Two years after the release of his highly acclaimed debut album, rapper Akan is still releasing materials off the back of the album. “Onipa Akoma”, the 2017 debut was described by this blog as the best album of this decade. The album’s brilliance lied more with how it was conceptualized; a tale about life – from birth to death – and the numerous obstacles one has to confront and surmount on the way to attaining success.
Storytelling, excellently crafted production, resonating themes and above all, a display of mastery over the Twi language by Akan were some of the qualities that made “Onipa Akoma” a vintage body of work.
Akan is undoubtedly treating “Onipa Akoma” as a living piece of art. That is, he is presenting the contents of the album on a piecemeal basis instead of doing it in one swoop. (I think this decision is largely informed by limited resources at his disposal as well as the density of content on the album has to be dissected with precision).
This latest release by Akan is a double drop: a video and a documentary for the song “Aprodoo”. The title translates from Twi as ‘journey or a trip’ mostly motivated by one’s desire to achieve certain specific goals in life. (Think “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho). On the song, Akan is heard telling his mum of his decision to take a risk on life by travelling elsewhere in search of a better life since “his family will be fed off his sweat”.
The video for “Aprodoo” is shot in his neighbourhood of Abeka Lapaz and parts of Madina. The Kwame Boadi directed video is filled with sights and sounds of these communities – scenes of guys in a local gym, kids playing football, Akan and his friends being heralded by the neighbourhood kids. The rawness of the video, from the locations of shoot to the costumes of Akan and others in the video adds to the authenticity of the rapper.
The 8-minute and 48 seconds “MATE APRODOO” documentary tells a story about Akan and his quest to understand the human condition – specific to those living within his community. His interactions with a group of young men brought to bear the issue of unemployment, the false notoriety the hood has attained as a den for criminals, the lack of infrastructure development, all pointing to the greater issue of urban poverty.
Akan also visits his Junior High School. The documentary also feature scenes from the recording of the song with Twisted Wavex, who co-produced the ‘Aprodoo’ with Mike MillzOnEm. This documentary has parallels with the American hip hop artist J.Cole’s “4 Your Eyez Only” documentary. Like Akan indicated towards the end of the video, his mission is to use music as a medium to enlighten and uplift the listener.