EL’s BAR 3 is hot with fire


There are not many artists who can boast the versatility EL possesses. He raps, he sings, and produces award-winning bangers. If you followed his path since his collaboration with King Sark on the world-hitting Azonto single, U go Kill Me, you would find nothing but glitter in his wake. From Obuu Mo to Kaalu, from Koko to Aunty Martha, on which he crafts a love letter on a dance beat for wedding crashers, and follows it up with a music video that is dreamy as it is whitely-perfect, one is bound to wonder what at all the King Without a Crown cannot do.

His latest project is a work of many incredible parts. Picking up from where the first two anthologies left off, the sixteen-track BAR 3 has been declared an album rather than a mix-tape. He alludes to wanting people to take this project more seriously when he launched it, recognizing it as his work, a baby he has nurtured with his creative hands rather than a community he is merely a part of. BAR 3 is an EL album featuring Africa’s biggest stars on the Hip Hop scene…

Read More: The Sark-Manifest Beef

Born Elom Adablah, the Dansoman-raised artists credits himself with being among the first real Hip Hop movement signed on to the Skillions project, together with Gemini. His path, however, seems to have taken a detour, a detour he might not necessarily object to, seeing as it has won him artiste of the year, but a detour nonetheless. He sees himself as a rapper, a Hip Hop rapper for that matter, and wouldn’t want to be pushed into the Azonto box. There are no squares in his circles, apparently. The KWAC track is testament to his guts, and on the BAR 3 album, he fuses his Ghanaian sensibilities with masters of the game, like MI.

MI Abaga is a wicked man. His raps are acidic, violent and racy sometimes, yet there is a slow groove to it that tells you he is not yet past first gear. On DROP, he reminds us why he is arguably Africa’s finest rapper, a process that was years in the making…taking a throne that was supposedly vacant and making it his. And of course there is Khuli Chana too, and Worlasi…

As for Worlasi, it is not clear to me if we still should call him a precocious talent. He seems to have arrived long before people knew him. I recall the first time I heard Ay3 Adze; his voice seemed to fill the room as he recounted a certain journey that many artistes in Ghana and Africa face: go to school, become a doctor. (But I want to be a rapper.) What he does on It’s Your Life is both funny and clever, and it sits in with the overall narrative of the track. He is an artist who fuses beautiful rap with wisdom, a trait he has no reason to have. Yet he does have it, somehow…

And Ayat! Boy, the underground guys are making the music industry into some furnace these days. I fear for the old dogs, really, for those who have declared themselves kings and gods, and others still fighting over some dance floor somewhere in Korle Bu gutter.

Being the producer that he is, it is right that we expect the ELien to be able to bring together such fantastic personalities to create a likeable album. With its broken vans and masked men, you are left wondering what coded location represents Lalafalama. And on Pelican Fly, you perceive American Passport lurking there in the background, giving the album a familiar feel to it, a ring to it that remains on your tongue like the after taste of your favourite alewa. It is this familiarity that the Presec alumnus wishes to break away from, though, and it is a wonder, with December around the corner, whether Sexy Rapper will do another Azonto tune or stick to the inside lane of Hip Hop.


Get yours here.

Note: This was first published on my old blog, The Ghanaian Blogger.

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