THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 10

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos-and anything that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured here aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY

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C-Real – Feel The Vibe

It was Reggie Rockstone who on one of his songs, Mbosuo, called on artistes to switch up their style if they want to be relevant and survive the turbulent music scene. This was many many years ago. C-Real’s new song ‘Feel The Vibe’, reminded me of Reggie’s advice. I love surprises but, honestly didn’t expect C-real to rap over minimally toned, Ga-inspired highlife beat (kolomashie). Feel The Vibe lives by its title: it’s fun-filled and vibely. It’s mid-tempo and danceable. The beat obviously brought out a more relaxed C-Real. For those who are unaware of Ghana and its people, Feel The Vibe is the perfect introduction. C-Real talks about the coolness of the Ghanaian-sociable, fun loving and cool people. C-Real put it better: ‘this is an awesome city/where the girls look pretty/ and the guys all bust a move when they feel the vibe’. Although ‘Feel The Vibe’ evokes happiness, in a C-Real fashion manages to kick in some inspiring words: ‘make you commot all the hate from your system/Now, gimme love no resistance’. Kay Nie, the producer laid a beat for C-Real to rapture with good vibes.

 

KAYSO feat Papa Chie – Lovey

The magic of ‘Lovey’ is less about the lyrics of the song and more about the highlife grooves that complement it. The songwriting and singing are alright-nothing striking. That aside, Lovey, the new single by producer/singer-rapper KaySo and Papachie is excellently crafted. This is my first time hearing KaySo produce a song that sit within the highlife fold- trap vibes is what I’ve known him for. The guitar licks are reminiscent of those from the palmwine highlife era whiles the horns are brass band-esque in tone. The drums bubble excitingly at the base of the song.  Featuring Papachie, ‘Lovey’ revisit some qualities seen in highlife songs of the past like allowing the beat to play for a few minutes between the first and second verses (this is uncommon lately as the verses often follow each other). With this smooth, danceable, guitar and horn filled highlife tune, KaySo from Tema stays true to his ‘Wanna Own Be Different’ tagline.

Sizz The Truth – Longest Rounds

What hit you first are those menacing piano chimes at the beginning of the song (they seem to be similar to that on ‘One of Us’ by Rick Ross). Longest Rounds is basically Sizz The Truth, detailing his night romp across the city-bar hopping trips, one-night stands and blowing money as suggested on the hook: ‘steady tryna sip the liquor in my cup/started at Purple (bar) ended at Django…had the longest rounds’ (Purple Bar and Django are two of the famous hangouts in the city). Longest Rounds is strictly hip hop (Sizz rap and sing on the hook, sounding tipsy). This Arrow produced tune is the first single off his upcoming project ‘The Whole Truth’

  B4BONAH feat Kojo-Cue – Dear God Refix

‘If you hear my cry/on my knees I’m calling/I need you right now/God, make I blow’. The message in this chorus sums up the theme of the song: a prayer to succeed. Talent alone isn’t enough to succeed in this music business. Luck, is very key in cracking the mainstream door. On this remix, b4Bonah drafts BBnZ’s Kojo Cue who, essentially details the difficulties of up and coming artistes- demand of payola from DJs before they play your song, fans not patronizing shows. ‘How many free shows do I have to stage to get recognized? /How many videos do I have to shoot to clinch a VGMA award?’, KoJo-Cue ask. Take away the rap and Dear God is a song that rides on bouncy beat and has a catchy hook.

 Fiifi Selah- Mma Obi Ndaada Wo (Let No One Deceive You)

The last time I heard a song from Fiifi Selah song I heard was over a decade ago on Obrafour’s ‘Asem Sebe’. He contributed a stellar verse on one of the most polished diss songs of all time. He was by then known as Scooby Selah-part of the music group SASS Squad and subsequently TH4Kwages. Between that time and now, a lot has happened in Fiifi Selah’s life. He’s still doing radio (on Accra based Pluzz FM) and now a full blown Rastafarian. On his latest tune, Fiifi Selah preaches to whoever is listening. His message is simple: don’t allow yourself to be deceived; seek your own truths and hold on to your God. Fiifi Selah talks rather than rap or sing on this MikeMillz On’Em produced song. Mma Obi Ndaada Wo; a deliberately style chosen for its impact on the listener.  Fiifi Selah message is full of anecdotes about life, actions and the need to act right:  is not your belief that’d get you to heaven. Neither is it your religion. Having a good heart is your surest bet to make it to heaven, Fiifi Sellah preaches. Mma Obi Ndaada Wo is taken from Sons of God mixtape Vol. 4. Download link https://t.co/lXqw7efuST

THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 9

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos-and anything that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured here aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY

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DJ JULS – MY WAVE

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‘If your first opening lines don’t grab the listener, it ain’t shit’. This was the advice Kendrick Lamar received from legendary rapper Ice Cube. It seems the advice doesn’t only apply to rappers. It applies to the art of curating a playlist (for DJs) and sequencing songs on an album (for artistes) as well.  The above principle is evidently displayed on Leap Of Faith, the new EP by producer and DJ, Juls. The first track, My Wave is as grabbing as any opening track could get. The beat is infectious, the arrangement is literally consuming and the voices drip with moisture.

Enlisting fast rising Nigerian artiste, Odunsi The Engine and Sona, who combined brilliantly (voice wise and energy) to wreak havoc on the brightly made beat that surround the song (the inescapable highlife grooves). The excellently placed guitar riffs and the horns on the on the song is the most appealing element of the song. I give it to DJ Juls for that over 1 minute of ‘dance time’ before the song fades; an odd trick in this era. ‘My Wave’ oozes pleasure. It is the kind of song you play on top volume with your car windows down or when in a drop-top. A full review of Leap of Faith would be up next week.

ELI Muzik & Alex Wondergem: Je M’en Bat Les Couilles

Buying Our Freedom is a collaborated EP between Ghanaian afro neo soul artiste, Eli Muzik and Alex Wondergem released somewhere last week (a full review of the EP out next week). The 6 track EP is an interesting collection of original compositions about life, legalization of cannabis, what it means to be human. In short, it’s a reflection on Ghana, the country. The lyrics of the songs are very blunt and ‘raw’-something I never associated with Eli. Je M’en Bat Les Couilles is an example of the unconventionality (lyrically speaking) displayed by Eli. A soulful tune which sees Eli throwing the F word around. One could hear his frustrations on the opening lines of the song: ‘this is a reflections of how I feel… I don’t give a fuck’. The pain in his voice along with the lyrics on the song makes ‘Je M’en Bat Les Couilles’ a befitting title for the song. If you don’t understand a word of French, the title translate as ‘I don’t give or care a shit’

Poetra Asantewa ft KMRU – Round Pegs

Round Pegs, an expression with a negative connotation. It’s used to describe individuals who don’t fit into a space due to lack of skills.  Sometimes, those we consider as round pegs defy our perceptions; rising to the top of their trade. These are the people poet, Poetra Asantewa is speaking about on her new spoken word piece Round Pegs, a joint work between Kenyan Electronic music producer KMRU (Joseph Kamaru) and herself. Round Pegs criticizes the notion of people forcing kids to pursue certain professions they have zero interest. She instead calls on people to encourage kids to dream and help them pursue their interest since ‘we all can be kings’, as the hook says. This is how she describes ‘Round Pegs’: ‘Moved out of my comfort zone working with KMRU – Kenyan electronic producer. Round pegs is spoken word fused with electronic!’

AKAN – Manhole

AKAN, for the first time is talking about love on his latest single Manhole. He narrates his experiences with unrequited love-where he was treated or felt like a manhole (waste or loser). He weaves a story about how his affection went unrecognized, his state of loneliness (the door to my heart is opened. I need someone to fill it). He begs for the hollowness left by her to be filled by something. ‘I’d be fulfilled if you’d stay with me for just one night). I must confess my admiration at the roll out of this track. Akan and his team teased fans with it, and later released a ‘fun fact’ video (Genius style) about the song. It was a poem written in English which Akan expanded into a song. He translated the English worded poem into Twi. JaySo was on hand to provide the trap beat, helping bring Manhole to life.

Kay-Ara – High On Epiphany.

