The Cut bring to readers each week music or albums that the writer deem worth listening or having in your playlist. The music is not genre and/or regionally specific. Once it is good, it will be covered here.
Tinuke – Ayalolo prod. Kuvie
‘’I dropped my tape it opened new doors/your fake body no dey move us/we just dey focus on the mine o/see me on the move, I’m on my grind o”. With these words, Tinuke makes her ambitions clear. After a two year hiatus, this Nigerian/Ghanaian rapper is back, teaming up with the music producer Kuvie on ‘Ayalolo’ (a Ga word meaning ‘we’re going or moving). The crisp production and its mild bounce smokes with a mid-tempo groove. Tinuke adopts a sing-rap smoothness to express her ambitions in this rap game in both pidgin, Ga and Yoruba.
‘Aayalolo’ is endearing to the ear and inviting to the limbs. Its mellow nature is its prime selling point-a sharp contrast with her previous H.E.R mixtape which carried an aggressive and blistering tone. And the reason is clear: Tinuke is proving she can be both ‘wild’ and ‘chill’ in same breath without missing a step on beat. ‘’Ayalolo’’ sounds like the song that may help Tinuke step into the mainstream scene- the beat, the style and hook point to that.
Darkovibes – Bangers
The strings on this song is super taut, leaving the listener ready for what would unfold. Darkovibes’ voice is raw and passionate; complimenting the vibrant trap and highlife beat that the song is drowned in. ‘Bangers’ has Darkovibes looking back at his life, friendship and choices before he courted this current attention. This is his ‘thank you for believing in me’ song to his friends and associates who saw the vision before many did. The way the hook is made sounds like hundred guys singing at a go.
Darkovibes captivated following the release of his classic single ‘Tomorrow’. He has shown his talents on singles and songs released by LaMeme Gang- a music collective he’s part of. ‘Bangers’ featured Ayat who added a bridge to the hook. Like its title suggest, this is definitely a banger.
Boy Kay – Are We There Yet
The last track off this EP, ‘Life’ is stewed in guitar riffs and snares-the drums would kick in later-, with Boy Kay sing-rapping about life and its entrapments. Teshieboi who is featured adds a slice of truth to the song. ‘Are We There Yet’ is technically a four song EP- if you take out the intro and skit. The production feeds into the recent music tropes – trap and afrobeats –as evident on ‘Lonely Nights’, a song about his fears of losing a girl. ‘Side Chick’ has him addressing his side-chick. But, instead of moving on due to an impending marriage, he still wants to keep her around.
On ‘Yenti’, a mid-tempo afrobeat song, Boy Kay and Kros touch on life and chasing dreams. ‘Are We There Yet’- title likely taken from the 2005 Ice Cube drama movie- is a decent output from Boy Kay. There are records that would get your attention. The themes of life-its gifts and curses are touched on. However, a six track EP with a skit on it? I can’t take that.
Jowaa – Asokpor 1.0
Wherever Jowaa goes, electronic music follows. This 6 track is your quintessential afro dance music. Soaked in trance-like rhythmic influences, Asokpor 1.0 is the perfect music for choreographers to showcase their skills. Gleaning from the title, it seems like this is the first installment in a series of EPs from Jowaa. And this is what Jowaa on their music:
In the 1990s, house and techno got a lot of airplay in Accra – people called it asokpor. Twenty years later electronic music has become very discreet in Ghana, but its influence has subtly permeated the DNA of Accra’s producers. Jowaa is taking asokpor back to the center stage, this time fueled by Accra’s rich rhythmic tradition. Think of it as Detroit meets kpanlogo. Or better yet, stop thinking, just dance hard – jo waa in Accra’s Ga language.
