Juls and Kwesi Arthur’s ‘Maintain’ Flips An Old Highlife Classic
It goes without saying: nobody chops up samples like DJ Juls does. Over the years, the award winning producer has catalogues that establishes this fact. Just take a listen to his beat tapes and other productions works for some of your favourite hip hop/hiplife artists.
On his new single featuring GroundUp’s very own Kwesi Arthur, Juls flips the classic highlife song, ‘’Kyenkyen Bi Adi M’awu’’ by Alhaji K. Frimpong, adding heavy hip hop drums, DJ scratches and a loop guitar riff from the original song to create a tune that has Kwesi Arthur casually moon walking over it.
‘’Maintain’’, as the song is titled, has the talented Tema based rapper painting a picture of his life; his mind-set or ambitions and what is accounting for his steady rise within the rap scene. Kwesi Arthur opens his verse with the following lines: ‘’we dey do am for the hood/ friends mum she figure we no good/ bebia me fi ntse men yi time to be rude/ Adinkra Pie and Coke that be the mood’’.
Kwesi Arthur drags us into his world and circumstances-he’s from a poor family background thus his humility; illustrating this by referencing the food he survives on –Adinkra Pie and cook which cost less than GHc 3.00. He goes on to state he’s in the rap game for the money and not the fame. As a promising artist aware of his own ambitions, Kwesi Arthur strives to be the best sice ‘feeling second go pain, my brother’.
Kwesi Arthur continues on the same theme on the second verse, touching on how his team keeps him on his toes (‘’my friends tell me the truth they don’t gas me’’); how a kubolor boy has a dream and how he’s leaving no chance to those wishing to plot his downfall.
What Juls did differently from others who usually chop up samples is allowing a 20 second window for the hook of the sampled track to play before the flipped beat rolled in after the short intermission.
Maintain add to the list of songs that carry samples of Alhaji K. Frimpong’s 1977 classic ‘Kyenkyen Bi’. What makes the song a favourite for producers and artists alike is the scintillating, well-spaced rhythms Alhaji K. Frimpong and his band, the Cubano Fiestas constructed and executed with such perfection.