THE CUTS is a weekly review of songs, videos and albums you need to hear. The songs and videos covered are not a genre and/or region specific. Once it is good, it would be reviewed or featured.
Kwesi Arthur – Thoughts From King Arthur 4 (New York State of Mind)
Kwesi Arhtu has heard all the criticism from fans in respect of the tone of his last album- ‘’Live From Nkrumah Krom II (Home Run)’’ which took an afrobeats direction, sonically. Real fans who fell in love with his hard, street, reality-rap style thought he had lost his touch. As his pop records off “LFNK” keep charting; touring and expanding his connections, Kwesi Arthur is catering to his rap mad fan base with top notch freestyles. The 4th installment in the ‘’Thoughts From King Arther’’ series is out.
Over the classic beat from ‘’Money, Power, Respect’’ by the LOX featuring Lil Kim and DMX, Kwesi Arthur serves an almost 6 minute, no hook freestyle, touching on everything from his come-up story, his poor background, the success, the ambition to be great and how friends become enemies. This is not a freestyle that is loaded with complex rhyme schemes like a contortionist on the floor board, and over-your-head punchlines like rhymes from Fricky or A-Clipse Vs K.Bo styled Lyrical Battle stuff. The raps are ordinary, every day, easy to decipher- and above all, relatable rap lyrics.
Evidently, Kwesi Arthur has mastered the art of rapping. He can do anything on a beat and still feel the energy and truth in each of his bar. The subject of ‘’Thoughts From King Arthur 4” is not something we have not heard before. It’s been his theme song since bursting on the stage with ‘’Grind Day’’. Of course, the freestyle will draw the necessary response from the fans not because it is extraordinary performance but because it is a refreshing listen.
King Promise ft Kojo Antwi – Bra
When King Promise revealed the title of his debut album as “As Promised”, it sounded corny on first read. Off the back of the lead single from the album, one gets an inclining into why he might have named it as such.
“Bra” is not just a good recorded formatted to delight audience and earn radio rotation, the song blitz with such smoothness that would rival the texture of the young crooners head. A love song, “Bra” features the legendary Kojo Antwi; a major feat for King Promise.
Kojo Antwi barely does features, let alone with a young act who came on to the scene less than three years ago. The feature is a validation to King Promise’s talent and position within the music scene. “Bra” possesses a mix of RnB/soul and afropop inflections, with King Promise and Kojo Antwi taking turns to croon about their favourite subject: love.
EL ft. Joey B & Falz – Ehua
“Ehua”, a Fante word that translates as ‘have you seen?’ is usually employed if you feel outwitted by someone or as a confirmation of an incident or action. In the context of this song, the latter applies. “Ehua” is the latest addition to the series of unimpressionable afropop tunes that E.L continues to churn out, in an attempt to recapture the commanding heights of fame he chalked some four- plus years ago.
The song, unfortunately won’t earn E.L that despite having Falz and Joey B on it. “Ehua” is one of those records the ELiens would hype knowing the record is not the ‘one’. Non-ELiens but fans of E.L (like myself) would continue to wonder why this imperious rapper keeps shooting blanks lately. Don’t forget, this is the same E.L who gave us “Something ELse” in 2012, The BAR mixtapes and afropop hits like “Kooko”, “Ka Bu Ame” and in recent times “Higher”. That said, the video will be remembered more for its humor than this song. I’m sorry.
MsFu ft. Ms Fu -LOVE
Singing is not a skill I ascribed to Ms Fu. Hearing her dropping pipes on “Love” caught me by surprise. But, that’s what versatility does. Riding on a minimal, mid-tempo beat from JumpOff’s production boards, and a soothing string display by Obed (Super Jazz Club), Ms Fu dissect love from two perspectives through two characters.
“Do you believe, do you believe, we came from the same dream/ Imagine if you never lived reality would be complicated”, she sings, hitting the low ends with tact. “Love” is the type of song that stirs up your emotion; whether you are in love or reeling from a breakup.
Magnom feat. Shatta Wale – I Taya
There are two things I admire Magnom for: his work ethic and love for collaboration. From 2018 till date, the producer-artist seems to have sold himself as an artist more than a producer in recent times. He has been dropping songs like its Christmas. His latest output is “I Taya” featuring Shatta Wale. The two cry over their rejection of their love advances by their girls due to how light their pockets are.
Magnom and Shatta Wale’s energy spread over the looped beat, making the song one to jam with despite the pain sketched by the lyrics. Judging by how Magnom is moving, music-wise, he might end up with stacks of work that could rival that of Shatta Wale (number wise). My only concern: what plan is Magnom working with because the drops appear not to be excellently paced.
KiddBlack ft Joey B – Play
“I’m the lord the other gods they all believe in/ The new school is winning, can’t you see it?” Joey B humble brags about his influence and style in a deliberate one-bar-at-a-time, allow-the-beat-to-breathe format over a soulful sample courtesy one of my favourite producers, Nel Magnum (he’s top 5 in my books). The quoted lyrics is not to disrespect anyone or anything. It’s just fact. Kiddblack drops in with his own tale about living “the life” while comparing Joey B signing with Adidas as ‘a Reverend Run shit”. From the production right down to the style of rap these two acts display on ”Play”, the dudes are lying: they are not playing.
Tripp Nie ft Lykay & Xtacy – Pictures
This is the kind of record that you turn up your volume to when playing. The vibe is soulful, the raps touch on issues that plague the rappers plus their influences. Tripp Nie’s opening verse, for instance, highlights his strengths as a rapper; his second verse is an assurance to his mum. Lykay draws on nostalgia – references to Reggie Rockstone, the works of veteran hiplife acts having served as an inspiration. Xtacy caps things off with a good croon. Oh, its dope hearing reference made to Bright Ackwerh.