‘’Manifest proves his talent and lyrical dexterity on this masterpiece. Awesome lyrics, good composure and great beats all wrapped up on Apae’
Despite his huge talent, which has been acclaimed by music critics, it wasn’t until he won the Best Rapper and Hip Hop Song of the Year accolades at the 2013 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) that caused many to pay close attention to him.
Ever since, M.anifest (Kwame Tsikata), has kept his name on the tongues of many music adherents and scared the minds of fans with his intelligence and consciousness, carefully woven punchlines and metaphors and rhymes.
And in cementing his stature, he has released his much anticipated 11 track EP, APEA: The Price of Free. The album saw production works from long time producers such as G.MO and JaySo.
M.anifest gave an indication of what to expect off APAEby dropping the first single Eibei (Dream Killers) days after scooping two awards at the VGMAs- many thought he was hitting at naysayers. On this single he raps ‘Some get job but get no passion/ But some get passion but got no job/So when you talk about living your passion/ Them go yob you say make you dawg’.
Then there’s Mind Games, which features vocals by producer JaySo. Here, M.Dot muses over the attitude of his lover-she taking him for a fool when ‘he’s the best she’d ever have’. His refrain ‘mind games gives migraines what I for do, in this war of roses nobody wins is true’ seems to be popular phrase in town along with Someway Bi, the third single off the album.
Driving in the storm how I fit see ahead/weather forecast a bit nippy ahead/ beggars can’t choose but picky instead/9-5 blues kick me I’m dead, opens the Young Fly produced Someway Bi. M.anifest dots his lyrical skills over a horn-adorned, xylophone infused, highlife beat, drumming home the need to ignore the daily hustle and have fun. You can’t but nod and sing along the hook ‘I barely no sleep/ Boys abre no be girls p3/ Ebi Someway Bi’
Debi Debi undoubtedly saw M.anifest at his best as a socio-politico-conscious rapper, barring out his frustrations and expressing his thoughts on happenings in Ghana, touching on preachers fleecing congregants, downward spiral of education, corruption and state of music in Ghana with promoters handing them raw deals.
‘’Pastors more paid than teachers and nurses. How the preachers dey afford these big benzes?/ and nobody questions from the pews and benches’’
He threw issue of promoters paying artistes in Ghana peanuts and pay international acts an arm and leg, reminding his fellow artists to work harder because ‘’it’s essential for the win’’
One of the classics found on Apea is ‘No Shortcut to Heaven’, which is gradually becoming the fans favourite for two reasons: first, the message in the song is about the craze for materialism in today’s fast paced world especially among the youth. Secondly, the legendary rapper Obrafour delivered an amazingly flawless hook on this G.MO produced track.
Opportunity knocks but we too deaf to hear/Put to death our fears/bring to life our dreams/ We out here we don’t adhere to regular rules/Our mommies are fasting n praying for us/ Secular fools’, M.anifest raps, reminding us that ‘Life in the milky way doesn’t taste like baileys’
A simple hook delivered in a simple, rich manner goes to add luster to a song and Papa showed evidence of that on Right Here. The young talent enveloped the song which opened with an element of beat-boxing before the kick, piano works took over.
APAE boast of good songs such as Post Azonto Blues, Never Feel and Big Sixes. APAE is an aesthetic album, not frivolous in lyrics yet devoid of boring themes. Unlike Immigrant Chronicles, this EP is not overtly political or too consciously themed. It has a get-it-and-enjoy-the-music-as-you-may mood.
If there was doubt over the talent of M.anifest, despite featuring on Tony Allen and Flea and Damon Albarn’s Rocket Moon and the Juice album; twice as a performer on African Express Music Train then APAE fortifies his status as an undisputable force in Ghana and Africa as a whole.
APAE is available on iTunes and All Woodin Shops nationwide.