Often times, what attracts you to an artiste’s music, especially in hip hop, isn’t much about the intelligently woven rhymes and punchlines. Sometimes, a simple melody or the artiste’s voice and his/her simple yet relatable lyrics or story lines is enough attraction. The power of Lykay Abubakar (Abel Brobbey), a Ghanaian hip-hop artiste lies in the latter-his baritone voice and simple lyrics.
On his recently released 7 track EP titled Deity, Lykay positions himself as one of the rappers to lookout for on the Ghanaian hip hop scene. His style blends old school gangster hip hop and today’s musical influences delivered in English, Twi, pidgin and a bit oF Fante. This style is heavily spurted on Deity.
The EP leans heavily on hip-hop beats borrowed from producers Kanye West, Apollo Brown, Yuma France and DJ Premier. God Flow,is the only song produced by Weirdxgenuis’ in-house producer- Weirdxgenuis is the label Lykay is on. On Deity, Lykay speaks about spirituality (Nobody Knows), keeping focus and chasing the dream (Black Skies/Monster), the past (Memories) and ambitions (NOYB, Messiah, God Flow).
Lykay is unafraid to speak his mind on a variety of issues especially when it comes to the rap/music industry’s relationship with the underground artist ‘the music industry is frustrating…nobody gives a fuck about your creativity’.
Lykay is unafraid to speak his mind on a variety of issues especially when it comes to the rap/music industry’s relationship with the underground artist ‘the music industry is frustrating…nobody gives a fuck about your creativity’. A well-known fact. On ‘Nobody Knows’, which opens with his mother reciting a verse from the book of Psalms-Psalm 23 in Twi, something reminiscent of DMX, Lykay thanks God for his guidance and dispelling notions about rappers and their spirituality ‘nobody knows the hustle we’ve been through. If not for God, we’ve not have broken through’. Nobody Knows has a church appeal; adding a doze of holiness to the song.
Lykay exhibits his storytelling attributes on the Apollo Brown produced ‘Memories’ where he recounts anecdotes from his young life with honesty and calmness. Lyrics like ‘I realized life wasn’t easy till I realize no one gave a fuck’ is steeped in reality than just mere words. A good glimpse about the frustrations encountered by underground is expressed aptly ‘even underground artistes dey wan show me what I for do’’.
‘Memories so nostalgic. Sometimes I wanna revisit things, relive things and change some of the mistakes I did.
What is hip-hop without some confident boasts? Lykay pours a dose of this on the last two tracks on Deity. His cockiness is measured. He doesn’t appear overly aggressive in tone as heard on ‘Messiah’, one of his standout tracks ‘your career sef e never start, how I go fi end am?’ God Flow, the last track on the tape carries a trap feel and on it, Lykay continues to sell himself with lines such as ‘cold rapper when I spit hell freze/I make these rappers know say I got steez’.
Despite the positives – his delivery, content of songs and attempt at selling himself to a larger audience, Lykay’s switches in language makes listening unpleasurable. His frequent switch from one language to another leaves one lost momentarily. Yes, it’s great to throw a few English lines in a twi flow but when it becomes a ‘strategy’, it becomes boring. Again, on God Flow, the well-paced drum patterns and Lykay’s zest notwithstanding, one hears him trying to fit his raps over the beat.
Deity is a good EP; not excellent. It is a good self-promotional work by Lykay as he attempts to find a spot in the Ghanaian hip hop firmament. Hip hop fans would appreciate his old school gangster flow and head bumping beats. For what Deity stands for, I’ll leave it to the fans to judge.
Download EP http://m.audiomack.com/album/lykay/vintage-ep-1