Kay-Ara is covering a lot of grounds since his 4-year hiatus-which, according to rumors saw him seeking God’s face. That rumor is what Kay-Ara partly addressed on his latest song/video ‘High On Epiphany’.  The opening note to this Yaw P directed video plays humorously on this rumor: Rukie didn’t find God or faith. He was hiding in an uncompleted building. And that’s where the two-in-one video began-in an uncompleted video with Kay-Ara taking a piss. The video is raw and energetic with Kay-Ara on his worst behavior-action wise and lyrically: ‘I used to chill in the back/left space now back to fill in the gap’. It’s like watching an uncut version of the video. It has no storyline; just Kay-Ara showcasing his lyrical prowess before he ducked for 4 years.  ‘High On Epiphany’ is Kay-Ara proving to all he still has bars for days. He hasn’t lost his skills on the mic cos he’s ‘God’s Son, I bleed Hova’

 

THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 8

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THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos-and anything that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured here aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY


 

Kwesi Arthur – Live From Nkrumah Krom

It was King Priam of Troy who said, upon meeting Helen for the first time –after she had been ‘stolen’ to Troy by Prince Paris- that ‘for once the gossips were right’. That was exactly my thoughts after listening to Live From Nkrumah Krom (LFNK), the debut EP by Tema based and Ground Up Chale rapper, Kwesi Arthur. For once, those who tweeted about his brilliance days before the EP was released were right. Kwesi Arthur is a talent. An excellent rapper with an impressive cohesive body of work. On LFNK, he takes the listener on a journey of his life, his ambitions and yes, faith as evidenced on the opening track Ade Akye, where he poses the question: ‘what’s the price of life when you ain’t got shit?’ before weaving a story about how a rich friend lost it all through frivolities. The first part of the song (the interlude) sounds like a tease of a full song. On the second part, Kwesi Arthur details his ambitions to make it in life and not stay lazy: ‘only the only lazy one finds fulfilment in sleep’.

On Back On the Wall, he points to the concept of riches breed friends and hardship births loneliness whiles begging for answers: ‘Is it envy? Is it jealousy? Why dey no dey like me like they used to?’ in a sing-rap style. Every artiste need that one crowd moving tune and on the trap soaked Grind Day, Kwesi Arthur offers one. Grind Day has him outlining reasons why he is working hard to be successful because ‘all these daily expenses, how you fit shop for the mall?’  when broke? The song is one that would get Travis Scott hyped. KaySo, who produced most of the songs got this jam locked. LFKN is not just an EP about his life. It also sees Kwesi Arthur spread his faith on it. On songs like the dancehall tinged Devil Knocking, he begs God to guide and bless his ways. God is also felt on Back On the Wall and Ade Akye. LFNK is an excellent introductory EP by Kwesi Arthur in his attempt to sell his craft to a wider public beyond his GroundUp Chale family. On just 5 tracks, the 25 year rapper discusses his beginning and a successful future with brilliant and inspiring lyrics whilst displaying his versatility.

 

Ria Boss – Find Your Free EP

Six (6) tracks is enough to get you mesmerized, inspired and awakened. This EP is the Ria Boss starter-pack to finding your free. Riding on soul, blues and jazz influences, Find Your Free (FYF) has Ria wearing her garb of inspiration rather than the lewd outfits of Hajia Kitty, her alter ego. Golden is a call to be what you want to be. Over simple piano chords, Ria croons about finding your purpose and being yourself: ‘be who you wanna be. It’s on you’, she sings in her trademark airy voice. She further poses the question: ‘do you wanna be more than you are?’ The charming piano chords on Golden paves way to the hard-hitting 808s and banging drums of Love Yourself. Showing glimpses of Erykah Badu’s singing style, she gives all those ‘feeling blue’ the tonic to ‘stay fly’ for ‘you got it all’. The EDWVN produced On Interlude hands the EP a haunting effect (the background humming) disturbs the feel on FYF (in a good way). Ria Boss sprinkles soothing aura on WHOULUV, a song with blues vibe. She seeks to unravel a puzzle in someone’s personality: ‘who taught you how to be calm in the face of the odds?’. Flame On is a live recorded song about triumphing over one’s fears. She is heard assuring a little girl she won’t ‘face her dark days alone, there’s light on the on the other side’. Ria urges her to ‘set herself on fire love’.  String from a harp, a choir hum are the elements that surround Everything, an ode to the power and place of women is a closes the Find Your Free EP. The brilliant execution – production and inspiring lyrics- aside, i barely heard some of Ria Boss’ words on songs like On Interlude and WHOULUV (I lose the vibe if I don’t hear some words). The feeling you experience listening to Ria Boss is akin to the sweet, smooth breeze that sooth your body when you step out of a warm environment. It’s pleasurable and orgasmic, sending chills across your spine, sometimes. If you aren’t inspired to seek out your own free after listening to the EP, then I bet you can’t be saved.

