Perfect timing is everything. Knowing when to outdoor a new thing to elicit the right response from people takes a lot of analyses. Bad timing has robbed great products of impact. The opposite is also true. An aspect of perfect timing is that element of surprise; where you release the product when people least expect. The lasting effect you seek could be achieved when the product you are shopping is of great quality. In most instances, loyal costumers would still patronize the product due to brand loyalty. However, every service producer seeks to attract new fans beyond their loyal consumers.
Timing has robbed hip hop rapper, M.anifest of valuable moments. In the past, his releases have either been eclipsed by incidents that end up shifting focus away from his intended plans. Think “Fine Fine” or “Feels”; good songs that went under the radar because of other issues which consumed the attention of music fans.
Last night, the rapper released a surprise single, “No Long Talk”. It’s the first single from the 37-year-old award-wining hip hop rapper in 2020. The all rap- no- hook song is produced by longtime collaborator MikeMillzOn’Em. “No Long Talk” is M.anifest’s verdict on happenings within the music scene in recent times. Filled with sharp bars, punchlines and puns, the “Nowhere Cool” rapper does not mince his words about his craft, state of the music scene and of course, bars that would be construed in more ways than one.
“No Long Talk” is part affirmation of his status as an elite rapper and part expression of thoughts on the many happenings within the Ghanaian hip hop scene. For a couple of weeks, the rap scene has been full of activities – mostly between artists who don’t seem to get along. Feelings had been expressed, responses offered, all through music. Some even called others out for a lyrical contest. Depending on which corner of the auditorium you stand and your affiliation, the reaction may differ. Calls for M.anifest to share his views with his fans during the episodes never materialized, till “No Long Talk” arrived.
The song begins with an anecdote from his famous dad – legal liminary, Tsatsu Tsikata who dabs his son for excelling in his chosen field of trade. “Yes that’s my son
And indeed he’s taken to music/ And I’m very proud of that because I wish I had those kinds of creative skills/The lyrics are tremendous”, he reveals with pride.
M.anifest would plunge into the MikeMillzOn’Em beat, outlining a myriad of thoughts which ranges from his talent as a rapper: “Mama I’m a rapstar/ I got Allahu akbars/My ambition and drive is a luxury ride/ Your own be konko car, you taking shots? bongo bar”.
Deducing from the opening lines, M.anifest seems to be addressing his critics – those within the same rap bracket as himself and some observers. Rap being a competitive sport where ‘kill or be killed’ is a reality, it is not surprising to hear M.anifest taking this route, considering the number of times his credibility or credentials as a rapper has been questioned by fellow rappers and music fans. To answer the doubters, M.Dot would assert his longevity and status “It’s been some years since/ I been here and no one in my category”
On “No Long Talk”, he would allude to how different he is from the pack when it came to the “moves” he makes, mostly “clandestine”- out of the sight of many except close associates. M.anifest would take a dig at the state of the music industry where clout chasing and hopping on “waves” is the norm. “Don’t compare me to wave-hoppers and name-droppers/ Search thru the rubble the game needs a remodel/ Dem no be rappers dem be IG model”, he would rap. His next bars would indicate the effect of clout chasing, a common strategy employed by many to either reach the top or sustain their relevance, leaving a trail of victims afterwards. “The game is a brothel everybody wants chop/, In other words, there’s always somebody in it that’s getting fucked”.
The reaction of people on social media to “No Long Talk” has swung between excitement and cheekiness. Whereas some, mostly fans of M.anifest have received this song with great zest, others deem this as a gimmick aimed at Sarkodie, who has had runnings with M.anifest in the past. The excitement by his fans are legitimate; they have not heard M.anifest rap in this manner in a while. Most of his songs have gravitated towards the inescapable afropop sound that has become the staple of the continent.
A broad-based critique of the music scene, antics of some of today’s artists and the need to remind others of his pedigree is an underlining reason why M.anifest has ‘nip tuck go operation on any sick pup’. The operation seems to have been a success. M.anifest states this in precise words, measured tone and stern conviction. After all, the rap game is full of “sheep that fancy themselves a fox” and some still “keep their face in pussy so much they can’t think out of the box”. Someone with some pedigree and stake in the game has to say it. M.anifest has chosen to be that voice.