Early last year, hip-hop became a major feature on the Ghanaian music scene, still going through its experimental stage. With new music flying left, right and center, the fondness and love the people associated with the Pac’s and B.I.G’s from my childhood was the sort of likeness people had when a Ghanaian inspired and produced a tune laced with dope punches came on rotation. It was the nostalgic feeling of old that most people tried their very best not to shake off because it came with that good feeling.
In the midst of the crowd and chaos was a voice we had missed and thought of as lost in the alluring wings of then pop- azonto. He had been one of the acts we grew up listening to from high school to my early days in Uni and fell out of love with. As a hip-hop head and a self-acclaimed rap purist, it was very hurtful to have your favorite act leave you hanging after years of winning arguments that he is the best in the game and that his wordplay was Biggie with the passion and aggression of Pac. With the determination of Jay and the production ear of Kanye, EL was the ultimate artiste for me.
And then it all started with ‘Boorle’ and then ‘My People’. A friend whispered he was back, but I wouldn’t agree and believe until I heard ‘American Passport’ and ‘Your Girlfriend Anaa’ with Joey B and M.anifest respectively, and it was a love Fest with the act that had defined so much and yet left the hyphenated genre I fell in love with as a kid. EL was back and it was signed, sealed and delivered when I walked into Alliance Francaise to see charged and hyped up believers in the storytelling art that doesn’t mince words when it comes to resonating with the music head who knows what good music is and can call out the fake.
With B.A.R here and cementing its place among the body of works that didn’t just tell the story of a Hip-hop crusader, who was an heir-apparent but also knew his place on the throne as the ultimate Prince. As if it wasn’t enough to bask in the rays of his glory, hints and snippets of a sequel, which usually make a hard sell for most acts who kill their first experiments.
However, all at stake, never swayed him from pursuing the place of immortality and legends when he set out to create his most daring, creatively diverse and brilliantly bruising work of art- B.A.R II. With a tape out and an impending anniversary concert on the way, I can only say, EL is slowly and gradually building a following that is bigger and greater with the sort of thinking that goes into his music, craft, and the brand, making him a pearl in the ocean of diverse acts.
The first was a statement, but the second makes a Magna Carta (the 800 year old set of laws and convention) that is setting and defining hip-hop’s journey into the future. With 2 solid creeds to his credit, EL has set himself not apart but made himself an ICON and a force to reckon with in the genre that I’m dedicating my life to documenting every little step of the way.
Number One Fan