The Azonto dance genre is one of two notable pop contributions engineered by Accra in the last decade.
(The other, scored by Juls, is what we now know as Afrobeats, if we’re being completely honest–but we’ll return to that debate another day.)
Among Azonto’s architects is the prolific rapper Sarkodie, whom the Ghana Music Awards has deemed–rightfully–the most impactful of the era.
While it is just one of the avenues of his manifold musical strokes (which unravel lavishly across hiplife, highlife, hip-hop, and Afrobeats), it is also noteworthy, if not for nothing at all, for how much it restored focus on Ghana’s reputation as Africa’s hub for pop innovation.
Over the past few days, inspired by #FaHookiMe, a new buzzword on GH Twitter, the “U Go Kill Me” star is engineering an Azonto resurgence. Yesterday, he published a Tulenkey-assisted joint with the hashtag as title and chorus. Because of his clout, the revolution may yet be televised (the joint has already climbed up Twitter trends, as is #BringBackAzonto).
Like many phrases making up Accra’s street slang, #FaHookiMe is versatile in how many interpretations it lends itself to, but “let me in on it,” and “can I get some of that” are basal translations to assist your navigation of its use on social media.
The new Sarkodie single, a little over three minutes long, and the latest in a COVID-19–occasioned run–is transported on boogie-impelling rhythm by PeeOnDaBeat not dissimilar to “U Go Kill Me” which, together with “Azonto Fiesta,” amount to his papping-most Azonto offerings. Lyrically, too, Sarkodie and Tulenkey stick to the template: aim for dance, and the facetious. Everything else will fall in place.
Maybe, Sarkodie’s Azonto blues is just another behaviour symptomatic of Corona boredom. Maybe, it will phase out again, much in the same manner the invention first did shortly after its explosion.
Here’s a second possible outcome (albeit doused in surplus hope): in plotting out the return of Azonto, Sarkodie has promised free guest verses for artists who will send him songs styled in the frantic club bop around this time. The promise sounds unsustainable–considering the torrent of demos that have certainly flooded his email as we speak–but the motive does.
Therefore, could this be a second chance at a more organic, more durable ascendance; one that will make colleague and former archrival, M.anifest rethink, and even give himself a talking to, for the following line in “Keep Shining:
“Me, I always knew Azonto had an expiration date”?