THE CUTS bring to readers each week music or albums that are worth listening or having in your playlist. The music is not genre and/or regionspecific. Once it is good, it will be covered here.
Temple – Chuck Norris
Temple may not be a household name within the mainstream rap scene, but he’s the rapper your favourite rapper wouldn’t dare step to. From style to rhymes to punchlines and wordplay, he has everything locked. His new “Chuck Norris Freestyle” put things in context. Straddling across myriad of subjects like their award winning “Acropolis” short documentary with Yaw P at Paris Film Festival, his identity, his ‘busy-ness’ and how rapping is his a real deal for him: “life on wax, to you ebi hobby/ industry man dem be brown pass bobby’. Temple further warns beef seekers to stay off his radar for their own safety with this cautionary line at the end of his verse: ‘you can’t turn an allele (ho’) to a spouse’. What needled Temple to drop this freestyle? Make a statement about his craft? A shot at a foe? Or is a new series he’s championing ahead of an album? Whatever the case may be, Temple choosing to name a freestyle like Chuck Norris is nothing short of explosive. The opening horns are both triumphant and battle sounding bellows.
Lil’ Shaker feat Ko-Jo Cue – Mama Yie
First, I didn’t expect this from the Pen & Paper, the duo that is Lil’ Shaker and Ko-Jo Cue. But, it makes sense. In an era where afro dance music is ruling the globe, these two had to say something. If you looking for rap lines on “Mama Yie”, then you’d be disappointed. Expect for some few rap lines, the beat driven song is for entertainment value. The video makes this point valid. As the description to the video notes, ‘this purely dance track which focuses on portraying Ghana’s colorful dance culture from various tribes. It also bridges the gap between the cultural dances and the recent Afrobeats dance craze.Kpanlogo meets Azonto. Damba meets Mr Eazi’s Akwaaba dance. Agbadza meets Shaku Shaku. What other dance can you see? Well, one sees the BlocBoy JB’s ‘Shoot’ dance moves in there. As usual, the video director Esianyo Kumodzi nailed this as well.
Fricky – Freestyle
Fricky doesn’t step to the mic frequently. But when he does, it’s always special. It’s an exhibition in lyricism, MCing and intelligent rhyme schemes and punchlines that usually goes over the heads of the uninitiated rap fan. On his latest freestyle joint for Lyrical Wars-a leading hiphop promotion outfit in Ghana, Fricky is heard meandering through a series of topics over Nas’ Affirmative Action beat: love (you can find me in your shordy’s DMS telling her I kinda like her) on the opening line; how his pen game is sicker than your average; and how he played seamlessly on the names of some players of Real Madrid. The recording was obviously done in a room just to give the freestyle an organic feel.
Ntelabi feat D.I. King – Motive
Ntelabi is one of the artist whose voice has the grip factor. It’s deep and his raps are not too layered with excessive rap elements. The lyrics are pointed; reflecting the thoughts of the man. ‘Motive’, his latest work doesn’t deviate from this style. Ntelabi talks about making it (prayer to make enough to feed my brethren/ oh master release these chains’). For the rap purist, the current style in vogue currently deviates from the ethos of rap hence him asking if nobody has heard any Skillions tracks (Skillions are one of legendary hiphop groups that existed in Ghana) considering all the hype about these ‘gibberish tracks’ making rounds. He pours his frustrations about politics and how social media narrows people’s world view. As D.I. King makes clear on the hook ‘I can’t lose my focus/ funny how they think they broke us/ they can’t change my motive’. If you want real rap talk, Ntelabi is one you need to listen.
Alorhson –On My Grind
As the title indicate, On My Grind runs on a trap beat and has Alorshon laying out what his ambitions are: grind from his current position to a better future or place. The 2 minutes, 42 seconds song is replete with anecdotes of life and its traps. In his view, the statement that hard work pays isn’t true since he’s still ‘waiting on my cheques’. Alorhson switches between pidgin, English and twi on this tune. ‘On My Grind’ is the single from his upcoming CODE (Chasing Our Dreams Everyday). Despite the song being his mission statement, it qualifies to be a code (pun intend) for everyone else.