2017 has good plans for us, musically speaking. Already, we can count more than ten projects likely to be outdoored by some of our favourite acts this year. Here are a few of our projections:
1. M.A.T.I.C ((Melodies Awakening the Inactive Conscience) – Trigmatic
Rapper and on-air personality Trigmatic (born Nana Yaw Oduro- Agyei) hasn’t released a body of work since SOUL-u-TIONS (2011). In that time though, he has kept a presence in the industry, albeit subtly –with intermittent excellent singles, lending vocals on the records of colleagues, and his duties for Accra-based Y FM.
Trigmatic’s quality as an artist has never been in question, his versatility undoubted. Recipient of several laurels including VGMA Best Rapper of the Year (2011) and Record of the Year (2014), Best Dancehall Song of the Year (BASS Awards 2014), Best Special Effect Video (4Syte Music Video awards, 2013), and Best Practice Dubai Award, he looks to honour the wide-ranging confidence in his craft come January 21 at Alliance Francais in Accra (and in the company of colleagues Stonebwoy and Epixode, Edem, D-Cryme, Joey B, Adina) –where he launches his long-awaited fourth project after Stains on a Cloth (mixtape), Permanent Stains, and SOUL-u-TIONS.
2. Accra To Lagos Mixtape – Mr. Eazi
Nigerian-born Afrobeat singer Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade aka Mr Eazi may be fighting to prove his affection for his homeland, and that this tweet regarding Ghana’s obvious influence on Nigerian music wasn’t meant in bad faith, but he’s also ready to serve his highly-anticipated mixtape Accra to Lagos.
The project, he confirms via Twitter, will be on all online platforms on February 11, and will have contribution from top Ghanaian and international acts including Olamide, Phyno, Medikal and DJ Cuppy with production from Del B, Yung Jon, Guiltybeats, Masterkraft and Adey.
Songs like Skin Tight, Dance For Me, Bankulize (and in the past couple of months, Leg Over), because of their wide success, have catapulted the 27-year old to international fame, signing with Wizkid’s StarBoy Worldwide, sharing a stage With Lauryn Hill, appearances on Tim Westwood TV, headlining concerts at prime avenues as the Indigo O2, among other feats. He describes himself as Africa’s new sound, and judging by his exploits, he might just be.
3. Headstrong EP -A.I
2ligit’s Ayisi Ican (A.I), because of his efforts on Vision DJ’s Grind (and later, on Trigmatic’s Motromodwo) have raked in for him more popularity that in any other time of his career.
He has a mixtape to his credit, and is recipient of the international ISC 2013 RnB/HIPHOP CATEGORY for his song Anger Management. He has also collaborated with the likes of Jayso, E.L, and Ko-jo Cue.
Yesterday, he announced Paper, of measured melody but an untamed message — “weed and alcohol, bad bitches and stacks”. The first single off the project, it maintains his place in our ears, which has been his place since July last year. Paper was produced by Kuvie, who also designed Grind.
4. The Highest — Sarkodie
This will be the rap icon’s fifth solo project since Makye (2009), Rapperholic (2012), Sarkology (2014), and Mary (2015).
5. 89 – Joey B
Singles off this coming-of-age album, including You x Me, FOH, Far, Fiend, and 89 make it one to look forward to this year. Originally slated for release in 2016, the project ( reportedly recorded in China) has been pushed to this year. I like it, because it will shine better this year.
Surprisingly, 89 is the rapper, born Darryl Paa Kwesi Bannerman-Williams’ debut album, though he has achieved so much, like his breakout single Ice-cream Girl (Strawberry Ginger), as well as Tonga (ft. Sarkodie), that miraculous 2013 jam which won him New Artist of The Year at the VGMAs the following year.
Formerly of D- Black’s Black Avenue Muzik, Joey B has now pitched camp with World Records, largely redefined his sound, and imposed himself as a fashion symbol, especially how seamlessly he’s reviving 90s fashion.
6. Made In Ghana – Okyeame Kwame
A seasoned rapper, label executive, philanthropist and fashion connoisseur, Okyeame Kwame (real name Kwame Nsiah Apau) is also referred to as the “Rap Doctor”, because his way with the craft has been proven over and over again.
