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Music of Thursday, 24 November 2016

Source: Kwame Dadzie

Review: Joe Frazier's 'Borla Goods' ft Ogya

Song: Borla Goods

Artiste: Joe Frazier ft. Ogya Mensah

Producer: Kin Dee

Author: Kwame Dadzie

‘Top’: Have you heard of a pastor say “listen to the word and not watch what I do?” Well, in logical reasoning, it is a fallacy of ad hominem to tackle the messenger and leave out the message but that is what may happen if anyone listens to ‘Borla Songs’ by Joe Frazier.

General Assessment: ‘Borla Goods’ is an ordinary song, which is few inches away from ‘borla’ goods. I will rate it 58%.

Instrumentation: Kin Dee did a quite a good job. He produced bumpy a hip hop beat for the song – a rhythm which is so relaxed for any ordinary rapper to be able to spit on it. The song is in C# Minor.

Message: ‘Borla’ in Ghanaian parlance means ‘garbage.’ ‘Borla Goods’ tackles the supposed proliferation of ‘wack’ songs on the Ghanaian music market. The author of the song says there are a lot of bad songs in the system and wishes to see a positive change.

Vocals: Ogya Mensah is an accomplished singer. The texture and timbre of his voice is that which tickles even dead music ears. He uses his reggae – induced style to spice up the hip hop feel. But for his voice in the chorus, the song may have scored less than 50%.

Joe Frazier’s Rap: Joe Frazier’s name will not pop up if we list the top 100 rappers in Ghana. He is not in that league. In his bid to rhyme, he uses inapt words and expressions. Rhyme patterns must be in line with the theme of the song – you don’t just say anything because you want to rhyme. Like he has always been since he started music, Joe, throughout the entire song, has only few lines that relate to his topic.

Commentary: It is not wrong to preach that Ghanaian musicians step up their game but when the issue has got to do with someone like Joe Frazier, who has done some of Ghana’s ‘wackest’ songs in the past and falls under the category of the people he criticizes in his songs, it would have been better to have used the first person plural pronoun “we” in his composition.

In the song, he talks about the fact that Ghanaian hip life musicians should learn how to play with live band. This is no new message. It has been a common message being trumpeted by a lot of people in the industry. But taking himself out of the equation makes the whole thing funny because he was in the system when Obuor, Barima Sydney and few hip life artistes started performing with live band. He should show proof of when he ever performed with live band.

He seems to be on a war against the new generation of hip life artistes. For the many years he has been in the music industry, what ‘value’ has he added to his craft? The proponents of Azonto he preaches against were able to sell that brand on the international scene. Azonto and Alkayida are also Ghanaian arts, therefore, it is wrong to try glorify hip life and vilify Azonto and Alkayida.

‘Drop’: I usually, appeal to something Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in ‘Circles.’ He says the new art is hated by the old. Every older generation of musicians thinks what they did in their time is better than those that came after them but that is a lie. Joe Frazier has not achieved a pint of what Shattawale, Sarkodie, EL, Fuse ODG and the like have achieved in the music industry.