Featuring J.Derobie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy x Teni, Kojey Radical, Stormzy and more.
Here are the best tracks that came out of the buzzing Ghana scene in September.
J.Derobie 'Odo Bra'
Budding dancehall act J.Derobie dished out this smooth afro-dancehall tune titled "Odo Bra." On it, the singer shows a significant improvement in his musical ability, cruising all the way through the Killertunes production. —Nnamdi Okirike
If pegged as a dancehall artist from his first single "Poverty" and the less popular but more convincing roots reggae on "Irie," newcomer J.Derobie throws a surprise turn in new single "Odo Bra," a confection of twi, pidgin English (Nigerian and Ghanaian) and Toruba over a "Soco"-style beat. —Sabo Kpade
Stonebwoy 'Ololo' ft. Teni
We're blessed with another solid Ghana-Naija collaboration, as Ghanaian dancehall titan Stonebwoy teams up with Nigerian superstar singer Teni to deliver this vibely afrobeats cut titled "Ololo." —N.O.
Kirani Ayat 'Mariama' feat. Sarkodie
Few artists in the afropop sphere who are Hausa, or speak it, combine the language with continuing success as Kirani Ayat. "Mariama" is a love overture for which Ayat blends English and Hausa: "ban ci abinci [i will not eat], if it's not from pot" which also works well as a metaphor. As a guest, Sarkodie's eloquence with twi adds much zest. —S.K.
Ko-Jo Cue 'You Alone'
Rapper Ko-Jo Cue floats between Pidgin, English, and Twi bars on the first single to his upcoming debut album, where he stresses the importance of individual determination. In "You Alone" he urges you to focus on your journey, forget about the approval of others, and celebrate your wins along the way. "My brother, live your life / The way you know / Cause if you die / You pɛ go go." —N.O.
Shatta Wale 'Vibration'
"Vibration" is Shatta Wale's contribution to the 2019 edition of One Way Riddim, a compilation album by various dancehall artists who, crucially, render individualized versions of songs over same production. —S.K.
Eddie Khae 'Do Da Dance (Remix)' ft Kuami Eugene x Medikal x Pappy KoJo
Ghanaian rapper Eddie Khae dropped the official remix to his smash hit and breakout single "Do The Dance," which took over the dance floors and parties of Ghana in 2018. This time around he recruits rappers Pappy Kojo and Medikal, and singer Kuami Eugene to issue a star-studded remix of the dance anthem. —N.O.
Kojey Radical '20/20'
"Nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong" goes the text 4 minutes into the video for "20/20" from Kojey Radical's latest project, Cashmere Tears. "20/20" is at times about the life goals of a young man in his 20s though its most arresting lines address wider concerns: "call you leader, I need answers / tell him I need every piece of gold that came from Ghana." Changing vocal approaches and a tastefully-costumed video make him a very watchable artist. The 10-track Cashmere Tears, freed from trap heavy for radio baits, is fashionably out of place with "mainstream" tastes. —S.K.
Sam Opoku 'Love Somebody'
MagicHands Music act Sam Opoku delivered "Love Somebody," a mid-tempo tune where he issues a heartfelt plea to a woman who is searching for the love of her life, but hasn't quite began to love herself.Produced by Northboi (of Wizkid's "Fever" and "Soco"), the singer presents an intentional approach to afrobeats, marked by poetic songwriting and dreamy melodies. —N.O.
Kano 'Pan-Fried' feat. Kojo Funds
On "Pan-Fried," Kojo Funds contributes the stellar support work on Kano's Hoodies All Summer. Where a lesser singer (and writer) would struggle to maintain interest over a skeletal beat, Kojo Funds' voice is a warm presence and his writing neat and effective: "them can't penny with me, Henny with me, likkle any Pinckney."
Shaker 'Who Dey Eat' ft. Joey B
"Break up with your boyfriend, I'm bored" demands rapper Shaker as he asks for the privilege of being her man on the side. "Who dey eat?" is Ghanaian Pidgin for "Who are you sleeping with?" and in this afrobeats song Shaker and Joey B make a bold case against monogamous relationships. —N.O.
Stormzy 'Wiley Flow'
Stormzy delivers a neat touch up of Wiley's flow from "Bad Em Up" & "Nightbus Dubplate" on this new single. "Wiley Flow" is a tribute to a totemic figure, all the while Stormzy insists on his own supremacy among newer rappers, "on my Everest shouting." Eerie electronics, trap percussion and bass synths combine to make a good serving for Stormzy's articulate zest, snarl and bite in his delivery. —S.K.