 

MAAYAA – LIMBO

The voice is soothing and lively. The acoustic guitar riffs on which her voice meanders squelch with beautiful. Limbo is the first single from afro soul singer Maayaa, one of the newest voices on VI Music.  Maayaa sings about the cycle of love: the joys, the pains, the desire to walk away yet you feel stuck and stays in it hoping for a better turn. Limbo carries simple lyrics which are confessional in nature and easily relatable. She admits on the opening verse: ‘I feel our fates are intertwined, no I’m not crazy’. She teases out her state before finding love: ‘I was broken when we met, you fixed me in two’, yet admits she is unsure if ‘you were a cure or my new disease’. Despite her doubts over the whole situation, finding the strength to leave remains a mirage: ‘you won’t leave and I can’t leave…I’m stuck in a limbo’. The honesty in Maayaa’s singing and her soothing operatic voice cast her as one with a bright future. And, its pleasing to see another female add her name to the roster of female singers.  In her own words: Limbo is about addiction. Addiction to a person and experiencing dysfunctional love that’s difficult to let go of. To me, it’s a beautiful, honest reminder of why I started singing and writing music: the freedom to be as vulnerable and expressive as I want without judgement. This song is very special to me and I’m excited to share it with you all

 

Paapa Music – Losers

I think I’m right, you think you’re right/ It looks like we’ll be here all night
Life is too dear, life is too short/ so why do we turn love into a war?

These words are what opens the new single from Paapa Music, who has been off the music scene for a while (academics matter). His last outing was on M.anifest’s ‘Ozymandias’ (off Nowhere Cool). Losers is a song about living in peace, eschewing selfishness and being each other’s keeper. It’s a call to unite and say no to violence bearing in mind that, no one wins at the end. Paapa Music has always been about positivity on his songs. Aside the lyrics, his productions are always pristine as evident on Losers, which has elements of afrobeats (handclap is so Ghanaian), classical music and soul. His singing is flawless. As the world seems to spin towards disharmony, violence and suspicion-religious, ethnic- it is worth hearing Paapa remind us all thatin our quest to both win: ‘we both lose everything/ But we’re both still trying to win/ So we both lose everything’

bS feat Odunsi & Abu – Bomber

bS draft Odunsi ‘The Engine’ and Abu on this new afropop tune Bomber. The song carries a dancehall groove with bS sharing his nightly escapades with women; reminding the ladies that: ‘i no dey see you if the bottom no be fatter’ and how ‘when the beat drops, I feel tempted to touch’. bS switches between rapping and singing with Odunsi taking his spot on the hook, where he gives this simple hook a certain glow. Abu delivers the third verse of the track. Produced and mixed by Kuvie, Bomber carries those chiming chords, synths and slapping 808s- in minimal dose-which are part of Kuvie’s production tools. bS-whose earlier single ‘Respect The Government’ earned him fans is surely going to earn new fans off the back of ‘Bomber’ thanks to its delightful beat- its one to get you moving.

GAFFACI – Be Humble (Afro-EDM Remix)

With the success Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Humble’ is chalking on Billboard -and the overall record loud statement the album ‘DAMN.’ is making, it’s not surprising to see Gaffaci, producer and co-founder of Afro-EDM Collective JOWAA, put his own twist to the song. This remix is adrenaline filled as the beat has an EDM vibe. Gaffaci chops sections of the lyrics –b*tch be humble’, my left stroke just went viral and show me an ass with a stretch marks– on this tune. This remix isn’t one to sing along to. It’s one to sweat with when the DJ gives it a spin. 

 

 

 

THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 7

THE CUTS is your weekly round-up of songs and videos-and anything that has caught our attention and think you must hear or see. The music featured here aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is here every FRIDAY.

