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.——————————————
bigBen – ‘Back To JTown’ EP
Nigerian act, bigBen’s five track EP, “BACK TO JTOWN” is a fusion of rap trap and afro music featuring artistes like Ko-Jo Cue, Efraim (Ghana) and Tray, S.MAC (Nigeria). He describes the EP as ‘an experimental one; something that will clear the typecast of him sounding like other artistes and see him as a versatile recording artiste and producer’. Even under so much pressure from school, he sees the imperfect process of making “BACK TO JTOWN” as an inspiring challenge, ready to learn and keep moving a step further from the benchmark. ‘Back To JTown’ is an homage to his country, Nigeria and his home state of Jos.
bigBen remarks on the opening track, ‘I’m gonna do what I like. There’s no restriction in music’ holds true throughout the song,especially the influences explored.
On “Adore”, the beat is soulful, like one from the vault of J. Dilla. “Come Closer” carries an afropop vibe. Trap beat surround “Bullion Van”. The vibe is similar to ‘We Dem Boyz’ by Taylor Gang. “Hold Up” featuring Ko-Jo Cue has a danceable feel. bigBen switches to trapsoul on “What You Need”. “Back To JTown” is available across all music platforms.
Ansah Live feat Imani N.A.D- ‘Shine Your Eye’
Ansah Live is one of those young rappers who’s not afraid to experiment with his sound. Unlike some of his compatriots who like to swim in the ocean of traditional boom bap, trap or afropop beats, he enjoys fusing these elements with electro or house influences as heard on his latest tune ‘Shine Your Eye’.
In two verses, Ansah Live lays down his history as a young rapper; his musical influences-including Mensa- and his present position in the rap game: ‘Black and white but Joe, it’s all coloured/ No bi just Pen and Paper, Joe, it’s all powered’. On the second verse, he outlines his dreams, which include inspiring others, accepting criticisms and keeping an eye on backstabbing friends.
‘Shine Your Eye’, is a pidgin slang meaning ‘Be Careful’ or ‘Watchful’, and on the song, Ansah Live and Imani make this point, especially on the hook: say focused. Best part of the song is when the beat runs with the timbre voice of Imani pounding over the rhythms.
DJ Mensah feat Sarkodie (Prod. by Kuvie) – Say I Do
DJ Mensah putting Sarkodie on a track is like MixedByAli putting Kendrick Lamar on a track. Point is, DJ Mensah is Sarkodie’s DJ so this isn’t very strange. Produced by Kuvie, the song carries his signature imprint- skeletal yet groovy.
‘Say I Do’ has Sarkodie asking a girl to ‘say I do’ to his proposal. He advices all to learn to cut their coat according to the size of their cloth (as the cliche goes). There is humor as well in his lyrics. This isn’t Sarkodie’s best output, but don’t be surprised to hear it on radio.
Sizz The Truth – Show Up “Show Up”, the second single off ‘The Whole Truth’, set for release in January, 2018 is an alternative hiphop tune. Adopting a sing-rap style, Sizz shares a tale of his shenanigans. ‘Thought she kinda have a boyfriend/but she wanna do things that got me thinking if she got a conscience’, yet he isn’t eager to say no to her advances.
Sampled Nyck Caution’s ‘Out of Reach’ offers the song its smooth R&B feel reminiscent of the 90s hiphop era. The reservations about the song are that, the beat snuff out Sizz’s voice at certain points and the harmonies from Nyck Caution becomes a nuisance at a point. Sizz The Truth has the talent. He needs to firm up a few bolts to become the dope artist he envision himself to be.
Fre-D – Magodo Party
Fre-D teams up once more with Togolese/South African producer, Le Prezident on his new song ‘Magodo Party’. The song which has its scene set in Magodo Estate, Lagos (Nigeria) sees Fre-D courting a young lady with his usual braggadocios and witty raps. The instrumental features elements from South African Kwaito music fused with jazzy Afrobeat elements to represent the duo’s origins. The mix of groovy instrumental, raps and feel-good hooks make it a song for the festive playlists!