Since starting out in rap group Akyeame, he has come full circle, and distinguished himself as among the best to ever pick up the microphone. As a solo act, his works include Bose Ba (2004), Manwesem (2008), The Clinic (2011), and The Versatile Show (2012). His laurels are numerous, including the topmost award in Ghana music —VGMA Artist of the Year in 2009.
Actually, he could release two albums this year. Another project African Connection may follow, depending on how things go. The titles of these records tell of his intentions. His recent offering include Small Small and K’si Boys, Tension, Hallelujah, Bend Down, and It’s OK.
7. T.A.A ( The African Answer) – Edem
There’s a good chance VRMG’s Edem (formerly Ayigbe Edem) will release a new album this year. Titled T.A.A ( The African Answer), it features contribution from respected U.S-based producer Coptic, with whom he has regularly collaborated, especially on Coptic’s The Rising Stars of GH series.
The rapper, who has been involved actively in music since 2009 has enjoyed tremendous commercial success since, collaborating with some of the biggest musical names familiar to Ghanaians: Hammer of The Last Two, Kwaw Kese, Trigmatic, Sarkodie, Obrafour, Tinny, Asem, EL, Black Rob, I-20, Nuru, Ice Prince, Ice Queen, Sway, Gemini, among others
Born Denning Edem Hotor , Edem first entered the music industry as Ayigbe Edem, with his widely successful 2009 debut Volta Regime. He followed it up with Mass Production in 2011. A third one, Books and Rhymes was announced months ago. His music style is a fusion of hip-hop to dancehall, reggae and hi life. A brilliant discography consisting songs like Ghetto Arise, Heyba, Bougez, Bra fremi fremi, Nyedzilo, Kpordawoe, Koene, and Gbevu have made him among some of the country’s most sought after artists.
8. Blow Chicken – Vision DJ
YFM‘s Vision DJ is proving himself as more than a radio jockey. In the past year, he has churned out blistering records, prominent among them being Grind, Double Trouble, which has been a club and radio favourite since its release mid-2016.
Vision DJ also has to his credit This Year (released in January last year, and featuring Nigerian singer Mr Eazi), as well as Double Trouble, released on January 6, and featuring Sarkodie, as well budding singer King Promise.
These songs will be on his Blow Chicken album,and automatically makes it one to look forward to this year.
9. Disturbation Mixtape – Medikal
Medikal has been widely touted as the most deserving act for the accolade of Best New Act for 2016. He will have to fend off competition from the likes of Eugy Official and Solo hitmaker Article Wan, but no one can question his input last year –he was on nearly every major stage last year, and just dispatched hits with a rude effortlessness.
What’s more striking, he did all this largely on the shoulders of hiphop, not a cross-over genre as hiplife or Afropop. Granted, his latest single Too Risky (ft. Sister Derby), but together with Tee Phlow, he proves what lethal accomplishment can happen if a determined emerging act chances upon the looked-over/ discriminated genre that is hiphop.
Disturbation follows the AMG Business act (born Samuel Adu Frimpong)’s Da Medikation (2016), and is likely to see an April 2017 release.
10. New Era – Tee Phlow
Tee Phlow (born Baidoo Lukeman) came second to Strongman in the 2013 hiphop reality show The Next Big Thing, and has never looked back. He has garnered respect from the veterans. And while he has graduated from legendary producer Da’Hammer’s Last Two Music Group, which has nurtured influencers as Edem’s, Tinny, Okra Tom Dawidi, Kwaw Kesse among others, Da’Hammer’s midas is a permanent stain on him.
He’s got the flow, and manoeuvres language like a magician.He sermonises in the title track to his forthcoming New Era album that the game has evolved to a point where lyricism and creativity with words is finally celebrated. Read more on his single New Era here.
Steadily, he’s rising to become the most powerful voices in GH rap today. He’s likely to drop New Era this year. Even if he doesn’t, wait for it!
Madina-based rapper Ayat, who has already been associated with Da’Hammer, Edem, Medikal, among others has announced the Zamani EP in coming months.Highlife singer Becca’s Odo Nson EP is scheduled to coincide with her 10th anniversary in the Ghana music industry this year. Adomaa might release her first full album. Stonebwoy, Bisa KDei, R2Bees, Samini could all release works this year, if their recent singles are anything go by. Shatta Wale could follow up After The Storm with another monster of an album just because…
Which other Ghanaian act do you anticipate a new album from this year?