AN INTERPRETATION OF ‘NYAME BRA’ BY PAPPY KOJO

On Nyame Bra, Pappy Kojo tells the world he is ready to carve and walk on his own path 

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First off, let me put this across that I’ve not watched a video as many times as I have watched Pappy Kojo’s Nyame Bra. I have watched it four times since its release last Thursday. The only music video I watched at least five times was Blitz The Ambassador’s Trilogia Diasporadical.

Nyame Bra- which translate from Fante as God, Come- is one I never expected per concept and approach-judging against Pappy Kojo’s previous videos. But, that’s what being creative means-staying unpredictable and brave. Good artistes should not be defined by one approach. They should be versatile; able to switch styles when they want, when fans least expect. That’s how you reinvent yourself and continue to stay relevant.

Nyame Bra, passes as Pappy Kojo’s ‘coming of age’ song. A song about growth-the experiences he has gathered since he first came into the rap game at the back of Joey B’s 2015 song ‘Wave- and self-discovery. Pappy Kojo has, since that time, gone through the mill; tasting the gifts and the curses of showbiz in the process. He is now ready to carve and walk his own path.

Directed by Abstrakte (Togbe Gavua and Trayne), the same duo behind One Life by Worlasi, Nyame Bra opens with long shots of an abandoned house, a bush and a polytank stand. Shot entirely in black and white, the first thing that is revealed are the feet of Pappy Kojo, clad in a dirty and bloody bandage. Pappy is seen in a dirty robe; dreadlocks hanging loose; pulling an empty cart (truck as we call it) through the streets of a neigbourhood. His opening rap line, which translate as ‘if you thought my fire is about to dim, I’m here with enough charcoal’ set the song in context.

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As he walked, pulling his cart, sack loads of garbage fill the cart at each turn. His ‘guardian angels or spirits’ watched his movement in steep silence. Finally, Pappy, realizing he has reached a good point, freed himself and abandoned the cart midway. There is a scene where Pappy stands aloft the piled sacks of garbage with the ‘spirits’ behind him.

Like any artistic video concepts, Nyame Bra contains many obvious and subliminal symbols and subtle imagines which conveys real and hard hitting truths about his beginning, present state and the future. Here, I’m breaking the symbols down as I see it.

UNKEMPT LOOK

Underground artistes get beat up by the system as they attempt to pave a way for themselves. They get overlooked, disappointed and disrespected even if they do have the talents. And in the video, we see a raggedy Pappy Kojo- unkempt dreadlocks, bruised and bloody feet wrapped in bandages and dirty clothes- pulling a cart. As the video runs, we see him abandon the cart and its contents, entering into a new phase where all is squeaky clean.

THE CART AND ITS CONTENTS

At the early beginning of the video, we see Pappy Kojo pulling an empty cart (truck) through a well outlined neighborhood with a paved street. This could symbolize the beginning of his musical journey when all was good and well (no baggages). As fame came so did the baggage-disappointments, frustrations, criticisms, hate and experiences represented by the sack load of dirt which kept piling up the cart. His frustrations and disappointment is expressed in this lyric, which translate as ‘If not for my bravery, I wouldn’t have made it yet for all I did for Tadi, I wasn’t appreciated (Tadi or Takoradi is his home region).

STANDING ATOP THE HEAP OF RUBBISH (DIRT) IN CART

Simple interpretation: rise beyond the pain and frustrations. Frustrations and struggles are inescapable in life and it is up to each man to fight through it; picking the lessons en route to the top of their careers. After all, what is life without pain, challenges and frustrations anyway?

THE SPIRITS

The white-faced ‘spirits’ guarding Pappy’s path as he drove his cart could symbolize his guardian angels, protecting and guiding his steps towards success. Interestingly, the spirits are of various religious backgrounds-from traditionalists to Moslems- and ages. They wearing white is no coincidence as it is the belief that white represent purity, goodness and victory.

THE FUEL PUMP

If you watch the video closely, you would see the lady clad in bikini holding or leaning against a fuel pump behind Pappy Kojo (after his transformation into a star). The fuel pump is not placed there for aesthetic reasons. It could possible represent the new energy the ‘Fante Van Damme’ is about to unleash on to the music scene.

Nyame Bra video is definitely a good job well done. Abstrakte directed one of the best music videos thus far-artistically speaking by offering a glimpse into the journey of the ‘Realer No’. It takes a good creative team and excellent video directors to bring such stories to screen.

Watch video here:

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4 comments

  1. @Yo__Sel · June 27, 2016

    Excellent review. It’s reviews like this that makes the Kanyes Kanye (eg the recent Famous video) and Beyonces Beyoncé(eg: The Lemonade Visual Album). Ghana needs more of this, other than that populace won’t enjoy the artistry in musical arts and always misinterpret it. Good job done. ✌🏾️

    • Swaye Kidd · June 28, 2016

      Thanks for reading.. Rightly put. Those out there ain’t doing anything great. The availability of resources-finance, manpower and journos who know their craft- enable their works to go global.
      We must do same

  2. Mssoda · June 29, 2016

    I liked the video too. So much growth

  3. Swayekidd · June 29, 2016

    Exactly. Video so dope

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