First, Rest In Peace Omanhene Pozo. Despite your physical absence, you are still here with us. As the Twi proverbs rightly say, the tongue never rots. Your words- via your music- shall forever live.
Omanhene Pozo was one of the stalwarts of hiplife. He was counted among the early stalwarts of hiplife music. A founding member of the rap group, Nananom, Omanhene Pozo helped the group score some of its earlier hits like ‘Wo Kyere Wo Ho” and “Ofie Ne Fie’’, off their debut album “Nana Kasa” in 1997. Other notable songs from their sophomore album ”Nana Nono”(1999) included “Alright” and “Washeda Anaa?”. ‘’Nananom’’ consisting on Omanhene Pozo, Okyeame Sydney and Queen Jyoti were first featured on Reggie Rockstone’s 1997 album “Maaka Maka”.
Omanhene Pozo would later exit the group to build a solo career. That move resulted in him releasing three albums (according to information I gathered for this article namely ‘’Aye D3 Vol.1’’, ‘Aye D3 Vol. 2’. My research failed to find the title of his third album). But, for many followers of music from the periods 2000 to 2005, Pozo would be remembered for the touch of freshness he brought to some old classic highlife tunes he flipped by remixing, sampling or collaborating with the original creators of these highlife classics.
His catalogue boasted collaborations with renowned highlife legends like C.K. Mann (on ‘Asafo Baason’), Alhaji K. Frimpong (‘Kyenkyen Bi’), Kofi Sammy (‘Yellow Sisi’) and flipped the known Sir Victor Uwaifo tune ‘Joromi’ his own way on ‘’Nye Menkoaa Na Mepe’’. Omahene Pozo earned notoriety as the flipper of old classic records into modern day hits.
One song that stood tall among his musical repertoire was ‘Medofo Adada Me’ on ‘Aye D3 Vol. 1’, originally performed by the legendary Ewurama Badu. The original song recounted the wailing of a woman ditched by her husband despite her contributions to his success. Pozo flipped the narrative on its head by discussing the theme from the standpoint of a male. For what made Ewurama Badu’s version remarkable was the familiar story told that reflected the reality of many women and the display of all types of emotions on the record. The gloss on Omanhene Pozo’s record was its preservation of the original song, the distinct Yaa Amponsah guitar rhythms that burrowed throughout the song and of course, the all too familiar tale of unrequited love.
“Medofo Adada Me” was the leading single from his album ”Ay3 D3 Vol.1” (Happiness or Joy). The 13 track album also boasted another hit ”W’asei” (Ratchet); a song about the dangers of young girls dressing provocatively and refusing to act their age. Around the year 2002 and mid-2005, the wearing of miniskirt was considered taboo for girls by their conservative parents and the Ghanaian society. And like most of his remixes, Omanhene Pozo would only sample a record if the original composer was dead or hard to find. Otherwise, he’d get the artist in the studio and record their music anew.
On ”Medofo Adada Me”, Omanhene Pozo rapped over the captivating fusion of highlife and hip hop beats. The Yaa Amponsah guitar solo and Ewuraba Badu’s old yet vintage vocals reverbed across the song. Over three verses – Ewuraba Badu was kept on hook- he spoked about how he was blinded by what he thought was genuine love (“thought I was the only one you loved/ but, it appears it was all phony”); her social habits and how he went the extra mile to make her happy (stealing from my parents to satisfy your lifestyle). The last verse was about failing to listen to advice from the start and how he she’s denying him of certain privileges – like intimacy.
‘’Ay3 D3 Vol.1’ spurned other records like ‘W’asei’, ‘Ade Yi Beku Wo’ and the unapologetically sexually toned ‘Me Yi Bi Akye’ with Chico Dawuni whose soundscape traversed contemporary highlife, RnB and hip hop; a true timestamp of the era the album was crafted. (Maybe I may end up writing about the ‘Aye D3’ album). The ‘Sarkin Adenta’ was really helping entrench the ‘true highlife sound of the time.
It was unfortunate the way Omanhene Pozo exited this world. He was battling his last days, he was battling with brain tumor, which ultimately took his life. But, like his unmistakable fashion trademark of white apparels- from his shirt, durag, shoes and trousers- Omanhene Pozo may remain incandescent on the music sphere. May his soul smile whenever his name or music is played.