THE NAME JAYSO IS EASILY recognized within the Ghanaian rap scene. His countless works has not been lost on us either. His immense talent in the music sphere is without doubt, an envy to many of his colleagues. Not only does he command respect within the music circles, his skills set has led to him working for some famous international acts.
JaySo aka Paul Nuamah Donkor, is a man of many talents. He is a rapper, singer and songwriter. He can also be described as an A&R. He heads Skillions Records and a founding member of the rap collective Skillions. For many, JaySo is one of the best brains and hands behind the music production boards in Ghana.
With over a decade and half career experience under his belt, the thirty- two year award winning act’s handiwork has been recognized within Ghana and beyond. Most of the notable artistes today have been associated with him in one way or another. Apart from Ghanaian artistes, JaySo has worked for Wyclef, Sway DaSafo (UK), Ikechukwuku and Naeto-C.
Despite his brilliance on the boards as a producer, dope rapper and good singer, JaySo’s debut album continues to be elusive, despite the numerous hints. A joint album-TMG with Sarkodie never materialized after dropping four singles. A self titled debut is rumoured to be released soon. ‘Rumoured’ because it sounds cliché despite releasing four singles has thus far.
There is this striking relationship between JaySo and Jay Electronica when it comes to dropping their debuts. Both men, aside being in different spaces, have a host of singles but no album to their names. And this ‘Whet- their- appetite- and- duck‘ scheme is becoming annoying to say the least.
Ok! I’m ready to drop this album 🙃 [Watch This Space Closely]
So, last night I decided to cue up some of the songs he has worked on. The outcome is this article. JaySo has produced many good records-either for himself or others so you would bear with me that it was such a tough decision settling on these six best songs performed or produced by the Skillions head honcho (in my opinion).
JAYSO & SARKODIE –PIZZA & BURGER
Tell me you don’t feel the beat in your bones and I’ll tell you your hearing is defective. The first single of the not released The Mind Game Album-a joint collaborative album between JaySo and Sarkodie, Pizza and Burger essentially speaks about enjoying the finer things in life when you finally become successful. You gotta love it.
SCIENTIFIC FT JAYSO –NOTHING WITHOUT YOU.
This song reverbs with some solemnity, calmness and introspection. The message is as relevant as ever. Recorded weeks after Scientific survived a fatal accident- like Kanye West did with ‘Through The Wire’- talks about God giving him a second chance, struggles, survival and success.
With its subdued kick and bass line, piano chords and the sublime hats sound tugged beneath the heavy kicks, this JaySo tailor-made beat helps burrow the song’s message right into the listener’s soul. ‘As I live my life, there’s trouble everyday/I can’t find my way/This is why I pray/make me a better man/everything I Am/ I Just Wanna say, Lord/ I’m nothing without you?
MAKING TASHA PROUD
This song unarguably passes as JaySo’s biggest mainstream radio hit after all these years. Making Tasha Proud, witnessed JaySo rapping in Twi, pidgin and English in one fold and the beats; unblemished. He recruited one of the finest vocalists on the scene A.I on the hook.
The song departs from the usual hip hop signature of JaySo and delves into something Ghanaian. He talks about persevering despite the odds in line with a promise he had to Tasha. The melody is simply infectious.
RUMOUR – WELL WELL.
When Rumour said in the beginning ‘It’s a classic’ he never lied. What can one say about this song really? Rumour is one of the best lyricists of his generation. Flowking Stone is a master wordsmith. And with a beat smith like JaySo on production, the song definitely must be lit. The banging beat and that sample remains evergreen.
Before Borga, Sarkodie was receiving great attention with his first single ‘Baby’ featuring Mugeez. Borga shot Sarkodie up a notch. The track ridicules and shares the hard truth about the enduring hustle many Africans in Europe face. And JaySo brought his A-game on as ever-heavy drumlines, 808s and horns to create a one hell of a work.
Even today, after a couple of years, the Borga beat is one of the easily recognizable beats in Ghana.
SANDRA & NOBEL –AYALOLO
Sandra is a soul-stress signed to Skillions. Nobel (who was a winner on the Vodafone Iconz Mixed Edition) was one of the many artistes affiliated to Skillions Records. The two, under the guidance of JaySo, came together to put out one of the best records that never got radio airplay.
Ayalolo, which translate from Ga as ‘Let’s Continue Going’ is a reminder to never despair and march forward notwithstanding the obstacles till we find nirvana. Sang in both Ga and English, the song carries this heavy kick and bass that hit you hard. And the mixture of voices-sultry voice of Sandra and booming voice of Nobel was perfect.
Ayalolo is not a classic..it is Cla-Sick!
SARKODIE FT SWAY –LAY AWAY
Sarkodie, circa 2010 was a beast. His hunger was eminent and he never failed at bodying fellow rappers on tracks. His trademark tongue-twisting was captivating. And on this track with UK’s own Sway, JaySo laced a befitting hip hop beats in GH ever. Sharp piano chords, heavy kicks and thumping bass, your eardrums get pounded anytime you listen to it.