Rappers and hip hop acts love to compare themselves to figures that are either polarizing or standout for their genius level accomplishments. These comparisons are geared towards enhancing the rappers own credibility and prominence among their peers – it could be to emphasize a claim of notoriety or riches. Name dropping is a common trait in hip hop.
Name dropping in hip hop is a big deal. It marks a certain level of acceptability and sense of pride. Curiosity builds around the person (in the case of unknown figures). For those known, it is a way of preserving their legacy and accomplishment on wax. It’s even more profound if the individuals name dropped are themselves artists, who are still active in the music scene.
In Ghana, the name drop ‘Hall of Fame’ is an exclusive club, thanks to the fact that only a few have enjoyed it. Scanning across the walls of the ‘hall’, one group who have earned this accolade as arguably the most name dropped acts in Ghana are the FOKN Bois.
The FOKN Bois, for those unaware, are a duo made up of M3nsa and Wanlov. They have two albums together, FOKN Wit Ewe and FOKN Ode To Ghana. Aside their two albums, each is pursuing a successful solo careers. They are also the brains behind the first pidgin musical, Coz Ov Moni 1&2.
Overtime, the duo have earned for themselves a reputation which could be described as polarizing. Their creativity isn’t even up for debate. It is their views on both political and social issues that invites the backlash. If there’s something they have mastered, it’s their receptiveness to the criticism and their high sense of sarcasm. The FOKN Bois are like the cool uncles you wish to have in your corner. Their musical exploits and other antics are what appears to enchant people including their fellow artists.
Here are Seven (7) artists who name dropped the FOKN Bois on their records. The list include both ‘established’ artists and those on the come-up. Brace up for it
Worlasi – Wake Orp
‘I learn my pidgin rap from Wanlov then Mensa/ Skillions, C-Real, EL/ The rest be secret’
Found on his highly acclaimed ‘’Nuse’’ EP, Worlasi on ‘’Wake Orp’’ opened the gates to his mindset by sharing what music means to him, his future plans, and why he is not bothered by what other artists are doing. Sticking to his guns and charting his own lane has been one of Worlasi’s trademarks since bursting on the scene in 2015. On this record, Worlasi gives props to those who inspired him and his music. And who else got the first mention? The Fokn Bois.
Rumor & Ko-Jo Cue – Poetry’s Back
‘’The day I go shun rap be the day Wanlov go turn born again/ Or the day e go go on tv then act porn again’’.
Rumor and Ko-Jo Cue used this track to establish their credentials as two of the most lyrically astute rappers in the country. Rumour on this punchline heavy song-taken from Drake’s ‘Jodeci’-references Wanlov in two instances. In the first line of the song, he points to Wanlov’s non-religiosity, something he wears with pride. On the second line, Rumor points to Wanlov’s infamous display of his genitals on TV during an interview on the ‘Delay Show’ in 2012. Dared by Delay, the host of the show, to confirm if he doesn’t wear any underwear. Wanlov lifted his skirt, exposing his genitals as evidence. Even though Rumor isn’t active on the rap scene lately, he pops up with a verse or two occasionally. And since Wanlov is still not born again, Rumor isn’t quitting rap anytime soon. I hope
Kofi Kinaata – Confession
“Oba no chapel a/ me nua yi M3nsa, me y3 Kubolor”
Kofi Kinaata’s magnum opus ‘’Confession’’ was a huge record; the biggest in his career thus far. With a catchy hook, highlife styled beat and of course, humor toned lyrics, Kofi Kinaata courted not only fame but three awards at the 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs). A song that invoked God to come take the wheel of his car because of his stupor state, Kofi Kinaata threw in a line that captures that threw shade on his predicament. In the line above, he raps: when it comes to going to church, my brother is M3nsa, I’m Kubolor (Kubolor is the ‘surname’ of Wanlov). This name drop is a double entendre. First, Kinaata compares himself to Wanlov (the Kubolor), a known humanist. He further draws in Mensa, whom he described as his friend, an allusion to the popular dictum: ‘show me your friend and I’ll show know your character’. The M3nsa reference also feeds into the Fante proverb that in every household, there’s a Mensah (M3nsa), a black sheep of the family. Kinaata intelligently played on the names of the Fokn Bois and also referenced a popular proverb, adding more paint to the picture he ended up painting.
