THE CUTS is a weekly round-up of songs and videos that has caught our attention or think you must hear. The music featured here aren’t genre specific. THE CUTS is delivered every FRIDAY
Guilty Beatz feat Mr. Eazi, Pappy Kojo and Patapaa – Akwaaba
Vibez sͻͻ, Vibes Sͻͻ (apologies LaMeme Gang). This new GuiltyBeatz tune is straight up a jam. The afro dance music inflections, very short lyrics and catchy phrases from both Mr. Eazi, Pappy Kojo and more importantly Patapaa adds to the songs charm. ‘Akwaaba’ could still have stood on its own, as a certified banger, without the vocal contributions of the 3 artists.
The swingy beat of ‘’Akwaaba’’ would definitely invite a million-and-one viral dance videos across the world despite the song coming with its own animated dance moves. And if there is one thing well established on Akwaaba, it’s the fact that, the One Corner hitmaker, Patapaa doesn’t need a 3 minute song to lace a hit song. 10 seconds is enough, as shown on Akwaaba. This is a certified jam you’d hear throughout the year.
Mabiina- True Love
I recall where I heard this song first. I was in a car and Jay Foley was on the Live Breakfast Show and this was being played at that moment. I had to record it, since the name of the artist wasn’t mentioned. This was on January 22nd. It was just yesterday that I found out her name was Mabiina.
The smoky and raspy and the slightly high-pitched voice along with its raw and raunchy lyrics are among the attractiveness of ‘’True Love’’. Mabiina comes across as a girl who knows what she wants and goes in for it. She wears her ratchet apparel with no fucks given when she sings: ‘’Oh boy, you got me feeling so thirsty, thirsty/ when I lay my hands on you no mercy, mercy’’. Mabiina’s voice -which reminds me of Efya of ‘A Moment’s Notice’’-breezes through the drum and kick beat without any blemish. ‘’True Love’’ could be that door opening song for her; if she plays it well. Unfortunately, the video is forgettable.
Betina Quest- Mama Africa Pt. 3
Betina Quest is a producer/artist from Burundi whose new project “Questape Vol. 2” boast 8 songs. One of them is “Mama Africa Pt 3”; a lo-fi hip hop toned song that carries a striking bassline, percussion and synths. Betina Quest does flavourize the song with chants and african spiritual harmonies. The only lyric that runs through the song is Mama Africa, delivered in a tone that bridges between longing and wailing. The soothing soulfulness of the song add to its enchantment.
In the video for “Mama Africa”, she draws 6 individuals (including herself) from 5 African countries- Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, South Africa and Zimbabwe- who use the medium of dance to express themselves and their culture. ‘’From personal experience I have come to understand the conversation about identity is an important one to share, for where there is understanding – there is healing – there is growth’’, Betina Quest describes in part, the inspiration behind the video.
Soorebia feat Akan – 2 Strings
The rhythmic strings emanating from the kologo guitar reverbs beautifully across Soorebia’s latest single “2 Strings”. The song title doubles as an ode to the two string instrument which is popular among musicians from the Upper East region-notably King Ayisoba, Atongo Zimba and Steve Atambire. Switching between his native Frafra language and pidgin, Soorebia (real name Martin Soree) is selling or proving his homeland of Bolga has talented rappers we must look out for on this drum and kick heavy hip hop beat.
Similar to the likes of Macassio and Fancy Gadam who propelled their home region of Tamale onto the music map, Soorebia is not only attempting to do same but capture the top spot as well. “You see the crown eh/I’m taking it too soon/ Cos I have the skin now/ And I want the stool too’’, Soorebia lays out his own ambition. Like Soorebia who’s attempting to make a name for himself down south, Akan, featured on the song is also looking to making a name up north as his lyrics point out. 2 Strings is truly ‘hip hop from Bolga’
Raph Enzee ft Ayat – Pioto
For those unaware of the meaning of the word ‘Pioto’, it’s a slang for panties or draws (dross) worn by women. With that said, Raph Enzee is advising fellow guys not to spend their time and money on women (buying pussy), but concentrate on their hustle and building a future for themselves, like he’s doing. Like most of today’s trap songs, ‘Pioto’, produced By Drumnayshin carries the unmistakable trap bounce and a repetitive hook. Ayat drops a hook to cap the ‘you for gym your kotoku’ and ‘run to the money’ message from Raph Enze’s party starter.
Ayat – Memuna
This is the type of song that grows on you after a few listens. Granted it might not rank as one of the best on Ayat’s catalogue, it has a catchy bait around it. Compared to other love songs from Ayat, Memuna lacks the energy of Play For Keeps or the reflective feel of ‘Changs.
For what the song lacks, Twisted Wavex, the producer makes it up with his groovy beat. Blending Hausa and pidgin, Ayat mourns the change in attitude of his girl ‘Memuna’; something that is killing him. The wrenching emotions of a man mourning a loss or his troubled mind isn’t very obvious in his voice. Perhaps, he’s not that kind of a guy.
Kwesi Arthur- Ready Or Not Freestyle
Kwesi Arthur wears his Tema badge with pride in the words: Tema for get in glory, one time’ and Tema, Tema, Team till the death of me chale’. Over this classic Fugees number ‘Ready Or Not’, Kwesi reminisces about his days before he stepped to the mic; when he was listening to Sarkodie and Yaa Pono on ‘’Kasahari Levels’’ (freestyle session hosted by Dr. Duncan on Adom FM).
He references the beef between R2Bees and Asem and how the bond between Tema rappers helped propel Tema artists to the front burner of music from the second half of 2000s is lacking today. He also touches on his own ‘scrap to eat story’; his desire to put a smile on the face of his granny and mom and he buying himself a diamond rollie so he can remember the hard times. Kwesi Arthur sounds so natural on the beat, not breaking a sweat over the words that pours on this freestyle found on his latest offering: Live From The Gutter, a collection of songs and feature verses.
Bayku feat Yaa Pono – Release Your Body
For those not born or too young to know, the forebears of what later became hip life were the Talking Drumz, a duo composed of Kwaku T and Abeiku (now Bayku). Bayku has a new song out featuring Yaa Pono titled ‘Release Your Body’. Steeped in authentic African rhythms of palmwine guitar and fast paced asorkpor, “Release Your Body” reminds people not to take life too seriously:
‘Release your body everybody will be happy’.
Yaa Pono adds bite to the message with anecdotes of life carved with his usual humorous lyrics. Bayku teams up with maverick producer, Panji Anoff (of Pidgen music) who produced and managed the Talking Drumz for this song. The video is a low budget one, and looks like the behind-the-scene from a video shoot. The transitions in the video, however is superb. It’s good to see Kwaku T and Aka Blay, the celebrated guitarist featuring in the video. ‘You may say I’m a dreamer/I know I’m not the only one’’.
OlaJuwon –The Weekend EP
Nigerian crooner, OlaJuwon’s three song EP is influenced by his own life experiences, during his time at the university. The songs on the EP are all cast in a slow tempo style and recounts his issues with love and heartbreaks. Spy, the opening track has him showering affection on a lady (‘you the best I’ve ever seen/ your melanin dey popping’’).
On With You (Interlude), he cries about a lost love; he gave it all but he was dumped. Over a brooding, sparse beat, he sings, ‘you don’t even notice me’. This song shares trait of The Weeknd’s ‘Wicked Games’. The Synth Records signee, OlaJuwon has the best laugh at the end when she attempts to come back to him on ‘For The Weekend’, a situation that left him ‘so confused’ that he chose to ‘fade’ out his pains.