The year was 2014. Richie Mensah was the sought after producer when an artist wanted a hit. His label, Lynx, arguably had the best rapper at that time. Crunk music was in vogue and Richie was the ace producer with the tools to craft a crunk beat that could turn an artist’s fortune.
Around that same time, Tinny’s fame was transitioning from a sensation to an established force. His dealings with Hammer of Last Two was not as strong as it was years prior per production roles. Richie was the producer he went to see for his radio charting records. An outcome of this relationship was “Ringtone Remix”. The original song had been out months earlier and charted on radio countrywide.
For the remix, Tinny enlisted some of the best artists of that era namely Asem, Richie and Okyeame Kwame with ad-libs provided by Trigmatic, then a protege of Tinny.
Like most crunk songs of that era, ”Ringtone” was up- tempo in tone, attention grabbing courtesy its hard drums and Richie’s slithering keyboard chords. Asem was the first entrant, rapping on a host of themes- how he had ‘more ringtones than a flip phone”, threw shade at his competitors and how girls are crushing on him.
Richie did appear after Tinny’s hook, spreading some R&B-esque crooning over the engrossing beat. Richie paid homage to his playboy attitude and how his art (music) is ‘my wife’. This statement smacked of arrogance but it was true. Between 2008 down to 2012/13, Richie was imperious. He was the Czar of the music game, when churning out hit records were concerned.
But, the standout verse was the one that Okyeame Kwame delivered. Around that time, Okyeame Kwame was arguable the “Best Rapper Alive”. He was on a roll, killing every song and feature. He was our own Lil’ Wayne. On ‘Ringtone”, Okyeame Kwame came with the mindset to establish his claim to the Best Rapper accolade and prove to his compatriots that he can’t be stopped.
Okyeame Kwame was in short, a show off on this record. He exhibited different rapping style including a mini dialogue between him and a girl he is seeking to date. He was as descriptive as a novelist at work. The Rap Dacta (Doctor) rendered an account of what transpired between the lady and himself from the moment he picked her up to the point he dropped her off. She finally opened up to him on her apprehensiveness about love: she has been unlucky over the years.
How Okyeame Kwame went about delivering this story made it the best verse on the song. There was energy in his delivery, he was stylistic and convincing. Okyeame Kwame came to body his colleagues and steal the show. He did that with little efforts. He sounded like someone who slept with the beat for weeks before stepping into the recording booth to drop his verse. Judging by the other verses, especially from Asem and Tinny, Okyeame Kwame’s performance was earth shuttering. It was flawless.
It must be said that, Okyeame Kwame’s rapping abilities has never been in doubt. He has exhibited this quality since he announced himself on the music scene in 1999 as part of Akyeame. He released what was his magnum opus, ”Woso” in 2008, earning him four awards, including the “Artiste of The Year” at the Ghana Music Awards in 2009.
“Ringtone Remix”, upon its release found its way on the radio charts and playlists. The radio plays contributed to its blowing up furthering the profile of Tinny as one of the best rappers around.
“Ringtone Remix” was a time capsule that time stamped an era in our continuous musical evolution – sound-wise. Tinny gave us a banger that does not sound dated despite the year it came out. You cannot compile a list of top 10 remixes in the country across the years and not place “Ringtone Remix” within the top five bracket