An anthem for days – Stonebwoy’s Kpokɛkɛ – A REVIEW

Stonebwoy’s Kpokɛkɛ ditches pity for pomp. It comes from a place where worries don’t get a seat at the high table, and cheer gets defined properly. There are no...

Stonebwoy’s Kpokɛkɛ ditches pity for pomp.

It comes from a place where worries don’t get a seat at the high table, and cheer gets defined properly. There are no clothed pretences – the kind that lives, dies and resurrects – in the Instagram search box.

The song’s strength is its chill and anthem efficacy. It holds an attraction that is so present there is little wonder about why it connects instantly at first play. While it bears some semblance to Baafira, a 2014 Stonebwoy hit, the song summons its own fondness and tables bluntness that can cure feet-dragging.

As the baton moves from one featured hand to the other, there is a good reminder of the depth of talent in today’s local music scene. The variants they offer are so cute and germane they cut such fine wall-hanging individual virtuosity, refined and knitted out of the need to come good. At all times.

There is a certain Medikal. Yet his most prominent year and a half since coming of mainstream age, he breathes – with tidy verve – so much life into the composition. What Medikal gives Kpokɛkɛ are talking notes that swing from peppering enemies – who discover that he is always Captain Planet – to being a Top Skanka with wealth to share.

Medikal is local music’s get-him-to-be-part-at-all-cost guy for 2018/2019. In these streets, he creates monster verses and hooks that dictate credibility. His engineering feeds heavily from an acoustic appreciation of what makes hit songs. It is a skilled art; the message is often pithy, aimed at targets who pretty much bow to the constant celebration of win, win more and win by any means necessary.

Stonebwoy is a god at making hits. Locally, he sits in Top 4 and has had more than impressive enough outings in the last half-decade.

There is a reason for this. Kpokɛkɛ provides a clue – pick relatable themes and tramp through what society gets by – with a precision that guarantees more than one Call to Action.

Anthems may speak for, and relate to something. They should have a name to their beauty and transcend generations, and or live only in the moment. Kpokɛkɛ is such. Trading a moderate Beats Per Minute (BPM) of 112, it offers powerful hidden notes that expand when each featured act takes their turn. That piece of engineering is strictly a craft Stonebwoy has mastered over the years, whether playing solo or hosting a party of talents. What Kpokɛkɛ needed to keep it going beyond a little over two hundred and forty seconds, was an ever-present god, on hand to deliver the flame. Stonebwoy came through. Like all gods do when they are called upon.

Kpokɛkɛ gushes careful admonition to live life to the fullest while offering a thinner moment of slaughtering frill. It is beautiful. It is Ghanaian. In Kpokɛkɛ, there are micro-managing of the song’s strength by all five acts.

DarkoVibes cements his status as a poster boy for scenic singing, going one step further from his last effort with Stonebwoy – Stay Woke, 2018 – to rendering Kpokɛkɛ such an assurance and sonic score.

There are so many vibes to his craft, and on Kpokɛkɛ, a beauty that sees him come through with shades of Kweku Sasu Bediako (Esther, 1988, LP, Fredopp Records), DarkoVibes stakes a resounding claim to fan favourite. Over individual and group (La Même Gang) masterpieces in the last two years, he has come from the back to lead as top dog. DarkoVibes is chef-d’oeuvre. All by himself. He joins a colossal list of contemporary musicians creating fine pieces of music with the Ga language.

DarkoVibes was fit for this. Kpokɛkɛ is a celebration of the Ga language as it is a reminder of the people and culture. It extends an open invitation to explore everyday British Accra. The Gas are better party handlers; DarkoVibes on Kpokɛkɛ is proof. From where he picked the song to where he left it, he offers too many goosebumps. Too many. They are cute. They are Kankama; they are fresh. Of course, he sings his verses in Ga so the joy you get hearing him in two different departments – in one song – equates to that of onyɛ sɔɔ. Pure bliss.

All four featured acts pass Kpokɛkɛ’s Applause-O meter, gauged by an ever-increasing collective yearning for something other than the dark-and-horror incantations of nothing in particular that slip through mainstream honour list occasionally.

Kelvyn Boy’s place in the current Stonebwoy story offers a critical path to act-to-act sparring. On Kpokɛkɛ, he gets all the time to tell a story with his influences and style, which he’s had to explain whether they were borrowed or curated locally. From frames that stick closer, he proudly waves signatures he is known for and makes it a Kelvyn Boy feast. The treat begins; there are calls for Lighters and a bottle of Hennessey. What happens afterwards is a Highlife party, where the style is strictly new and modern. The intention slides through footnotes that incorporate echoes of a young breed who know all too well about the definitive guide to picking a genre and representing it well. The connotations are uplifting same way they are vast employs of artistic structuring that give calm for anxiety and an escape from haze.

Every minute on Kpokɛkɛ doesn’t feel odd. The dots connect so well with an energy that didn’t have to be inspired yet full of charm. Only one statement matters on this beauty: good music by five young men who know a thing or two about booze and ass-clapping ladies.

Kpokɛkɛ’s scripting is built on interludes that come with certainty. The changeovers are pure Psalms with fewer or no lamentations. It is all cheery with spins that make it an anthem for days; Kwesi’s Arthur’s sign off was tastefully done to make the consumer yearn for more.

Pop the Champagne. Raise your glass! To more beautiful songs.

Kɛ kpo kɛ kpo kpowaa

Released: 2018, Zylofon Music/Burniton Music Group

Produced by: Beat Master

Mixed by: Master Garzy

Obed Boafo is the Founding Editor/Publisher of enewsgh.com. In 2012, he started what has now become Ghana's best essential arts and entertainment briefing.

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