Nobody does it the way Jayso does it lately. This may sound provocative but for many rap fans, hip hop within the Ghanaian music space has taken a two step down the ladder. Some once upon a time true hip hop rappers have hanged their hip hop garbs and in exchange, worn an resplendent afro pop/rap outfit. It’s not a bad thing considering afro pop is now the profitable genre.
But Jayso has stuck to his guns, holding dear the tenets of hip hop: from beats to rap schemes. For someone who founded Skillions- arguably the foremost hip hop collective around the year 2000s- Jayso has found a way of carrying that blazing torch aloft.
On his annual birthday EP to fans- 0106 EP (Vol. 3)- the rapper, singer, producer, songwriter isn’t out there to play it safe. Jayso has burning issues to air out. And on the “Intro”, he makes this intentions clear, rapping ‘took a break after Highest, so the vipers and pythons here, brought a lawn mower to cut the grass’ over a heavy thumping fontomfrom drum beat courtesy Epidemix. (Jayso executive produced Sarkodie’s last album, Highest hence the mention).
For many, his inherent shots at fellow rapper and one- time friend M.anifest might come as shocking. (One-time friend judging by the content of the songs). Jayso comes across mostly as the guy who would rather chuckle at you than fight you. But that veneer seem to have worn-off on the fiery “Barfest” where he took M.anifest on, questioning his friendship (y’all ain’t slick with the underrated talk, you’ll miss me with your aim) , his writing and rapping skills (you ain’t got skills this intense boy, I’m a notepad meet scheming pen boy) and taking a dig at his godMC moniker (listen my man, you be god in your pocket, we no dey bow down to idols..).
“Barfest” is the extended version of Jayso’s truth with M.anifest. On “Yes Indeed”, Jayso touches on some truths: recording M.anifest’s ‘biggest’ album of his career (as he describes it); and imaging ‘manifest stressing’ him; and working better than your legacy’.
The genesis of this beef began in 2016 during the Sarkodie and M.anifest mêlée, where Jayso got himself caught up in the cross fire. Being friends with both artists and M.anifest coming after Sark off “Bossy”, a song Jayso produced was something Jayso found repugnant.
In his quest to set records straight, he released ‘Preach’ on which he questioned M.anifest’s god-like inference: You not a real king if you claim that you are/And you are a false prophet if you claim you’re the god’.
The 6 track EP covers other themes like love on Touch Down featuring Myx Quest and Jai Amore. Over soulful beat, he’s heard assuring his lover how ‘as soon as I touch down, I’m coming straight to you’. Need to state that, I love it when Jayso raps over soulful beats. The feel ‘Touch Down’ provokes is similar to “Say You Love Me” off his debut album, “Making Tasha Proud”.
For the critics who may question his rights to attack a fellow colleague, Jayso lays his résumé outside of even music. ‘Stay Woke’ has him re-echoing the importance of investing in once craft and how his ‘business mindset like Jewish’ has led to him build something of value: three business ventures- Skillions Studio/Label, 6miludo (a video house) and 3rdCD. He further speaks about 3rdCD on Books (Books In Effect) featured ‘3rdCD’ (Tunnel Vision). Success doesn’t come by accident and that is explored on ‘Bola Ray’ featuring Copta and King Joey.
To his critics, his latest hit at M.anifest is unnecessary considering the two protagonists in the whole affair have moved on with their lives. Although a fair criticism, this responses might have been instigated by the ‘sneak disses’ he alleges comes from M.anifest.
A birthday tape that should be more of a celebratory affair has taken a very fiery tone with a potential conversation about beefs between artists. As they say, when the frog becomes overly saturated with water, it dies. Jayso seems to have had enough.