THE CUTS reviews songs, videos or albums we think deserves your attention. The music covered are not genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed here. THE CUTS is available every FRIDAY
EL – Thinkin’
Rapper EL released the first single off his anticipated ‘’BAR V’’ mixtape today. The single ‘Thinkin’ carries a striking trap bounce and has E.L singing mostly on the track. Just like the title suggest, ‘Thinkin’ reflect the musings of a girl who has had enough of her man’s ‘trashy’ ways; and is considering packing out of it. ‘’I heard you nu nu with your bae, ay, ay/ now you party every weekend/popping bottles with your new friends’, he sings in his rasping voice.
The gulf between the two lovers appears distant as the ‘switching on me/ you’ve been distant’ lyric reveal. To keep herself occupied, she resort to drinking and hanging out with her friends- a situation which is far from what it was previously.
The Nabeyin produced ‘’Thinking’ bears similarities to ‘’Hotline Bling’ by Drake, in terms of E.L’s cadence and flow. There’s energy behind his singing -perhaps out of rage instead of vulnerability or melancholy. The production can’t be faulted -its mid-tempo feel is infectious. ‘Thinkin’ seems like the kind of song that grows on you after a couple of plays, even if you are dismissive of it -because of its ordinariness – on first listen.
M.anifest feat Olamide – Fine Fine
“I come GH they say my style not in fashion/I’m in the picture now/I don’t care about the caption’. A statement that attest to hard work, staying unique and betting on oneself. “Fine Fine” is the new single from M.anifest and features Nigeria’s biggest rapper, Olamide, who plays hook duties.
Produced by Kuvie, “Fine Fine” is M.anifest’s epistle on love, fame, celebration and shot taking at unknown rivals. “Fine Fine” may not garner the same level of interest among music fans (besides his fans) as ” Okay” for two reasons: first, Sarkodie’s “My Advice” blighted its hype; second, this isn’t a ‘street record’, despite featuring Olamide (who has a strong street appeal). I had high expectations when I learnt the two were on a track weeks before it was announced. “Fine Fine” didn’t blow me away
Kwabena Kwabena – M’atwen Abre
It’s a fact that, Kwabena Kwabena is counted among the top crop of musicians out of this country. The crooner has a gift for crafting beautiful, melodious songs – and when it comes to love songs, he ranks a few steps below the legendary Kojo Antwi.
Spending time with his records these past days, one song caught my attention. It’s one I’ve never heard before. It’s one of those songs that, despite its brilliance, an artist would let his true fans, and those who care about good compositions to find and appreciate its beauty.
“M’atwen Abre” is crafted in the mould of true, authentic highlife tradition. The instrumentation carries an adowa groove with a unmistakable Yaa Amponsah (or is it seprewa?) guitar strings warping through. The song is also built around the 4-beat foundation of all highlife songs. “M’atwen Abre” (translate as I’m Tired of Waiting) is a man’s tale about the ordeal of waiting on someone you love to accept your proposal. “M’atwen Abre” ranks among some of his best songs and is found on his Ahyesi (The Begining) album released in 2017.
Y.N.A & Lykay – Two Three Three
First, the title of this three song EP- ‘’Two Three Three’’- highlights the country code of Ghana. It gives you an idea of where these two individuals hail. Y.N.A is a music producer and songwriter. Lykay is the MC who paint pictures through lyrics.
‘’Two Three Three’’ is an exhibition of Lykay’s lyrical abilities – and broaches the topics of politics, self-motivation and love. The project also offers a glimpse into the production skills of Y.N.A, who chops up samples of classic African grooves and hand them a contemporary feel.
This is evident on the first song, ‘Ghana Be Hard’ where he infuses chopped up sections of Ebo Taylor’s “Heaven” with trap drums. “Ghana Be Hard” tackles the subject of politics and how politicians are taking citizens for a ride despite the resources we have. On ‘Till Death’, Y.N.A finds inspiration in the classic Youssou N’Dour tune ‘Birima’. ‘A legend in the making/ wo gyimi di a no shaking/I no go disappoint you/ I go make you proud so patience be something/ this music journey show me’’, Lykay raps; re-enforcing his DIY mentality.
There’s this quality about Lykay’s raps that always excites me. His deep voice, laid back, old school New York hip hop aura reminds me of what hip hop sounded like back then. The closing track ‘Yaa S33’, a sex-themed song featuring Tony Dickson on hook bubbles with afrobeat vibe . “Two Three Three” EP is a short project with a total running time of exactly 4 minutes, which means you can rewind the track and enjoy the refreshing sound it offers.
Yinda Oshodi – Continue
Yinda Oshodi’s latest release bask in the soothing vibe of afropop rhythms. The melody is enchanting; her voice remarkable; and the lyrics are easy to sing along. “Continue”, according to her ‘is a playful song that explores the inexplicable emotion/passion we feel for a lover/crush. Nonetheless, we don’t want them to stop what they’re doing to make us feel this way, despite not being able to explain it’.
Nxwrth feat Darkovibes – Cupid
Nxwrth has produced a host of songs for LaMeme Gang, the music collective he belongs to. But, for me, two of his works standout: “Godzilla” and “Cupid” “Cupid” finally get a video treatment from BZDRKO.
On the song, Darkovibes expresses disbelief about the purity of love he’s experiencing. But, like all good things, it ends too suddenly, sometimes tragically.. These feelings and questions is what BZDRKO explored in this silent movie styled video.
Nxwrth plays cupid, who shoot down the blissful relationship of these two individuals. The guy dies and the girl goes through a bout of emotional and mental burnout. No matter how hard she tries, the memories of her lover lingers. BZDRKO brave attempt at visual experimentation is worth applauding. In all the visual ‘chaos’, especially towards the end of video, she still told an excellent story that mirrors the idea behind the song.