2017 belongs to Swedru native and One Corner man Patapaa Amisty as much as it belongs to Stonebwoy, or Ebony, or Bronya duo Wutah. Richie Mensah’s Lynx Entertainment may have enjoyed their biggest year in a while, and Shatta Wale maintains his grip atop the pile in many respects.
Here’s our list of top songs for the year.
- One Corner – Patapaa (ft. Loyalty and Ras Cann)
One morning in September, the country woke up to a viral video of Swedru-based Patapaa Amisty (known privately as Justice Amoah) performing One Corner at this year’s Akwambo Festival. The profound insanity exhibited in the footage startled and charmed the nation all at once. Beneath the stage, in the presence of the elderly, on the streets, in gutters, and practically everywhere else, bewitched fans partook of the craze mainly by thrusting their groins at whatever was in front of them (animate or not) as you would during coitus.
And with that, One Corner became a phenomenon, sweeping across West Africa and beyond at the rate of wildfires during harmattan. Celebrities and regular folk alike were not left out of the frenzy, and posted online their versions to both admiration and aversion. Wherever you stand on the relevance of the song, it is a momentous point for culture. It is the biggest song this year has offered, prominent among internet trends for 2017, and announced Patapaa in grand style. Patapaa may never release another song of this magnitude, but no one can take way his place this year.
- Taking Over – Shatta Wale (ft. Captan, Addi Self & Joint 77)
“We dey drop hit song each and every year”, sings dancehall star Shatta Wale in Don’t Try (2016). That statement is hardly an exaggeration. This year too, Shatta Wale has reigned supreme, publishing over 100 songs and headlining the biggest shows.
Produced by Willis Beats Taking Over features SM militants Captan, Addi Self, and Joint 77, and ranks highest among submissions from his camp, and the biggest songs of 2017. Accompanying visuals to the song, published on YouTube back in March, have been viewed over 5.5 million times.
- Forgetti – Shatta Wale ft. SM Millitants, Pope Skinny, & Natty Lee
Typically, the controversial act’s 2017 success story is also proven with more than a single hit. Forgetti, also featuring his militants Captan, Addi Self, and Joint 77, as well as SM associates Pope Skinny and Natty Lee, is another song with which the singer has held his place as “dancehall landlord”.
Low Tempo, Freedom, Ayoo, Umbrella,Dem Confuse, Bumper, Hosanna also constitute in-demand offerings from his camp.
Forgetti is also produced by Willis Beats.
- My Name – Stonebwoy
An uplifting dancehall tune, ZYLOFON act Stonebwoy’s My Name places him in the first-tier of musicians from the country. Riding over Armz House Records’ Forever Riddim, the singer sermonises with gripping charm, the eagerness of people to share in a one’s achievements though they are usually absent at the beginning of his journey.
A BET laureate and recipient of several other awards, Stonebwoy (Livingstone Satekla) just released Epistles of Mama, his fourth studio project after Grade 1, Necessary Evil, and Livingstone.
- Bronya – Wutah
With Bronya, the second single after reuniting as a group, the Ghanaian duo comprising Frank Osei (Wutah Afriyie) and Daniel Morris (Wutah Kobby) swiftly reclaimed their spot in the first rank. Conveyed via nostalgic highlife, the song set the tone for Christmas hysteria several months before it finally arrived.
Again, with the KinDee -produced joint, Wutah distinguish themselves as perhaps, the one group capable of staging a real comeback.
- My Own – Samini
The DJ Frass-made reggae classic is reminiscent of typical Samini, and lends credence to his longevity as an artist. Afrobeats pretty much dictated the sounds from these parts. The Wa native however, proves that he can challenge the trend and still triumph. He did it with “Music Man”, “My Kind of Girl”, “Odo”, “Where My Baby Dey” among others. So ultimately, it is not necessarily surprising.
My Own is a beautiful narrative of a love that has fully blossomed in the face of great challenges. For his effort on this number, the MOBO winner is in a comfortable lead for “Reggae Song of the Year”, many hold.
- Total Cheat – Fancy Gadam
If we entertained any misgivings that the Tamale titan truly deserved the crown of VGMA Best New Artist this year, Fancy Gadam has served us with conclusive evidence. His Gadam Nation tour across principal towns in the country has attracted droves, and Total Cheat, his brilliant partnership with Sarkodie, has held its own against even more “established” acts.
Off his Mujahid album, the record (produced by Killbeatz) has been truly embraced on radio and on the streets, and helped him truly impress his name in our minds as a “Nation Champion”.
- Jennifer Lomotey – Kurl Songx
1st runner-up of Vodafone Icons – Street Edition (2013) and 2016 winner of MTN Hitmaker, Kurl Songx (now signed to Kaywa’s Highly Spiritual Music) reintroduced himself with incendiary pizzazz. Jennifer Lomotey is one of three offerings from him this year, also the most memorable.
The song courted nationwide controversy for a line in featured act Sarkodie’s verse suggesting that women from the Ada tribe are promiscuous, but as is a feature of many Ghanaian scandals, that too has evaporated into thin air.