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LADY JAY – Who Do U Luv

Who Do You Love, the latest offering from singer  has everything to love. The mid-tempo and bouncy afro-trap and highlife grooves, the amazing vocals and of course the lyrics all blend perfectly to hand the song its banging prestige. Written and produced by Dex Kwasi (Wossup?!), Lady Jay, with a touch of tenderness and pleading in her voice demands assurance from her love by posing a burning questions: if I’m falling, would you hold me up? /babe, you for tell me who do you love? If you ever catch me one-on-one, would you tell me who do you love?’ This is prior to her promising to be a listening ear and a pillar of support. Who Do U Luv is the first single since releasing the infectious afro-trap ‘Venus’ about a year ago. The talent that Lady Jay is, is unquestionable. However, her often ‘drop- a- song- and- vanish’ act leaves many unsure of what her real intentions are per her musical career. With words as ‘when you no dey feel your best/ you for come relieve your stress’, whoever that lover is must be gloating, knowing there’s someone who cares.

TONERO – Missed Call

Euphonic Music is among the few labels who are helping push the African sound to the rest of the world. Through the medium of sound fusions- pop, EDM, trap influences with afrobeat, the artistes on the label are creating some incredible and experimental music that appeals to the ears and tickles the body.  That kind of sound or music is what is heard on Missed Call, the new single by . Missed Call affords the listener an insight into the musical beginnings of the Tonero: the rejections (it was back in ’14 twenty-first century, a nigga had a dream and nobody believed in him ); the mission (gotta inspire the kids to open up their minds and be better than their fathers) as well as the loneliness that come with steering an ‘unfavourable’ path (feeling like I’m alone, I got nobody to call my own/ I see no missed calls on my phone). That line captures the essence of the single. Missed Call carries a lot of  sounds- synths, rising piano chords, guitar riffs and harmonies by a choir  (like LED lights across a room), all bouncing over a gentle percussion beat emitted from an African drum.  Tonero, who sing-rap on this song employs the four tap element that has served as the bedrock of African rhythms on this song. If there’s one thing that I found overly done, it is the many sounds employed. It was more of a distraction than as it was intended. This notwithstanding, the Wave God has indeed hit the mark and it would be shown  through Missed Call.  Tonero had added another wavy tune to his musical resume.

 

 

ZED AY KAY feat KUMI GUITAR – Two Guitars

I don’t know what informed the choice of the song title. But, the song, Two Guitars is actually good, both in lyrical terms and theme tackled: oneness and the freedom to love any person one desires. In a world where racism and ethnic disagreements is being exploited to divide us, it is great hearing and celebrate the union between Africans (blacks) and Caucasians despite the reservations of others. As Zed aptly captures in the line: ‘we for show them say this black and white be the best two’, whiles acknowledging the difference in taste: ‘I no go vex if you listen your Phil Collins cos all of me loves all of you like John legend’. Kumi Guitar, who also played those beautiful highlife guitar grooves (along with guitarist Ackah Blay and Noah Thompson of Roman Street Band) sums it up perfectly: ‘two different worlds coming together’. I found the video on my twitter timeline courtesy @kofihayford233 and reading the video was directed by wanlov(Wanlov Cini) enticed me to watch. A simple yet impressive video with fantastic shots (watch from 1:10sec -1:14 sec & 1:21 -25) captures the love and the cultural differences between these lovers- the scooter jolly rides through the city and the inappropriateness of public kissing (watch from 1:41 sec- 1:42 sec). Did Noah bite the fingers of his ‘lover’ when she attempted feeding him? (watch from 2:20-2:24). In the end, all the parties end up at a party to celebrate their love, the unity and the beautiful of life.

DENZEL ROBERTS – Give Away

Denzel Roberts’ name might not register on your musical radar at least for now. But, he might thanks to his single Give Way, off his now released 13 track LP Crown Me A Halo. Denzel is ‘a hip-hop artiste with an honest story to tell’ and has been on the ‘scene for three years’. His music also strides into gospel and Christian rap.  One his first single, Give Way, Denzel is heard assuring a girl of his unflinching love over an uptempo afro-pop and trap beat. His high-pitched voice notwithstanding when he is rapping, he knows how to use his voice effectively- his crooning on the hook sounds good. ‘I don’t wanna miss another chance with you’, he croons on the interlude.  He describes his debut Crown Me A Halo in these terms: This album is paradoxical statement between my humility as a good kid coming from a Christian home and the sudden hubris I gained becoming a rapper. It is a personal story of the struggles I’ve had in life all the way to my current victory which happens to be parallel to the same hustle I’ve been through the music industry and to be finally able to release my debut project which is doing well in the charts. Currently, Crown Me A Halo is number 3 in the Hip-Hop chart in the GH iTunes store and the hottest overall album next to Joe Mettle. Get the album here and the download link

