Reconciling the man I met and once interviewed last year, courtesy the “Accra Mayor” Joey Chase for the acclaimed Accra We Dey Podcast, and the voice I hear on records appear and sound different. The rapper is fiery, competitive, confident when delivering verses over beats. The guy I saw relaxing in a couch at the RRG studios, along with Kxng Joey and Moor Sound looked more laid back, thoughtful and answered questions with few words. If someone told you he rapped, you’ll entertain a degree of doubt. The contrast is quiet noticeable.
Copta has been in the rap game for a minute. He has cut his teeth well enough to be tagged ‘one of the best’- if not one of the most feared MCs among his contemporaries. Stints with Jayso should indicate to you the level of talent Copta holds in his frame. His confidence is visible in his delivery: the lyrics are potent, believable, intense and well-helmed. (Listen to his songs here)
It’s often said that there certain rappers you don’t allow to open a track on your song because they would leave you for dead. That is, they would eclipse you, making people forget your own verse(s). Copta belongs to that class of rappers. It doesn’t matter whether he begins the song or ends it. One thing is assured: Rosso (his other moniker) will let you feel his presence on the record, energy for energy; flow for flow. There is no room for complacency or clemency for those who share spots with him on a record. Find out from Jayso on Basquiat n Picasso’ (0106 Vol. 2).
The potency of Copta was in full force on “No Ko Fio”, the closing song on ‘Default Setting’ by the producer EpidemixGH. I didn’t know about the existence of this album until I saw a link to the song tweeted by KQ The Artist (@KQtheArtist). Listening to the full project, two songs jumped at me – ‘Nshorna Shia’ (featuring BiQo, Kwaysi Chip, Bryan The Mensah) and “No Ko Fio”. The performances of the artistes featured on the record aside, it was the production that stood out. The sample flips were excellently executed by EpidemixGH.
On “No Ko Fio”, a Ga phrase that translates as ”Something Small” – a reference to making a little money from your hustle- the rappers tackle the subject of struggling to survive in a world with not much opportunities. Copta and another brilliant rapper, Yung Pabi rapped about this theme from different perspectives. Yung Pabi’s verse enumerated some of the challenges young artistes face in their trade- lack of funds to pay for studio sessions and producers, concert promoters nudging artistes to perform for exposure rather than payment, and how the need to survive means taking up menial jobs.
Before we dissect Copta’s verse, let talk about the production on this song. EpidemixGH flips a 1978 Ebo Taylor classic ”Atwer Abroba” record to suit our contemporary times. The enchanting horns are left untouched as they form the spine of the record. EpidemixGH builds hard sounding trap kicks around the original highlife instrumentation. With that in place, Copta and Yung Pabi were ready to get into action.
Copta’s verse begins after Yung Pabi has set the tone with a hook that touches on the hardships of life. “Sake of one thing wey I dey sleep and wake up/I just want to make am”, Copta indicates in the opening lines of his verse. He will proceed to highlight how his ambition to be successful is inspiring his grind, switching between wordplays, clever punchlines and double entendres. ‘I’m not tryna gain weight/I’m dropping weights now”. The next bar references the infamous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. For Copta, it is his mission to be rich. Another good bar: ”My life is a contact/I’m minding my business/ I’m stuck to the paper/You need to dry out the rizla” demonstrates the excellent pen game and cleverness of Rosso.
There is no comfort in life. Privilege can cushion you to a degree. For the less privileged in society, the scars that life leaves on them – both mentally and physically can ruin them forever. However, those who dream of a better future must be ready to endure the harshness that defines it: its drudgery, long road and lonely days and nights. These pits notwithstanding, the flare of success is so alluring to be ignored by anybody. The quest for a better life for oneself, family, friends and society, in general, is the reason why the hustle can not stop. Copta, along with Yung Pabi and EpidemixGh make that very clear on “No Ko Fio”.