In his 2015 speech after winning the VGMA ‘Best Video Award’ for ‘The One’, Edem appealed to all to support artists by patronizing their works. This, he indicated was one of the ways, artists like himself would release very good works-both audio and videos for fans to enjoy and sell Ghana music to the world. According to him, he spent about GHc 40,000 on that video. In short, money helps in creating excellent visuals for artists.
This is evident in his new video, ‘Mighty Jesus’. The song celebrates the goodness of God (or Jesus) in his life and career. Produced by Coptic, Edem drafts fellow rappers, EL and Jayso, who took turns to express the favour of God in their various endeavours over hard hitting hip hop beat.
The video is directed by Pascal Aka and is set in a church. There is a choir, a pastor and violinists providing extra musical texture to the song. The video runs through a series of shots- dancers in a praying posture (heads bowed), choristers, a pastor, violinists and evil forces seeking to cause harm to Edem, Jayso and EL. We also see Edem (dressed in all white) and a view of a mountain battered by winds. The video is shot entirely in black and white.
We get introduced to Jayso courtesy a panoramic view of him lying in a big drawn crucifix adorned at the edges with candles. There are scenes of him rapping while standing with the choir behind him. Interspersed are scenes of a ‘kayayie’ (head porter) and an ‘albino’ mother who’s being tormented by evil forces. EL is shown in a room full of evil forces trying to attack him. On the white walls of the room are blood stains- he is killing them through the grace of God. Next comes Edem, looking all dapper in his white shirt and black trousers, sitting comfortably on what looks like a wooden throne (made of sticks and palm fronts).
The ‘Mighty Jesus’ video has some interesting scenes that advances the narrative including the albino mother who’s separated from the evil forces by a grace enclosure she’s in. That wall connotes the grace of God. The video marries Western (charismatic) Church culture with Traditional African Religious themes as seen in the Christian symbols of crucifix, candles, choirs and the preacher. The animated expressions of the pastor is flawlessly performed. The depiction of African themes or symbols via the body paintings, Northern warrior horn helmet and raffia wearing priestess all point to the contrast and commonalities existing between these religions although the Christian values are positively highlighted. At the end of the day, the evil forces all succumbed to one God, the Christian God.
Compared to his video for ‘The One’, ‘Mighty Jesus’ has less graphic works. Pascal Aka and Edem chose to keep it very simple (concept, colour grading) yet the story is clearly told and could be understood by anyone who may have no sense of what they may be saying. In sum, this gospel themed video is perfect for a gospel themed song as ‘Mighty Jesus’.
‘Mighty Jesus’ is the first single from his soon to be released album, ‘The African Answer’. Cop a copy and support the artists so they could continue to create the way we want them to.