REVIEW: Did the BAR justify his status on BVR?

Official cover art for E.L’s BAR 5 mix tape

Ghanaian artiste, Elorm Adablah, popularly known as E.L has served music patrons, notably hip hop fans with his perennial treat as he releases the 5th edition of his BAR Series. As Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., known in showbiz circles as Lil Wayne has been delivering his CARTER series in the States, E.L has been offering a similar model in our jurisdiction.

Coming through as one of the most talented Ghanaian artistes in contemporary times, E.L has consistently proven his understanding of the intricacies of music. He has however been dormant in the past few months, precisely since his departure from the BBnZ record label. It could be understood that his recent dormancy was due to the magnitude of effort he was channeling into this newly conceived project.

Let’s ascertain the qualitative reach of the songs on the tape:

Track list for the BVR mixtape

E.L introduces listeners to the tape, dubbed BVR (Siren Season) with a song titled GreatestGreatest bears similarity with Joy, a single he released earlier this year, owing to the solemnity the song’s melody bears. Greatest is however interspersed with a rap submission by E.L.  The V.O Nation signed act emphasizes his status in the music industry before he delivers what he has in stock for listeners.

It is trite knowledge that music evolves. The dynamism of culture extends to music because music forms an essential part of culture. It must further be noted that a genre of music may thus evolve with time – this is the prevailing phenomenon with respect to hip hop music. The dominant specie of the hip hop genre presently concentrating the airwaves is what is widely known as trap music. E.L has managed to demonstrate his adaption to the evolving nature of music as he saturates the Bar 5 mix tape with some wavy trap sounds.

E.L displayed unbridled versatility to the extent that he had to be versatile in terms of rhythm, tempo and style even on a single song. Being dynamic in style on a single record appears to be rare in this part of our world. Listening to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN album for example, any discerning and attentive listener will notice the astronomical height of versatility Kendrick displays, especially on records such as DNA, Element and Loyalty.

On Secure Ma Bag, E.L showed enviable dynamism on the beat assembled by Boi Jake and sizzling hip hop producer, Slimbo. There is progression of rhythm and style manifested in this captivating trap sound. Ayitey is another trap record on the mix tape which bears the potency to bang the streets. Interestingly, E.L placed the spotlight on maverick boxer, Ayitey Powers in the song. Work, Thinkin and Nobody are also songs on the project which are expected to be enjoyed by the hip hop lovers.

E.L hosted Jean Feirer, Fu and Recognise Ali on Remember The Name, where he shared some pieces of advice on how to attain affluence.

Chant is presented as the most lyrically intense record on the mix tape. The lyrical submission made by E.L, coupled with lyrical Joe’s verse can actually result in an inferno.

E.L elected to ventilate his grievances on Interview, where he highlighted the unpleasant comments that are sometimes leveled against him on the airwaves. The instrumentation for Interview, handled by Jaymera is pretty unique – laid out with a host of strings. E.L continued his response to undue attacks on Another Day, as he talked resilience, a character which is presented in the Akan as “wo kum apem aa, apem bɛba”, to wit, “if you kill a thousand, a thousand will reemerge”.

Anabelle sounds like the hip hop records which dropped in the late 90s. E.L expressed his displeasure at one Anabelle over relationship issues. He was very aggressive on this track, sounding like Eminem in his elements. The content is unique – obviously one of the best records on this tape.

The legendary Fela Kuti once said that as a musician, your music should be able to mirror the state of affairs of your country. This is exactly what E.L did on Pray for Ghana. Inspired by President Nana Addo’s inaugural call to Ghanaians to be citizens and not spectators, E.L expressed his grievances about recent unpopular occurrences that has rocked the nation, and therefore called for divine intervention for Ghana.

Hallelujah and Better are very sublime records on the tape which penetrates the ears in a fascinating fashion.

The BAR concluded the tape with Tomorrow, an apparently emotional song focusing on memories of his encounters with his late grandmother.

 

General Views

E.L has once again buttressed his multifaceted ability to rap, sing and produce. BVR is breathtaking. The introductions to some of the songs are very interesting – Remember the Name, Ayitey, Interview, Another Day and Chant are commenced with riveting sound bites. The employment of appropriate sound bites to constitute captivating musical tapestries was impressive. An excerpt of a speech by President Nana Addo was even inserted into one of the records, Prayer for Ghana, just as Sarkodie did on his single, Black Excellence.

E.L has been very loyal to the hip hop culture over the years, churning out very alluring hip hop records such as Lalafalama, All Black, American Passport, among others. It is an era of commercial hip hop songs/ trap music. BVR contains songs molded in the nature of the songs the likes of Kwesi Arthur, La Meme Gang, Kofi Mole et al, have been making waves with. E.L ought to regain some dominance with this project. The urban youth – the demographic class that apparently constitutes a substantial percentage of his fan base must definitely enjoy this tape.

Guest artistes

The guest artistes on the project were Falz, Regie Roy, Nana Grenade, Kev, Stargo, Bryan the Mensah, Jean Feier, Fu, Recognise Ali, Gbrunot, Lyrical Joe, Akan and DopeNation. They all sounded promising with their submissions. I was however more impressed with the performances by Lyrical Joe, Akan, DopeNation and Recognise Ali.

Production

The producers who worked on this project included E.L himself, Regie Roy, Boi Jake, Slimbo, Nabeyin, Jaymera, Ita Akpan and DNA. The others were DopeNation, Aloysious Brown, Tone Mason, Kid Mvgic, Dansonn, Bedi. All the songs on the tape were mixed and mastered by PeeOnTheBeat. They delivered sublime productions for the rhythmic contributions.

Rating

On a percentage scale, I will rate BVR 80%.

Stream BVR here and make your own rating:

 

By Seth Mireku

Writer, ghanafuo.com

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