Ghanaian hip hop artist E.L has crowned himself as the best rapper on the continent with the release of The B.A.R. Mixtape two days ago. That’s a ballsy proclamation. But it’s also the kind of confidence African music needs at this moment. A time where music makers across the continent are trending more and more on global, and particularly western, radars.
The new mixtape is E.L’s boldest work till date. Well, at least since “You Go Kill Me.” References to smoking weed and one’s dick game are not such popular expressions in Ghanaian hip hop. In “Your Girlfriend Anaa” with M.anifest, E.L brags about his inevitable charm and how he’ll sex your girl when you’re not looking. We’re not at all feeling the details of wanting to bang hot girls with body parts like zebras, cheetahs and rhinos. Say word?! This rings of misogyny and racist stereotypes – not cool, E.L. The song ends with a cocky skit shouting out the boys in Accra whose women are getting treated well well.
The song that jumps at you immediately on The B.A.R. Mixtape is “American Passport”. It is layered with many conversations all at once, particularly pointing out a kind of Ghanaian obsession with everything American. Indicting himself first, E.L flips the table and calls out society at large for partaking in the seductive snares of the American Dream or rather, what young Ghanaians imagine this to be. On one hand, it sounds satirical but after a while, you’re left wondering if E.L is really longing for an American birthright or privilege.
Other songs that buzz on the mixtape are “Over” featuring Edem, “My Guy” and by all means, “Borle”. At times, E.L sticks to a common groove leaving the listener wanting for a more adventurous sound. He picks up the hypnotic boom-bap tradition of U.S. 90’s hip hop but it would be nice to see the kid flow over some homegrown highlife/Funk Electro fusions. Other than that, the tape is filled with a bouyant re-creation of stories from the rapper’s inner mind.
Truth be told, E.L has come a long way from his Skillion days. He’s owning his art and its starting to show in the music. The mixtape’s braggadocio presents a playground to explore all kinds of desires. It’s also a signal that free expression without apologies is not just a FOKN BOIS thing anymore.The Pidgin and Ga flows show a lot of growth from his last project. This might very well be his signature sound.
Is E.L the best African rapper? You tell us. For now, he sure is staking a claim.
Reblogged this on 360º, Around The World.
Reblogged this on Music Equalizer.
Well he might say that but he needs to be recognized by the Music community as ones of the best not to praiser himself. Like someone saying he’s good at something and at the long run will be a huge disappointment not saying he sucks or something he’s a very good rapper with a solid team I respect him and how far he’s come but all I’m saying is that he shouldn’t blow his own horn.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, @WildeHarte.
He’s not bragging. Probably you’ve not listened to the tape. You think he will be recognized whiles Chater House is corrupt and biased?. Kanye has more Grammies than Eminem but do you think Kanye can rub shoulders with Eminem when it comes to real Rap?? NO!
Maybe bragging is too strong a word?
Currently listening to it. A bold work with bold statements. As to him being The B.A.R well will provoke a debate which is good for the rap/hiphop world.
Everyone knows E.L is not the Best African Rapper. But the claim is what makes it interesting. I just enjoyed the good music as I should. Good mixtape. Intelligent too.
Reblogged this on Workings Of A Socially Awkward's Cranium and commented:
The only song that got my full attention was American passport though.. this review by Accra dot Alt is spot on!!
Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally
different subject but it has pretty much the same page
layout and design. Superb choice of colors!
The tape is very dope, as a Ghanaian born & raised in Europe this is so refreshing and incredible to hear. I haven’t heard an african rapper as fluent/wellspoken/lyrical yet so for now he can claim that! Would love to get in the studio with EL and make some hits.