 

THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 6

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ELi Muzik feat Kyekyeku –Gaudete

There’s something glorious about the music that ELi Muzik creates. They often carry rings of soothing calmness which are irresistible to the ears and pleasing to the heart. His new single ‘Gaudete’ which features Kyekyeku doesn’t deviate from the afro-soul feel that define Eli’s music. The guitar riff grips you at first, then the voice breaks through the string rhythms. What follows are lyrics that are both inspiring and a reminder about life and its swings (see art cover). One of the best guitarists in the country, Kyekyeku (also the producer) delivers an amazing guitar work, adding extra gloss to the message of positivity (one day we go know/one day we shall overcome them), hope (you’ve come too far to let this ruin all) and motivation (something dey your eye inside/you p3 you dey see) shared by Eli Muzik. Gaudete, a word with Latin root meaning ‘rejoice’ encourages steadfastness and keeping focus on the dream-for the benefits of that shall be reaped in the near future.  The consciousness that spills out on most of his songs challenge notions; in the process, filling the listener with a sense of pride.

AI –Burn Fat (prod by Kuvie)

Is there something A.I can’t do musically? Here’s a guy who bodies every song he is put on-whether on the hook or to deliver a verse or full verses. He has shown us the depth of his talents (perhaps, some of it) on songs such as Making Tasha Proud (by JaySo), Shine (by EL), Motromodo (by Trigmatic) and of course on the jam of our time, Grind (by DJ Vision), Tsioo Ben Ke Mi (by KoJo- Cue). This is aside his own song: Paper. On ‘Burn Fat’, AI didn’t just show love to the ‘Nubian Queens’, he was yobbing a girl he likes. Here he was rapping, singing, throwing ad-libs and sang-talked on the fun evoking tune. Magic always happens when AI and Kuvie work together (their previous work is enough evidence). The beat Kuvie laid for Burn Fat is as groovy as it can get; getting your attention immediately the strings, kick and snare dropped. He deliberately made it sound hollow, allowing AI’s voice to be prominent even when he mumbled some of the lyrics. Grind introduced AI to the music world and has since not slowed down. He is getting the town talking with each single he drops.

FRA BAND – OZIMZIM Party

If you are a 90s kid, I’m sure you’d remember the classic highlife tune by one of the leading bands of the early 90s. Ozimzim was a huge party tune from the stables of Marriott International Band (which later re-branded to Ozimzim Band). The Band FRA, on their new song Ozimzim remind us to live happy, even when we experienced a rough week. On ‘Party’ FRA!  fused electronica and pop influences with their signature Afrobeat sound. An upbeat, refreshing and danceable groove produced by Reynolds TheGentleMan and mixed by Qube was the outcome. Ozimzim Party doesn’t only artfully merge youthful vim and exuberance but pays great homage Ozimzim band with those cleverly done samples.

JOWAA – Banku Dade & Abele

Producer Gafacci and JOWAA are without a doubt  pushing that authentic Ga music sound into the mainstream with their releases. Mixing the asorkpor sound with afrobeat elements, they are offering revelers the perfect music to swing with. Listening to Banku Dade and Abele (Gas and their love for maize), one fully appreciates the excellent blend of various musical sounds as well its riveting and energetic nature. If there’s one thing I know about asorkpor music, it is the fact that you can dance yourself to the point of exhaustion. Enjoy the music with a bit of restraint.

 

OTI – The Truth (OUTRO)

 

‘Cats so fake so they call them copies/ see, everybody raps but their bars are sloppy

The hot got weaker/ the art got cheaper/ oh these false prophets far from teachers’

 The truth are hard to speak these days especially the state of the rap game lately. In close quarters, you hear hip-hop fans slamming the weak rhymes that are all too familiar and the lack of real life stories to educate, inspire and challenge people and the status-quo. These themes are what OTI, one of the young rappers coming from the Skillions stable, is highlighting on his song The Truth (Outro)-first single from his soon to be released #UntoldStoryProject Mixtape.

