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Album Review

Kay-Ara – Still Underground Mixtape

Right from the start Kay-Ara wastes no time and straight introduces the listener to his world,showing his outspoken and carefree character from the very first word he utters. On the Intro Ara goes in hard over Kid Ziggy’s Flip of the classic Alhaji K. Frimpong track Kyenkyenbi and writes a lyrical “Myself” in pidgin english […]

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kayaraRight from the start Kay-Ara wastes no time and straight introduces the listener to his world,showing his outspoken and carefree character from the very first word he utters. On the Intro Ara goes in hard over Kid Ziggy’s Flip of the classic Alhaji K. Frimpong track Kyenkyenbi and writes a lyrical “Myself” in pidgin english and manages to pull off the concept quite well.

Then he launches into a punchline party over a crazy production by Klumonsta(who produced and mixed most of the tracks on the tape) titled “Listen” and commands his listener to get past his voice and listen to the knowledge he has to share. This track sets the right mood for the whole mixtape and is arguably the best track on it. Then hes on to the next one with “Latecomer” produced by Klumonsta. Here the rapper showcases his storytelling abilities as he tells a story of a girl who is delaying though they already are late for a show. He paints a vivid picture and draws the listener into the song with humor then climaxes wit an unexpected but hilarious ending. The Introduction of a female voice on it is also genius.

The next track opens with the sound of a racing car and is titled “Speeding”. Once again he tells a story of an unfaithful lover and a tiresome relationship. He manages to pull it off with crazy punchlines like “After the chick comot me from her body tes3 Feather” and his frustration,pain and anger can be felt right from the start to the end…… this is one that will touch your soul if you can relate (makes you want to light a blunt lol). “Traffic Light” which was the second single off the tape does not measure up. Though it has a brilliant concept which was executed perfectly, it lacks that ‘newness’ since Bra Kevin who produced it already released a freestyle off the same beat plus it sounds too Skillionish. With the help of Klumonstas synths and strings on “Wat dey go Do” Kay-Ara invites Ko-Jo to the party as they sound a warning to the competitors. With crazy punchlines Ara shows why hes here to stay and wont take no prisoners. Ko-Jo though not his best performance doesnt dissapoint either.

Right after the threats Ara sets on a journey of soul cleansing as he implores the heavenly father to “Forgive Me”. Over a nice instrumental and superb backing vocals by Klu, he goes to confession and bares his soul to his God proving that hard rocks worship God too. Then he gets personal on The Game’s “Better Days”. Where he talks about his trials and tribulations and still manages to sound hopeful instead of hurt and angry. Then he turns Lil Waynes Single into “Abi Chisel” and goes in a bit too hard on the golddigers and lets them know hes not tricking even if he got it. Another highlight of the mixtape,this track is complete with witty metaphors,clever wordplay,a simple rhyme scheme and profanity(hes mister tell it as it is).

BETTER DAYS

On “Get Up” he enlists the help of former group member Lethal Lyrix, the nu gal on the block Felly and Kenzi to keep hope alive. The track fails miserably though as the rappers fail to become one with the hot beat courtesy Klumonsta. Though lyrically each brought his A-game,the chemistry and cohesion crucial on collabos is lost. So instead of a great song they end up with 4 hot verses and a hot beat all going thier different directions. Before you fall asleep though you are woken up by a short spoken word which precedes “I wanna b an Afrikan”. Over Klu’s congas and percs Ara paints a vivid picture of the continent as it now is. Blasts us for our ignorance and goes at the white men for robbing us(in a kinda racist way). In the end he says nothing but the truth though. Then he brings it to a grand closing with his outro over Jay-Z’s Thank You instru where he thanks everybody who helped him get here and leaves us with a last verse summarizing the whole mixtape which will keep us company till his next offering.

I WANNA BE AN AFRICAN

In the end, the question is not whether he did it but whether he can do it again, we will just have to wait and see……ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL – K. Kani.

Overall rating(out of 5) – 4

Best Cut – Speedin

Worst Cut – Get Up

Best Concept – Latecomer

Worst Concept – Myself

Features – Tsuki, Ko-Jo, Klu, Lethal lyrix, Felly and Kenzi.

http://sribuo.com/2010/08/28/music/kay-ara-still-underground-mixtape

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Album Review [ALEWA]: SANTROFI Resurrects Ghana’s Classic Highlife with a Bang!

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Fellow Ghanaians, the moment of waiting for classic highlife music is over! (more…)

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Alpha P Makes an Impact With His Debut EP- “King of The Wolves”

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Alpha P

The Music Industry in Nigeria is competitive and ever evolving. Between 2018 and 2019, we have witnessed the rise of artistes like Joeboy, Teni, Fireboy DML, Blaqbonez, Rema, Oxlade, Zlatan and the list goes on and on. (more…)

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Youssou N’Dour’s new album, ‘History’ pays homage to great African artists, without losing sight of the future ahead

Youssou N’Dour’s new album meditates on moments from a storied career and pays homage to late great African artists, without losing sight of the future ahead. History (Naïve Records release: May 17, 2019)gives new life to tracks from Babatunde Olatunji’s 1970s records, N’Dour’s own cassettes sold on the streets of Dakar in the 1980s, and a 2019 […]

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Youssou N’Dour’s new album meditates on moments from a storied career and pays homage to late great African artists, without losing sight of the future ahead. History (Naïve Records release: May 17, 2019)gives new life to tracks from Babatunde Olatunji’s 1970s records, N’Dour’s own cassettes sold on the streets of Dakar in the 1980s, and a 2019 hit by Swedish star Mohombi. N’Dour reinvigorates them all with that inimitable voice—and mature musicianship—that makes Youssou N’Dour the undisputed King of African Pop.

