Music

EL’s ‘BAR 4’ Is One of the Strongest African Hip-Hop Releases of the Year

Ghanaian rapper EL declares himself the best African rapper for the fourth time, and we are tempted to believe him.

Prolific Ghanaian rapper El's Bar mixtape series is on its fourth iteration in just three years.


"BAR" in this case is an acronym for "Best African Rapper," a title EL gave to himself, and one that is not too far from the truth.

EL makes rapping sound easy, and on the Bar series, he normally keeps himself free from any pressures of the economics of the music industry. His focal point is delivering the best bars over the hardest beats.

On Bar 4, though, he takes it a step further, as he delivers some sing-along songs while still rapping harder than your fave. Songs like "Home," "Vim," "1212" flirt with pop but still manage to not lose the grit of the mixtape series.

He showcases all his MC dynamics, but storytelling seems to be what Bar is mostly about, as indicated on songs like "Nina," "Suicide Note," "It Was All A Dream," "Bestie" and "Home." His subjects range from online stalkers, his love-hate relationship with hip-hop, friendship and his aspirations.

He uses different flows for different drum patterns, and deploys just enough singing to make the project dynamic, but not so much that it becomes a pop project.

If, just like me, you are tired of rappers trying to be everything at once, then Bar 4 is the project for you.

Even though he can sing, EL knows rapping is his strongest trait as an artist, and this project ticks all the boxes of a great rap project.

Listen to Bar 4 below or download it here, and make sure to excavate the past three iterations. Thank us later.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

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