The visuals for The Truth as captured by 6Miludo Media is simple: scenes of him at a balcony rapping over piano puncturing kick and snare beat and in the studio writing rhymes and recording fill this video. Cameo appearance by the one and only JaySo.

THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 5

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DJ Juls ft. Not3s, Kojo Funds, EUGY – BAD

As a friend put it, the productions of Juls Baby reflect the man. They are calm, smooth and of course charming. His latest outing further my friend’s observations. DJ Juls is obviously picking up from where he left off last year, as far as creating and producing ‘Summer Jams’ for the ravers. Bad drips of mellow dancehall vibes drenched in minimal elements of drums and snares. Not3s, Kojo Funds and Eugy deliver verses that equally match the tone of the production. Not3s drops a very catchy and easy to remember hook: ‘So babe, could you slow down or go low? /…If you want you could go down or go home? / Told you already love how you go down’, his words swimming through the melodic beat.

In the Mira Jebira directed video for Bad, DJ Juls and his boys are in what appears as a basement club vibing with the ladies-with Nots3, Kojo Funds and Eugy trying to woo the bar tender and other ladies in the club respectively. What is impressive about the video is the lightening-it added an incredible tone to the club setting. Any keen observer of DJ Juls and his works would realize how he keeps topping his own works with each new release. Last year, he gave us Teef Teef and Give Me Your Love, two big jams that helped grow Juls’ profile across globes. With Bad, DJ Juls has not only dropped a potential global tune but introduced Nots3 and Kojo Funds to new audiences- including Ghanaians.

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WUSU feat Team Salut- Lumba

It’s always a great pleasure hearing new artiste sample works of old Ghanaian artistes. Over the years, we have had the likes of Joey B (Cigarettes, Otoolege), Ayat (Iron Boy), ASEM (Bye Bye), Reggie Rockstone (Keep Your Eyes On the Road) incorporate highlife samples or lyrics in their songs to great effects. WUSU, a UK based singer has joined the sample train with his fantastic tune that celebrate one of our beloved legend, Daddy Lumba. The song is well put together-from the catch hook which references Lumba’s dance moves (I don’t dance/ I daddy Lumba) to the piano rendition of the classic Lumba single Aben Wo Ha. The blend of highlife and trap beats aside, Wusu was smart to reference titles of very popular songs on this obvious hit track. If Adam Levine paid tribute to Mick Jagger’s dance skills on Dance Like Mick Jagger, seeing Wusu put respect on the name of Daddy Lumba deserves much praise. Still unfamiliar of what the ‘I don’t dance I daddy lumba’ reference is, watch it here

 

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ADOMAA – April Fool

Adomaa as appropriately titled, the video was released on April 1. Colourful, great camera angles and shots, nice costumes and location, the video had Adomaa, along with rapper Wan O playing hype man, trading the soulful ballads for bars (rap). With talk about (insert lyrics), Adomaa’s momentary veering off her lane of singing to rapping over the Drumroll laid beats might have caught many by surprise. Watching her reminded me of Efya when she started out on her smokey, heart is bleeding pain tune: ‘You think say I be stuck to jazz, then April Fool/ point to them rappers make I murder who?‘. One standout scene for me was her puppetry antics. Her body expressions and again, the colouring handed it this hell tomb sense. The song may perhaps grow on me. It was a good attempt by her at projecting another side of her. However, the video is very much memorable than the song

Watch the video below:

 

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EDI-YOUNG – Ginger

Edi Young is back with a wavy new song- Ginger!  The old Skillionaire and current Kings Capital Music Group singer delivered a smooth rhythmical song on a MonieBeatz instrumental. He talks passionately about how his lover ‘gingers’ him up to achieve a lot in life just to make her comfortable. After all, she’s the reason he’s grinding, so in the end she could be his: Sake of you I dey grind baby/ because of you I go go make money/ odoyewu ehh. His lover is the primary reason he’s working this hard and he recognizes this. If she’s nothing but daily inspiration/motivation, then the love here must be really strong. If that’s how it goes, it wouldn’t be bad to love this hard then? After all it’s a win- win situation. Ginger has the bounce to make you do some few body wiggles.

