The last time Okyeame Kwame teamed up with MzVee was in 2013 on the excellently conceptualized Versatile Album. Then, MzVee (going by the name Vera) was starting out in the music industry-with D3. Okyeame Kwame (OK for short) was charting a new frontier in his career. The song the two collaborated on was Don’t Judge Me.
Fast forward, two years down the line, MzVee has broken out as the foremost female dancehall artiste in recent times with the ‘Rap Dacta’ still pushing the boundaries of contemporary hip life music. Their latest collaborative effort is this beautifully executed masterpiece Small Small.
Small Small in everyday Ghanaian parlance means ‘little by little’ and is often used to describe the gradual steps one (must) takes on his/her path to greater heights; feeding into the popular adage that the fowl drinks water not in one gulp but in smaller quantities. Small Small could be appropriately described as the precursor to the emotive ballad ‘Woara’ by OK and songstress Racquel off the Versatile Album.
Recorded live with the Patch Bay Band and produced by the award winning Appietus, the song with its afro pop feel and francophone semblance was sung in English, Twi and Pidgin (street English popular in West Africa).
Small Small opens with measured piano chords and guitar riffs followed on its heels by the kick and snares before the voice of Okyeame Kwame punctures through with the words ‘if you want to walk with me, my babe o/first learn to crawl with me, my babe o/if you want to run with me, my babe o’
On first listen, one can deduce the theme of the song-: Love and Acceptance. Okyeame Kwame and MzVee reassure each other of resolutions to stay together despite the humble beginnings: ‘Small Small, I no get shoto, I no get am soko…we go win lotto/I’ll buy you motor’, Okyeame sings the chorus in pidgin with MzVee blending in with her ‘Grow together’ ad lips.
I love you (Is so easy to say o)
I need you (I hear am plenty today o)
I want you (Ebi like so we dey play o)
But I’ll grow with you
(Na e go dey make our love stay)
On a closer listen one realizes the song looks at three scenarios of present day romantic life: the Let-Struggle-Today-For-A-Better-Future verses ‘What-Is-Love verses I-Want-The-Now-To-Be-Glamorous’. The latter is, unfortunately the option most young ladies opt for.
MzVee makes it poignant that materialism is secondary. For her the man must meet certain criteria before she could be with him ‘you want to fly first you need to walk with me/you want to give me rhymes you need to learn to talk with me’ she sings in her unmistakable soaring yet heartwarming voice.
Midway into the song, Okyeame Kwame switches his style from singing to rapping touching on life before financial freedom came- ‘eating gari’, taking trotro and making funny excuses why corned beef is not worth eating.
Small Small would get you dancing thanks to its fast paced, danceable appeal yet leaves you with a food for thought. The theme of the song is encapsulated in this Okyeame Kwame declaration ‘if you want to win with me, first take a chance with me’: love is a process and not an event. And the horns on the song would leave the listener appreciating the beauty of live recorded songs.
Listen and download song here