When Ghanaian rapper, M3NSA took to social media to announce his hiatus from all online engagements, it was clear to gleam from his comments that he has had enough from people, events and (in) actions of those entrusted to make things happen. The two-part video posted on his social media feeds on June 2 with its accompanying hashtag #TheShowMustBePaused had the rapper, producer and songwriter articulating his worries.
Fans of M3NSA, would acknowledge that his advocacy and social politics have never been in doubt. He has not been one to not speak on social issues, even those considered taboo (gay rights, environmental pollution). Whether as a solo act or as part of the FOKN Bois, M3NSA (real name Mensa Ansah) has employed music as a medium for some of his social critique as echoed on songs like ‘’How Far”, ‘’Eyes But No Eyes’’. Run through all the albums of FOKN Bois and you would notice his brilliance at dissecting societal ills through witticism, sarcasm and barefaced truth.
On the Joey B featured ‘’Far Away’’, off LAVA FEELS, M3NSA described how online trolling and reactions from victims, often popular or public figures are considered high handed. He would also touch on the effects of trolling on people’s mental health and why he has no time to engage any further.
‘’I No De Bed’’ his latest release does not derail from his stance. This time, M3NSA highlights issues that plagues him- the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The minimally toned ‘’I No De Bed’’, which translates literally as ‘’I Can’t Sleep’’ in English presents issues that are relatable to every man. It’s about survival and the mechanics of finding a way around it.
It’s not often that M3NSA adopts the Fante language as a medium of expression on songs. But, whenever he has, the missives have often been poignant- consider songs like Fante Love Song, Tea Bread and now, ‘’I No De Bed’’.
‘’Krom ha, obia nda o’’ (Nobody sleeps in this town/city), M3NSA begins his tale. The quest for money leads many to finding a hustle- selling, scamming, and playing the middleman role. He talks about the anxiety that comes with having no money, heightened by the responsibility of being a bread winner, which sometimes leads to finding a clutch in drinks and smoke.
On the second verse, M3NSA wears an optimistic countenance. Despite the stress of life and its meagre rewards, he is still hopeful about the future. ‘’We won’t die/We’ve seen it all’’, he raps after the chorus. The proverb, ‘the tree bends but never breaks’’ sums up his positive mindset in the face of hopelessness.
‘’I No De Bed’’ sounds like a sequel to his 2009 song ‘’Adjuma’’, a song about how work is defining people’s life off No.1 Mango Street.
‘’Chale, I no de bed/ More things dey in my head/ The more I dey think, more I dey get anxious/ Time just dey pass go/ And I go hear norr kokrooko’’. This chorus encapsulates not only the times we live in but what it means to survive.https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js