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Music of Friday, 29 December 2017

Source: Kwabena Da VIK!NG

Album Review: 'Onipa Akoma', best album in 2017

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Authentic, Riveting, a Masterpiece; These are a few superlatives that best describe the debut album of rap artist Akan.

With the storytelling prowess of an ‘Abusua panyin’ passing on oral tradition "By the fire side", delivery reminiscent of ‘Okomfo Kwaadee’, with the use of proverbs and metaphors rivaling an Ashanti linguist, Akan dazzles on each song, telling a story about the desires of the heart and man's struggle to balance spirituality and earthly desires.

Dabbling in a wide array of genres from Palm wine high life, Spoken word to Trap, Onipa Akoma, which is a follow up to his Akan EP is an album for people of all ages. Dare I say that even your pastor will appreciate the content of this album.

The project also boasts a number of top producers including JaySo, YungFly, Kwaku Ananse, Flavamatic, Mike Millz, 420 and Twistedwavex; with the latter credited as the executive producer of the entire project.

Akan delivers an effortless showcase of lyricism and weaves an intricate story from beginning to end -a rare occurrence in the Ghanaian music industry which largely askews focus to the number of hit songs rather than the artistic value.

The album is 90% Twi (a Ghanaian dialect), and although one will have to be well versed in the language to fully appreciate the genius behind the album Akan delivers a perfect blend of tradition and urbanised finesse as exhibited on songs like "Abusua Tintin".

The album opens with Odaamani Abisade3 which means Mankind's Request.
On this song Akan opens up about his deepest darkest desires and unashamedly embraces his weakness as a man. His conscience however tries to alert him with an excerpt from 1 Corinthians 10:23 which reads "we are at liberty to do all things but not all things are good for us" (see why your pastor will appreciate this project?)

on track 2 'Mi sika aduro' the wordsmith touches on the number one desire on the hearts of men - money! The Yungfly produced song was among the singles released prior to the album's release and since then has become a fan favourite.

Akan then shows his ability to switch it up with the JaySo produced Akoma Abuagumu; a song that expresses the emptiness he feels inside, as he also desires to be loved. The first part of this song is a personal favorite of mine and has a lot of commercial appeal.

The project has a lot of 2 part songs interspersed with skits and poems that carry the theme and tells a beautiful story. One of note is the second part of Metu Meto...where his mum tries to warn him about following friends to the city in his quest to satisfy his heart's desire.

After ignoring his mother's warning Akan tells a story of a young man's journey to the City in search of greener pastures and his steuggle to keep up with with the fast paced City life as he goes about in search of daily bread on 'Aprodo'

On track 7 the rapper tells a story of how he destresses after a long week on 'Nsa fufuo' (palm wine), and the last 2 inspired 'Anadwo y3 d3' also talks about enjoying the pleasures of Night life in the city. The second part of the latter has an interesting skit of a ghost haunting him in his dreams, reminding him that his reckless ways will only lead to destruction.

The rapper fearing for his soul goes to seek the help of a pastor on 'Helebaba' ft Worlasi (the only feature on the project and another personal favourite).

We all know of the constant tug of war between our heart and mind; a philosophy the rapper explores on 'Akoma ne Adwen'

On track 12 the versatile crooner goes back in time to churn out an Obuoba J.A Adofo inspired HighLife classic on 'Ehuru A 3b3dwo' which talks about the need to exercise patience even during hardship.

'Awufosom' (funeral service) tells a sad story of a man who died living a reckless life with no regard for God or the afterlife. Here Akan juxtaposes this story to his life and reflects soberly on the life hes lived.

In contrast to the first song Akan ends with 'Kae Kwabena' a song that touches on spirituality and the realization that he gains nothing if he has the world and loses his soul. Bringing an end to the 1 hour 14mins and 15 second album.

After enjoying 6 weeks at number 1 on Aftown ahead of some A-list Ghanaian artistes who released around the same period, Onipa Akoma will go down in history as one of the most well curated albums in recent times and a musical masterpiece.

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