ASEM – Last Fylla
‘’Wanlov was bold enough to show his thing on TV/ But the thing it wasn’t bold enough/ Whiteman no dey hold enough’’
Asem was noted for his end of year commentary on the topical happenings in the country. ‘’Last Fylla’’ was the final instalment in what became a signature item before he took a hiatus from music. Like Rumor, Asem referenced the behavior of Wanlov that triggered a national conversation about media ethics, ‘The Delay Show’ taken off by TV3 due to that incident. Asem went ahead to playfully take a dig at Wanlov for not being endowed ‘below’; something that white folks are accused of. Note, Wanlov is of a mixed heritage (a Ghanaian father and Romanian mum). As creative as he is, Asem’s next line of the verse alluded to Sister Debbie’s hit song “Uncle Obama’’ which also used banana as a metaphor for a penis. For those unaware, Sister Debbie is Wanlov’s kid sister. Nice play Asem.
Ko-Jo Cue ft Kay-Ara – We Dey Form
“Fokn Boy on the cut I just bleed M3nsa”
Years before BBnZ signed him to the label in 2014, and before earning a VGMA nomination, Ko-Jo Cue had been knocking on the door of notability. His 2013 mixtape ‘Before We Shine 2’ was one of his early projects that got a few to take note of his stellar skills. Along with another highly rated rapper Kay-Ara, the two indulged in a lyrical exercise on the punchline, wordplay and metaphor heavy song ‘’We Dey Form’’. After a series of back and forth on the three versed song, Cue dropped the above lyrics; paying respect to the lyrical abilities of the Fokn Bois and more specifically M3nsa. This was after mentioning a couple of rappers who have influenced him along the way like Okyeame Kwame, Obrafour, Reggie Rockstone, Joe Fraizer, Lord Kenya and Okomfo Kwadei. Years on in 2015, Ko-Jo Cue would earn a hook and production from M3nsa on his soulful love song, ‘Esi Araba’, off ‘The Shining Mixtape’.
Kay-Ara – Abi Chisel
Den go find somebody wey e go blow your mind, shoddy/ Me den you shun/ Wanlov & Mensa musical/ Coz Ov Moni
Kay-Ara and the Fokn Bois have a long standing relationship so name dropping them on a song shouldn’t be a surprise. In fact, the Fokn Bois rank him among their favourites. “Abi Chisel” (a pidgin phrase that mean I’m frugal) was one of the songs off his mixtape, ‘’Still Underground’’ released in 2010. On the song, Kay-Ara is heard pointing out to an overly demanding girl why their relationship won’t work. Lacing up a nice lyric like the above was to make his point and reason more clearly: it’s all because of his lack of money. In the lyrics, he doesn’t only reference the Fokn Bois but also their monumental movie, “Coz Ov Moni”, the world’s first pidgin musical. As it’s said, a little love, and a little money enhances a relationship. Bet, Kay-Ara didn’t get that memo.
Dr. Drilla – Selfie Cypher II
“Efie bia mensa wo mu/ All we hia be Wanlov”
The phrase is a very common proverb that translate literally as every household has a black sheep/ All we need is one love. Dr. Drilla smartly played on the two names on his song ‘’Selfie Cypher II’’, found on his recently released project “Emerge”. As the title of the song reflect, Dr. Drilla was on a lyrical exhibition, a good rap talent on the way to winning hearts and earning a spot within the mainstream music scene.
The Fokn Bois are a beloved duo among both the old and young artists. Their contrarian posture doesn’t render that fact null and void. They are a thrill to watch, fun and thought provoking to listen. In fact, the Fokn Bois make nonsense of the so-called celebrity tag slapped on any entertainer on TV, radio or in music or movie ‘industry’. There’s no better way for their fellow artists to express their respect and admiration than to immortalize them on wax; something your favorite rapper hasn’t yet earned.