 

THE CUTS: EP 01 Vol. 3

KO-JO CUE: THE WAVE

CUE is back again! This time round, with another street banging tune that will surely make waves (pun intended). After releasing the bouncy, crowd pulling, good-old boom-bap laced Wole (which sampled Lauryn Hills’ “Lost One’), the BBnZ artiste returns with “Waves” after months of quietness.

Ko-Jo Cue, on this Retro produced bouncy trap beat, is heard talking about success, jealousy and hard work. Interspersing English with Twi, Cue didn’t mince words about the fakeness in the music industry: ‘they only love you when you’re on top/they only love you when your song drops’. He continues: ‘some people never wanna see you hot’. Cue in that same verse point out how some artistes are all happy to record demos with you but hate on your success, literary ending the verse on : what’s a demo when you are a master (double entendre?)

Ko-Jo Cue seems to hit a notch higher with each single he releases. His stellar songwriting (stole my style and I made a new one), his chest thumping confidence and measured tones despite an obvious boast is clever- a trick endearing him to new fans and bolstering his support among his fans.

I don’t know when Ko-Jo Cue is going to drop an album but judging by the series of singles he has been dropping lately, all who love good rap and lyricism should brace up for an album soon.  ‘Don’t compare me to new niggas chale/ they see new niggas pop up every day and niggas wanna  compare me to them… when they gon’ I’ll still be here’, that voice at the beginning of the song told us.

 

DARKO VIBES – TOMORROW

Ga music can actually ride smoothly on highlife instrumentals, quite ironic, but it can. Darko Vibes did exactly that with this banger!  With relatable lyrics, Darko Vibes talks about how he needs his partner by him through the hard times. As a token of his appreciation, he’d get her expensive things to soothe her pain: “Here’s a tissue for your tears oh baby/ We nor go finish like this I promise you/ Ma hĕ tsorne ma hã bo(I’d buy a car for you) / Stick with me”.

Darko doesn’t want the woman he loves to give up on him, especially through his current struggle: “Baakã emasei shikome po/ Ejaak3 pinmor n33 eny33 d)) / Things go change/ E ma dear kaanami gbomor kpong“. Eventually, he’s never going to leave her when he gets his breakthrough, especially since she’s been by him throughout, adding: If yawa gb33 me today/ Wey i nor tell you my mind then i fool/ if i no make tomorrow/wey you no know my mind then abi fool’. He believes their union is just right!  After all, it has been blessed by his mom, so why give up on this now?: “We nor reach this far make you come and give up on me now, Jee after ni.

MIKEMILLZON’EM FEAT AKAN – KAE

Producer MikeMillzOn’Em recruits Akan for his gloomy mid-tempo record “Kae” (Remember) reminding us all the need to be grateful. Akan assures himself of a bright future that awaits and reminds himself not to forget the struggles that will contribute to this success. He raps his way to the chorus where he repeats passionately “Kae o Kae o Kae o”; the need to appreciate the darkness when light reaches us: ‘fact that a smile has broken on ones face doesn’t mean the gloom is hidden forever’


MikeMillzOn’Em came in with bouncy drum patterns on gloomy trap melodies with accompanying horns to help establish essence of remaining grateful to every helping hand you meet on your journey of life, a message which should resonate with everyone. Akan, one of the young rappers with a tongue full of wits, matched the well-spaced drums with lyrics that resonate with the listener: ‘if your truth is more than your lies/ examine the lies of your past’. I’ll graciously welcome a joint project between these two masters-one of the beat and the other of lyricism.

 

HONDRED PERCENT – RONNING

Think the Sugar Hill Gang and their spoken rap with just a piano melody. That’s the path poet and rapper, Hondred (pronounced 100) Percent chose for his latest outing ‘Ronning’; the first single off his April scheduled EP release. Ronning is a slang word for ‘wooing’ (a female) and here, Hondred did not mince words.

He went in with 100% confidence- his words are sweet: “lady my natural flavor is distinction” and his confidence and swag resplendent: “you need diamonds? /I’ll supply you daily cos I’m NWJ- Nigga with Jewelry”. Hondred Percent need not beg for her number despite handing his over. He deciphered hers based on her physical appearance. Ronning is one you must listen.