear. The video also sees the likes of Tinny, Gemini, Kula and other artists making cameo appearances.

Although ‘’Hurricane’’ is a video for Edem, Jojo Abot comes out as the star. Her trance-like or horror inspired antics, whether as a talking tree or a black Barbie girl adds a layer of beauty to the video-after all hurricanes are destructive.

The video also receives the ‘Pascal treatment’ especially in the use of light and costuming, specifically the jungle scene and Jojo Abot’s barbie look and outfit, make up and excellent art direction.

‘Hurricane’ released under Coptic’s Brooklyn Bridge Ent. and Edem’s VRMG is the second single from Edem’s forthcoming album, ‘The African Answers’.

Watch video below

 

Video: Watch Ko-Jo Cue’s Rap Battle Styled “Wole Remix”

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With all featured guests exhibiting their lyrical prowess, “Wole Remix” is what hip hop fans have been waiting to hear.


It’s finally here. Days after announcing a remix version, Ko-Jo Cue has finally released the remix of his street anthem “Wole”; this time featuring some of the finest lyrical MCs you’d find on the music scene.

“Wole”- a Ga word that means ‘pick up’- doubles as an exhibition of lyrical mastery by the MC’s and a motivational anthem that urges people not to despair but rather find the energy to steer through the challenges of life.

With what sounds like a sampled beat from Lauryn Hill’s ‘Lost One’, the BBNZ artist opens the song with a repeat of his verse on the original track –Wole Pt. 1.

The speaker shattering beat perfectly captures the theme of the song. The featured guests- Worlasi, Lil Shaker, Kwesi Arthur, Kay-Ara, Temple and C-Real serve verses that spill with brag talk, punchlines and metaphors that could go over the head of the uninitiated hip hop fan.

The video which dropped along with song carries a battle rap setting; where each rapper steps forward and raps ‘against’ Ko-Jo Cue, with beats from the DJ (JooJo The DJ) and fans looking.

The opening scene of the video shows Ko-Jo Cue in a trotro (mini-van) with his crew. The bus pulls over at a building site. They both enter a booth-like structure, which transforms into a club, with its neon lights and theatrical smoke or fog.

The guest artists came with their own unique style: Worlasi looks and carries a zen mood, like a priest; Kwesi Arthur, who ‘put the credible in incredible’ mentions how favourable 2017 had been for him; and Shaker drops some cool punchlines in his verse (see these (CDs) boys never know say na we dey walk, man (walkman)’. Get it?

Kay-Ara’s depiction of a ‘shackled man’ (or is he in a trance?) feeds remarkably into his lyrics, declaring himself as the saviour of rap (yes, I’m the saviour, bring your offerings to am). Temple, head of Pata Camp (and one-half of The Acropolis with Yaw P) opens his verse with the line ‘you can’t turn an alele (ho) to a spouse’, before proceeding to talk about his ambitions.

Ending the song is C-Real, one of the lyrically gifted rappers around. His verse is replete with rhyme schemes, punchlines and delightful wordplay like: ‘Fuse (ODG) come shock Ed Sheeran make e conf booze, booze so I’m thinking out loud’. This is a clever play on the hilarious experience of pop star Ed Sheeran, after drinking a locally brewed beer during his visit to Ghana last year with Fuse ODG.

Read about Up & Awake Video

The “Wole Remix”, recorded and shot in 2017 has been sitting in the vault for months now. Considering the afropop dominated scene in recent times-something Cue and Shaker attempted with Mama Yie- it’s such a welcomed feel to hear a banging hip hop song like “Wole Remix”. Maybe, the Edem lost verse might surface soon.

Watch Video below

 

Listen audio of Wole Rmx

Poet Koo Kumi Eulogies Mohammed Ali on “The Greatest Poem Ever”

The world remembers the brave. Their deeds continue to attest to their bravery, inspire others and, to an extent, influence and shape the course of history.

One of the men whose deeds embodies all the above is ‘the greatest boxer to ever live’, Mohammed Ali. His prowess as a boxer made him a household name; his politics impacted American society and his loud mouth and sense of humor has become a staple for many boxers who have come after him.

It is these incredible achievements that inspired a new poem ” The Greatest Poem Ever” by Koo Kumi, a poet and spoken word artist.

“The Greatest Poem Ever” recounts the history of Ali from his days as a young boxer from Louisville, Kentucky to global phenom and how his fearless spirit fueled him to the plane of greatness.

