‘I’m crying ‘cos of what I’ve seen’, Mensa, sings in a booming distorted voice, on the opening hook of Yung Pabi’s latest single “Bushman”. Yung Pabi has for over the past week promoted the release of this single. The social media promo and the output on offer level up
“BushMan”, used in this context to mean an unenlightened person, is a tale about irresponsible fatherhood. One can’t say if it’s a semi- autobiographical account of Yung Pabi’s own life.
From the inception of the song, Yung Pabi, recounts the circumstances surrounding his birth; his mum wailing, following his birth not out of excitement but pain. Her husband left her to start a family with another women, putting her in a dire state of survival- to fend for herself and her new kid. With hopelessness staring at her and her child, she indicated her readiness to offer her baby up for sale.
The story being recounted by Yung Pabi isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s prevalent in many societies across the globe where single mothers shoulder the responsibilities of caring and raising her kids while the fathers are out of the picture; either through divorce or deliberate neglect.
On “BushMan”, Pabi’s story didn’t only touch on the negative aspect of this irresponsible behaviour of fathers. Sometimes, abandonment could be a blessing in disguise as these kids (rejected stones), become, in the famous words of reggae legend Bob Marley, the cornerstones of their families and society. And that’s when these fathers come to their senses and try to take credit for how their kids turned out. The artwork accompanying the single of an oldman in a contemplative mood and a young doctor captured the message of the song.
Yung Pabi establishes himself as an excellent storyteller and a socially conscious rapper on “Bushman”. Mensa choosing to deliver the hook of the song rather than rap a verse is a way of letting Yung Pabi showcase his talent, in all its form, to fans and music enthusiasts alike.
First, the video for BushMan is well conceived and well-acted. It captured the very themes expressed by Yung Pabi in the song. Set in a rural ‘community’, we are greeted by an ‘old’ Mensa singing the song’s hook with a rueful facial expression. He is seen tendering his garden. When asked by his ‘daughter’ why he keeps watering his plants, his response was very philosophical: I want to teach you how to take care of things; how to nature seeds. If something is important to you, you have to teach yourself how to take care of it to grow into what you expect it to become’.
What followed next were a visual creation of the subjects contained in the song: a woman’s struggle to care for her son, the father’s irresponsible behaviour, and finally, the child becoming a doctor.
The acting was impressive, likewise the costuming and make-up. Mensa’s old look- grey hair and beard, frail looking, pale voice and slow speech. It took me a few minutes to realize it was Yung Pabi who played the ‘mother’.
Translating the lyrics into English was a good one since it would afford non-Twi speakers a better appreciation of the message the song carries. The video directors Ohene Kayna & Bismark Odartey creatively captured the spirit of the song in visuals.