Youssou N’Dour’s new album, 'History' pays homage to great African artists, without losing sight of the future ahead
Youssou N’Dour’s new album, ‘History’ pays homage to great African artists, without losing sight of the future ahead

He’s achieved a globe-spanning career, 35 albums, and hits at the top of charts around the world, but N’Dour still sees each project as a chance to explore different directions. 2017’s Seeni Valeur took to new heights the spirited Senegalese mbalax that N’Dour popularized in Senegal and around the world, while Africa Rekk (2016) featured up-to-the-minute Pan-African collaborations with Akon, Fally Ipupa, and producer Spotless, who returns on History.

The new album opens with “Habib Faye,” a moving tribute to the bassist who, as musical director of N’Dour’s band Super Étoile de Dakar, shaped their sound starting in the 1980s. The two giants of mbalax worked on separate projects in recent years, but at Faye’s untimely death in April 2018, N’Dour cancelled shows to be at his funeral. “Habib Faye was my friend, bassist, and music director for almost twenty years.” N’Dour reminisces. “Together we created many songs and played many shows around the world. Naturally, this is the first song I wrote for this album.” It‘s serene, not a lament but a contemplative elegy, a prayer with a mbalax beat and smooth sax by Cameroonian Alain Rodrigue Oyono.

History honors another late legend: Babatunde Olatunji, the Nigerian-American drummer, singer, and social activist whose Drums of Passioninspired the likes of John Coltrane and Carlos Santana. “I wanted people to know about Babatunde, a great Nigerian who had an immense impact on his country,” N’Dour explains. N’Dour returns Olatunji to the spotlight with covers of “My Child” and “Takuta,” co-composed with Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu, that feature Olatunji’s original vocal recordings at the center of new arrangements. N’Dour’s own unmistakable voice carries Olatunji’s songs into the present moment.

N’Dour also digs deep into his own history, with fresh takes on three tracks from across his remarkable career. The first recording of the love song “Salimata” dates to 1989’s Jamm, while “Ay Coono La” appeared on Set in 1990. These were electric times for N’Dour: after 10 years as a star in Senegal at the helm of Super Étoile de Dakar, his work with Peter Gabriel brought him international notice, and his 1989 album The Lion attained global fame. Reimagined for 2019, these tracks have a new energy and lush production that leaves space for the emotional colors of N’Dour’s voice to glow.

With “Birima Remix,” N’Dour places the past and future in harmony. From the album Joko in 2000, “Birima” tells the legend of a Senegalese king. Now N’Dour has recreated the song with a new richness in collaboration with Seinabo Sey, a young Swedish singer with Senegambian roots making waves on the Scandinavian electro-soul scene. Sey’s new lyrics pay tribute to her father’s heritage and the immigrant experience, creating a multilayered exploration of African values and ancestors. N’Dour’s remix of “Hello” by Swedish-Congolese singer Mohombi shows that History is not only about the past: “Hello” swept Mohombi to the final of Sweden’s Melodifestivalen competition in March 2019.

N’Dour’s new songs make vivid, current stories a part of History. “Confession,” a collaboration with Mike Bangerz (BGRZ), a French beatmaker of Beninese heritage, chronicles the romantic plight of a young emigrant working abroad. On “Macoumba,” N’Dour, BGRZ, and saxophonist Oyono riff on the characters and sounds of Dakar’s streets, where a macoumba is an unlucky gambler. “Tell Me” rounds out the album with a multilingual plea for connection and trust.

Throughout his extraordinary career, Youssou N’Dour has always been moving forward, creating new sounds even when he makes forays into tradition. Now, exploring his own past and the legacy of friends and heroes, N’Dour makes History his own.

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Listen UP: Kosi YNot feat. Spicer – Color Me

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Kosi YNot - Color Me Kosi YNot – Color MeKosi YNot – Color Me[/caption] Kosi YNot is a Ghanaian singer, song writer and rapper. (more…)

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Album Review: A journey through Sarkodie's 'Highest'

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sarkodie Highest tracklistEnviably decorated rapper, Sarkodie has released his 5th studio album, christened Highest. It is a collection of 16 songs and three interludes. I embarked on a journey of listening to the album and upon completion, this is the experience I want to share; (more…)

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WATCH: Exclusive listening of Becca’s ‘Unveiling ‘ album, featuring Mr Eazi, Kofi Kinaata, Stonebwoy & more

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Becca UnveilingOn August 18, multiple award-winning Ghanaian singer, Becca will release her album, ‘Unveiling’ to mark her 10 years in the music industry. The album contains 10 tracks carefully selected to represent her anniversary, with 3 bonus tracks that all together define the dynamism of Becca as an artist. (more…)

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