Koo Kumi employs both historical facts, personal readings and witness statements in writing this poem. For instance, he references his grandfather’s description of Ali’s proficiency: ‘he hit so hard, his opponents wanted to cry’.

For what inspired the poem, Koo Kumi explains it as such:

“I have been a Muhammad Ali fan since childhood. So the life of the man and what he stood for inspired the poem. Especially the way he called himself “the greatest” and became it.

His resilience and swag that gave African American a sense of self worth when he was in his prime. I saw a picture of great African Americans in a community library in my hometown when I was about 11 years old, the librarian pointed Muhammad Ali to me and since then, I wanted to be like him “The Greatest”.

With hard piano chords accompanying his words- 808 drums drop along with hook, Koo Kumi incorporates ring side bell sound, flute rhythms, an Ali speech and the famous ‘Ali Bomaye’ interpolation into this poem.

The clarity in the message, the cadence in delivery and the gripping chant of ‘Ali, who’s the greatest?’ adds to the enchantment of ”The Greatest Poem Ever”.

Koo Kumi captures what he has learnt from Mohammed Ali’s life in this way: ‘I have learnt that, we don’t need a special one to hold the magic wand, and when life hits you in the face, you relax and gauge and hit back with all you got just like you did to George Foreman’.

Listen below

THE CUTS: EP 03 Vol. 18

THE CUTS is a short review of songs, videos or albums that we think you need to hear or watch. The music is not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it will be covered here. THE CUTS is available each FRIDAY


Yinka Oshodi feat Remy Baggins – Options

Synth Records artist, Yinka Oshodi continues to prove her talent with each single she releases. If you thought her last single “For You” was an excellent outing, then ‘Options’ would leave you amazed.

“Options” carries a trapsoul vibe, with Yinka threatening to walk from a toxic relationship since she has ‘some options’. Her words are unapologetically straight forward; like a woman who’s fed up. Her opening lyrics put things in perspective: ‘oh you think you bad cos you have that pink lips/ nice skin type/ all the girls be dying for’.

Remy Baggins, who doubles as the producer of ”Options” assuages her fears: the girl she suspect as his side chick is indeed a cousin. He goes on to assure her of his affection; praising her physique and qualities as well.

Yinka’s vocal work is reminiscent of SZA: smokey, sultry and forceful where necessary. ”Options” sounds like a song inspired by SZA and Travis Scott’s ‘Love Galore’. ‘Options’ reminds couples to confront, appreciate and workout whatever strains that a love relationship brings along. And the two artists – Yinka Oshodi and Remy Baggins enforces that on the song.

Mestar Oscar – Duku

Afrobeats/Afropop music has become a global staple. The acceptance has led to some plugging in other variants of the genre. Mestar Oscar, an afro EDM (Electronic Dance Music) act is one of the few people doing that. On his latest single, ‘Duku’, he teams up with EDM producer, Afrolektra to serve a tune that triggers movement of the body.

“Duku” is a love song – he’s requesting a girl to be his lover. The lyrics are easy to sing and the hook is catchy. Afrolektra allows the beat- it carries elements of drums, kologo guitar riffs, xylophone rhythms- to play on for most part, similar to what an EDM tune must sound. “Duku’s grooviness is what makes it a force.

Kwame Yesu – Matter

Kwame Yesu wants to be free. He has had enough from people who like poking their nose in his affairs- dictating his ways and criticizing him if he dismisses their views. These concerns are what he sums up on ‘Matter’, a druggy sounding, mid-tempo tune.

Kwame Yesu switches between English, pidgin, twi in his lyrics and sing-rap style in his delivery. Criticisms, if fair is very welcomed. But, if its delivered with bad faith, then it must be overlooked. And that’s what Kwame Yesu is muttering on ‘Matter”. After all, he has a dream: ‘to make my mama proud’, he discloses.

DredW feat AYAT, Magnom, Slim Drumz, CJ Biggerman – Abu Dhabi

Mention Abu Dhabi- the capital of the United Arab Emirates- and oil money comes to mind. That is what producer, DredW’s new single, “Abu Dhabi”- a metaphor for a rich lifestyle is. The beat is very trappy and the featured artists take turns to talk about their rich dreams. DredW is good with the features since their music styles are influenced by trap. CJ Biggerman delivers a standout verse on “Abu Dhabi”.

Raph Enzee – London Town (Cover)

”London Town” was an instant banger upon release by Mr. Eazi. The beat is speaker shattering and Giggs, the big voiced, London Grime act added his flavour to the song, giving it an irresistible aura.

