Digesting Sarkodie’s Alpha tape

Sark
Sarkodie – Alpha

It’s June and expectedly, the rains are here – accompanied with a very cold weather. Warmth is therefore required – it’s actually a necessity in this season. Well, fortunately, a volunteer has decided to release us from the territory of unbridled coldness. He comes to the rescue bearing warmth. What is the warmth?

Tracklist for Alpha

The play button has been pressed. Immediately, the monstrous beat has started flowing like a waterfall. The volunteer who brings forth the warmth has hopped unto the beat. His voice is heard – it’s actually the voice of the continent’s most decorated rapper. He ignites a humongous dose of heat as he makes his first submission on the beat assembled by Fortune Dane. He calls this Greatness. On this monstrous set of instrumentation, Sarkodie’s savagery and aggression is invoked. He associates his status with the former Ugandan leader, Idi Amin who became famous for his cruelty. Sarkodie, as the leader of the rap fraternity therefore threatens the provocative new school rappers with cruelty – …..Moa maba so, wo goro me ho a, wo bɛ dane kwata – to wit simply, if you joke with me, you’ll suffer leprosy.

The tape continues with a track which bears a title that stimulates intense anticipation – Angels and Demons. This is the opening record he performed at the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs). Angels and Demons is presented as the medium Sarkodie employed to ventilate his grievances. He addressed some criticisms he has been facing when he links up with up and coming artistes. He also touched on the perceived sabotage allegedly perpetrated by some purported industry gatekeepers against him. This record is not devoid of some controversy as he also delivered a missile-filled message which many believe is for the maverick dancehall king, Shatta Wale.

Bleeding is Sarkodie’s favourite on the tape. It mirrors a reality of life – that tables do turn. In an interview with NYDJ on YFM, Sarkodie explained the inspiration for Bleeding. He narrated that sometime ago, he went to a shop to purchase some ingredients to prepare gari soakings. In the course of buying, a friend who saw him screamed “wo bleedi”, which apparently means struggling financially. Years later, when Sarkodie had been blessed with quite sufficient wealth, he met this friend and said to him “wo feeli ɛna me bleedi”. But the friend retorted that the tables have turned so he is rather bleeding whilst Sarkodie is now feeling. On Bleeding, Sarkodie also showed appreciation to the members of his core team who have been loyal to his brand over the years.

The only track which has its visuals released is Legend which features Joey B. Sarkodie once again reiterates his status in the rap fraternity as the occupant of the pinnacle of the fraternity. On the record, he also announces his return to regularity in song releases after several months of apparent dormancy. Legend is sprinkled with some pieces of advice for the youth and up and coming rappers. The song is embellished with an enthralling hook by Joey B. Sarkodie and Joey B usually blend pleasantly when they meet on records. Their previous joints include Tonga, 2 Paddies, Baby Mama and Sunshine remix.

Then comes Vintage Flow. The content is not so different from the other records on the tape, with the exception of Odo. Vintage Flow however bears some uniqueness – its uniqueness lies in the instrumentation, executed by Console Chroniks. The instruments and tempo sets this track quiet remote from the other tracks on the tape. It is also embellished with some interesting rhyme schemes. Abi young Fela, me de dom bɛ ba, me sene John the ba-ptist, don’t ever …  this rhyme scheme is brazy.

One record on the tape that is already making some listeners teary is Odo which faces the late talented songstress, Ebony Reigns. It has a distinct content since the focus is on love/relationship. Sarkodie’s verses are ornamented with a silky melodious submission by the late songstress. Sadly, she is gone but indeed, she still reigns.

Production

The productions on this tape were sublime. The beats range from monstrous ones to instrumentals which are very much akin to the soundtracks for telenovelas. They were all appropriate to trigger Sarkodie’s aggressive flows and comfortable expressions. The producers who worked on the tape are Fortune Dane, Atown TSB, Nova and Console Chronikz.

General Views

Alpha was introduced as an appetizer for Sarkodie’s main projects for 2019. Its main purpose is to whet the appetitive of patrons ahead of the release of his major projects for the year. ‘Alpha’ as a term primarily refers to dominance. Situated within the context of the tape, the central theme of the project can be appreciated well. The tape is substantially about Sarkodie making us aware of his dominance in the rap game, refuting claims of a purported gradual loss of relevance, reiterating his presence in the game albeit an apparent dormancy in recent times, inter alia. Expectedly, the braggadocio was also adequately present in the verses. It’s Sarkodie – braggadocio has regularly been part of his lyrical submissions.  This is hip hop and it actually forms an inalienable part of the subculture.

Stream Alpha here:

 

http://ditto.fm/alpha?fbclid=IwAR1gXyhOVLVqsomCh9YFiAQBzzzyDkVZ3p8MM42-f5GxW7rPntfPYYgWx84

 

By Seth Mireku,

Music Enthusiast

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