Yaa Yaa feat Fante Fante– Life
‘Life’, by Yaa Yaa carries a glow thanks to its message, the live recording and of course, Yaa Yaa’s vocal work. As the song title suggest, Yaa Yaa point to the unpredictability of life-the joys and pains; reminding us of the need to find joy in each of them. These are portrayed in the Yaw Skyface directed video for ‘Life’. Yaa Yaa is seen walking down the street, looking amazing in her African printed fabric and an afro. She boards a trotro to meet up with her bandmates. Scenes of everyday life is roped in the video, adding some ‘rawness’ to it. The joy she and her bandmates express at the end of the video is confirmation of the beauty of life; the odds notwithstanding.
M3dal has always been on our radar since his song Krom Ay3 D3 came out in 2016. We tipped him for greater things in our list of future prospects in 2016. Even though he’s been lurking within the music space, he hasn’t been too visible. A day ago, he released his new single, Sagaa produced by Senyocue. Carrying a very infectious groove and catchy melody, M3dal is heard pleading with his lover to never betray him while assuring her of his unwavering love. Songstress Alexia hopped on the song to add some soulful touch to the song by repeating the hook of the song. M3dal chose to sing rather than rap and allowed the beat to play longer than it’s the norm these days. Hope his visibility won’t fade soon.
Kwesi Slay feat Walov- Visa
When you hear ‘Visa’ mentioned on a song, you instantly know it’s about struggle and a desire to escape its harshness. People continue to have the opinion that, the grass is greener on the other side (cliché). Kwesi Slay’s song ‘Visa’ doesn’t deviate from this. He raps about his life, the constant effort he put into making it yet falling short. His motive is to get a visa and go to America since Ghana isn’t favourable-reflecting the views of many.
The video for Visa couldn’t be any better. Shot in Kantamanto (Ghana’s biggest second-hand clothing market), Kwesi Slay appears as a second-hand clothes seller whose business isn’t thriving. He is shown combining through the market, bail of clothes on his back hawking around. Wanlov-playing a hawker- tries to dissuade Kwesi from making leaving by highlighting some of the ills out there-like Trump being in power, merciless weather conditions, how the police can’t be bribed.
In the end, not only did he loan him some money for visa, saying:‘you for go some and see the light’ and be smart and not get deported. It’s now clear how and why Wanlov was seen in a video selling oranges in a market. It was having fun during the video shoot. The aerial drone shot of the market with its ceilings looked awesome. Trust Wanlov and his Wanlov Cini crew to give you something stunning.
McRay – Fire in the Rain
McRay’s voice on the hook is distorted-it sounds robotic. His rap style-unrushed, a bar at a time is evocative of a style loved by Cy Lover or the Lost Boyz. On this track, not only does McRay sound effortlessly nice with his flow, the commentary being shared is from his reality; a guy whose background had shaped his dreams. ‘Shouts to Mr. Ben/ You got my back when my daddy left/you paid my mama’s bills/sort her out every month…’ This lyrics clearly illustrates how much struggle and stress the family had to endure following the death of his dad. He quickly reflect on his own life and how he needs ‘a hit to make my mama proud’. The 23 year old McRay’s choice of song title reflect his mind set and ambitions: despite running against the odds, he’s bound for success. And the face of his mother would always remind him of his own promise and purpose.
Dr. Drilla – SMS
Sometimes, releasing an album/EP isn’t enough to cause the desired effect. You need to captivate people with other catchy antics. Dr. Drilla knows this, so hearing his song, that ‘features’ Sarkodie, M.anifest and Shatta Wale is interesting. (It wasn’t an actual feature but Drilla imitating the rap style of these artists).
’’SMS’’ is a creative work of art that played on the ‘beef’ between Sarkodie and M.anifest (as the disclaimer at the beginning indicates), with each character arguing over why they are the real deal. Shatta Wale played the ‘referee’ on this occasion. Drilla deserves praise for his ability to imitate their style and rap schemes.
This isn’t the first time an artist has mimicked others on a song. Medikal AMG did that on his 2016 single ‘Connect’, where he dropped verses in the mould of EL, Joey B, Omar Sterling, Sarkodie, Yaa Pono among others. A funny moment occurs towards the end of the song when ‘Yaa Pono’s 3 –seconds rap is rudely interrupted by Shatta Wale. The two have ‘beef’ too.