Rapper Raph Enzee has jumped on the song, dropping a verse that has him boasting about his skills, depth of his pockets, sending out warnings to competitors. Adding a verse to the song is a strategic move considering how successful the record has been so far.

Rashaann – Pray For This

Rashaaan, a 22 year old hip hop artist from New York and currently based in Atlanta, is entreating rappers to stick to what inspired them to become rappers. Touching on the issue on “Pray For This”, he ask rappers to be grateful for their fans and ‘shake their hands’; stop demeaning their mums and women, and stay real in their lyrics.

‘Pray For This’ is a single from his recently released “No Previews” available on all streaming platforms.

VRSD feat LammyKate – Babies

In a world where exhibiting signs of vulnerability is misconstrued as weakness, ‘Babies’, a song by Nigerian act VRSD is timely. He encourages us to bask in our vulnerability and cry when necessary. Possessing a style that sits between rap/spoken word, “Babies”, produced by Sir Bastein, has a lo-fi hip hop character. LammyKate’s soulful hook advises against wearing ‘fake smiles’ and ‘crying sometimes’.

Throwback: Tony Tetuila Defined An Era With Hit Song ‘My Car’

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Tony Tetuila, the Nigerian artist did define an era with his hit song ‘My Car’. As the standout single from his album of the same name, ‘My Car’, released in 2002, won the dyed hair Tony Tetuila national and international recognition around 2003. Tony Tetuila’s breakthrough coincided with a new dawn within the Nigerian music scene, led by the likes of 2Face Idibia, whose classic song ‘’African Queen’’ had made him a household name across the continent and beyond. For over a decade, the imprint these artists (now veterans) has been built upon by a new generation of artists, leading to Nigerian music becoming a major face of afrobeats/afropop music in the world.

At the turn of the 21st Century, the pendulum was swinging viz the Ghana and Nigerian music dominance. The musicians and music labels were attempting to break into each other’s market. However, it was the Nigerians who had the upper hand, solidly planting their flag on the shores of Ghana. The influx of Nigerian music and its commercial appeal had a battering on Ghana music. And the results were very glaring.

Ghanaian music began to adopt the Nigerian style of singing: incorporating some of their famous Yoruba and Igbo lingos and most importantly, switching to the highlife template that the Nigerians were building their sounds around. Interestingly, that highlife sound was originally a Ghanaian sound that was introduced into Nigeria during the 70s when many Ghanaian bands moved and settled in Nigeria-particularly Eastern Nigeria following the oil boom. It was off the back of this highlife sound that Tony Tetuila, the Kennis Music artist, crafted his chart topping single ‘My Car’.

An enchanting highlife song that carried an infectious, groovy value, ‘My Car’ was built around a story about how a good day could be ruined by many uncontrollable incidents or factors. (In Nigerian parlance: ‘yanga dey sleep, man go wake am’). Tony Tetuila captured how the world could conspire to do you dirty when you least expect. In the lyrics, he touched on reckless driving; dangers of lending money to friends; death (dead body no dey pay person money) and police harassment.

Video

The video for ‘’My Car’’ was conceptualized in a short movie format, where Tony Tetuila began his day by pursuing his debtor, who, by the time they got to his house, was being mourned by family and friends. Frustrated, Tony Tetula and his colleague got their car crashed in traffic.

Running around with no money following the death of his debtor (his friend) and a dent on his car caused by another friend (Edeeris Abdul Kareem, a veteran hiphop artist), Tony Tetuila’s misfortunes didn’t end there. His car was again run into by another vehicle; this time the culprit was a government official/politician.

That brief encounter with the politician revealed the degree of reverence Nigerians accord their politicians. Tony Tetuila and his colleague were seen doing push ups to show their respect in an attempt to get paid and also praise him for whatever reason. In the end, they received payments and a bad day suddenly became a good one.

Watching the video again, one can’t fail to notice how bad it looked: the graphics, choreography and quality of video are ridiculous. The imposition of images into the video (check how Tony Tetuila’s benz looked like a flying car). The story however, was good. It captured the Nigerian way of life- hardship and humor.

Now a politician, Tony Tetuilacgave the world a good, border breaking tune that has become his claim to fame. The success of his single earned him collaborative efforts with the likes of Ghanaian rapper Tic Tac on hid smash hit “Fefe Ne Fe”.

Many music enthusiasts may not remember any other major hit from the Kawara State born Tony Tetuila. But, his song “My Car” and his trademark dyed hair (a new aesthetic being embraced by many New Age artist) shall remain a major reminder for us.