IT IS uncommon nowadays for musicians, especially rappers to speak or provide commentary on political and social issues that afflict society. Those who dare often offer ‘light’ thoughts on the subject and quickly switch to other issues they consider important-their music, promotions and bling lifestyle, choosing the safer passage over the hard, patchy road which could cause an end to his/her career.
Considering where and how hip hop or rap music emerged and what it was supposed to be-a weapon to speak against ills of society- real rap heads feel that consciousness of rap music is dying if not dead and gone.
Despite this gloomy situation, one breaks into a big grin and punches the air when s/he hears one of their favourite rappers go against the norm, step on to the podium and speaks the thoughts of everyone with zest and passion.
And that was exactly what rapper EL (Elorm Adablah) did on 6th of March, 2015. The date is historic-it was the date Ghana became independent and the day marking our 58th Independence anniversary. The BBnZ prime act dropped his version of the State of the Nation (name of song).
On this 3:46 long track produced by Young Fly, EL took chance to let us in on his state of mind and the reason behind the song:
‘This is my state of the nation address/ is no hating I’m just stating the facts/updating the masses on the situation we facing/I guess we can accept it’s complicated at best’’.
He proceeds to speak about the present predicaments bedeviling Ghana: high goods prices, energy crisis (the load shedding phenomenon is biting hard on us all), unemployment, empty promises by politicians and wonders why Ghana isn’t a heaven by now.
‘It (Ghana) should have been a paradise for the world to envy/But it’s hard when all your capital reserves are empty/The rich get rich/ chase girls in Bentleys/The poor die courtside’.
The preachers who continuously proffer words of salvation to the masses in the face of hardship, that God has a better place did not escape E.L’s volatile rants
‘… Preacher man screaming Amen/ Give it to God Mama give it to God/ He go come one day on a beautiful horse/if you dey hung (hungry) ebi he go put food in your moff (mouth)/make you no talk/go to work and play fool for your boss’’
The versatile rapper turned his gun on the corruptible stunts of political leaders and those in authorities, focusing on the mantra for looting and wastefulness.
‘They say it gon’ cost a billion dollars/ a billion dollars to solve our present and imminent problems/ Listen, we’ve been borrowing from the beginning in Ghana/ Nothing changes/we still living in darkness’
EL further lashes at others who exploit the ordinary citizen ‘…when officers working at the airport are begging for funds/The policeman at the check point collecting his one (Cedi)/stretching his hand through my window/other hand on the gun/to get that two cedis fix/and this happening right now!’
The question worth asking is this: how do you end this and who is to help end it? The People should. The people should be the watchmen, the vanguards against incompetence. The people own the power and must employ the power to society’s good. Sometimes, one is left to wonder if the people, the real power brokers know how powerful they are. EL reminds us of this:
‘…Who do we blame for this state of affairs? I blame us/ if we have the power we make them do what they must/demand accountability/Stepping our game up’.
E.L concludes by calling all to rally round the flag and the nation by eschewing negativities that has the potential of defeating our spirit of cohesion for ‘we’ll never see the right design until we decide to unite our minds.
The self proclaimed B.A.R Man (Best African Rapper) is urging Ghanaians to ‘Stand Up for Ghana’ and speak their minds because it is ‘our birth right’. He aptly describes himself in the opening lines of the song as ‘a citizen, an unwilling witness of the condition in which we living in, a living testament of civilians who are innocent, a critic of the system for what it is and should have been’.
As an old dictum goes, an elder who chooses silence over speech when the young are enjoying a delicacy of a royal python will be accused of partaking in the feast. EL obviously does not wish to behave like that elder therefore has chosen to vent his outrage at how deplorable things are shaping to be in his own State of Nation Address.
Listen and download the song here State of The Nation
authored by @swayekidd