The song is a masterly highlife jam, and is designed to abide –thanks to production genius displayed by Kaywa. A determined vocal technician, Songx belongs to the Class of 2017, and Jennifer Lomotey, together with his recent Feeling, should serve as sufficient fuel for him come 2018.
- Boys Boys – Nacee ft. Guru
Boys Boys is a product of sheer musical command and artistic versatility. Since his entry into the industry man-years ago, Nacee has perpetually refused to be boxed, participating in music of various bends, but remaining with his core message of inspiration.
The chorus of the song is a double-edged sword –it’s technically suitable for the church premises, and at the same time, meets the requirements of anthems which permeate the lungus and streets of our inner cities. It ensured him a place among top songs of 2017.
- Angela – Kuami Eugene
Lynx Entertainment act and MTN Hitmaker alumnus Kuami Eugene has had the year of his life without question. A talented singer -songwriter and producer, he has worked with sought-after names including Shatta Wale, and label mate KiDi. He has also received praise from greats as Sarkodie.
Produced by Killbeatz, Angela is a bona fide 2017 hit. It is a staple at weddings, parties and across various media. It has earned him a spot on some of the biggest stages (most recently, Starr FM’s S Concert which recorded attendance in excess of 40, 000). The accompanying video to the song has been seen nearly 2 million times on YouTube alone.
11. Odo -KiDi
Singer KiDi is further evidence of Lynx Entertainment’s enormous contribution to Ghana music this year. It is not alien of the label as it has churned out hits via Asem, OJ Blaq, Ziggy, Eazzy, Irene Logan, label boss Richie Mensah, and MzVee. But this year’s success is truly of a whole new scale.
12. Leg Over – Mr Eazi
Innovator of the Banku Music sub-genre of Afrobeats, Mr. Eazi has remained stealth in his dealings. We never see him coming, until he is right in our faces. Leg Over, off his Accra to Lagos mixtape, is one of Africa’s biggest songs.
Produced by Nigerian producer E -Kelly, it is a glowing addition to a playlist of songs via which Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade ( as he is privately know) has proven himself master of soft sentiments. On YouTube, the video to the tune has recorded over 26 million views.
13. Bo Noo Ni – Joe Mettle ft. Luigi Maclean
Joe Mettle’s Bo Noo Ni (No one Else), off his 2017 live album God of Miracles made strong case for him as reigning VGMA Artist of the Year, and the Gospel fraternity in general.
Released on September 12, the compelling worship number features talented emerging singer and protégé Luigi Maclean.
14. Ladder – Lil Win ft. Odehyie Ba
Kwadwo Nkansah Lil Win is a household name as a comic actor, but is also fast-cementing himself as a respected musician. With a growing number of certified hits under his belt (and for his June 2017 song Ladder), Lil Win’s name cannot be ignored in a list thus.
Inspired by Agnes Iro’s “Follow The Ladder”, Lil Win’s Ladder, professes a message parallel to Agnes’, cautioning against carnal behaviour, and charging all to remain focused on the Lord.
15. Poison – Ebony ft. Gatdoe
What a year 2017 has proven for the “90s bad girl ” Ebony (Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng). Like Shatta Wale, the RuffTown act has been pivotal in GH music this year. And though her approach has usually been met with reproach, there’s no debate that she has remained a hit machine.
Poison set things off for the sultry singer (who is widely-tipped to unseat Joe Mettle as VGMA Artist of the Year in 2018). Produced by B2, the song –of highlife build, spread quickly due to her clever use of the Twi language, and her overall vocal grace.
16. Sponsor – Ebony
Poison was followed-up by Sponsor –an impish narrative of a young girl navigating modern–day love. What is the place of money in the equation? What is the place of love? What is the place of sex?
17. Date Your Fada – Ebony
Programmed by Danny Beatz, Date Your Fada is undisguised warning at the boy who dares cause her heartbreak. “If you break my heart I go date your father. You gonna be my son; you go call me your mother.”), she threatens, very much aware of her ammunition.
The song may be the most couragious any Ghanaian act has been in years, and the flair with which she has managed to heap up traction in her favour specifically with this message will confound connoisseurs for years to come.
18. Hustle – Ebony ft. Brella
Released a month ago, Ebony’s Hustle themed on the daily struggle for survival, but again, due to her craftiness with the wording which constitutes the chorus, it suggests something rather lewd.
A zestful jam also produced by Danny Beats, it features label mate Brella, and sits comfortably among greatest hits of 2017.
Her year was crowned with the release of her debut CD BONYFIED, outdoored to thousands at the West Hills Mall days ago, and the release of Maame Hwɛ, an iconic revival of the domestic violence debate, which has swiftly shot up all valid trends online. What a run!
19. Obi Agyi Obi Girl – Captain Planet ft. Kofi Kinaata
4×4 member Captain Planet (Sylvanus Dodji Jeoffrey) finally secures a nationwide hit as a solo act after several tries. Enlisting Fante rapper Kofi Kinaata on the witty Mix Masta Garzy joint, Captain Planet explores the woes of losing one’s boyfriend/ girlfriend to another.