The Beautiful Backstory to #DontFollowMe!

M.anifest-Don't Follow Me!

Many storytellers say they start writing from the ending. In crafting the outline of their stories, they begin by jotting down what they believe is going to happen at the very end. Then they work their way toward this ‘last show’. M.anifest does this on his new track, #DontFollowMe.

A cautious tale, the song tells the story of a sobering mind about what life’s choices have led him to where he is. From the beginning through to the very end, the caution is insistent, telling the listener; “Don’t follow me!” But why?

Well, Verse 2!

This is the story of a man in dilemma. He is a traveller at a crossroads, and each option leads to its own set of consequences. The note on the ground is like a blank page on which he has to scribble his life’s future plan. Will he become a cheating husband who loses the love of his life? Will he fall prey to the big trouble hidden behind the little paradise we saw in the opening verse?

The note brings torture to the reader because though he claims it’s author is unknown, the narrator knows exactly whose thoughts they carry. He understands the choices he had when he was writing his life’s journey in little signatures. And so we are served with a memoir of a sort throughout this song. Of a man who could have been working hard at his craft. He could have been burning the candle at both ends, perfected his fingers on the piano or the strings of his guitar. He could have aced his Econ 303 papers or mastered his pipes. Perhaps he could have been a C. Ronaldo instead of a Robinho.

He could have broken his back sculpting. Writing songs. Coding. Yet, at the end, the words on the paper he found are a torture to read.

Why? Because, Verse 1!

This man never got to become the best person he could have been. Instead of being a monster on the keyboard, he is now tied to the bottle because, “Akpeteshie gets him.” It gets him enough to allow him to forget his bad decisions. He’s made so many bad choices he now has to run from responsibilities of going to PTA meetings. And while he screams and rejoices with his friends while watching La Liga, his soul is dying. It’t thinning away at the regret pressing his mind. The regret that he could have owned a Benzo from the moneys he spent on booze these past years. He would not be here wishing for a “faster way” while the pastor is asking him to “fast and pray” had he heeded Yaa Pono’s words when he said:

Men tɔ nam ne shitor sokyii ma wo, na ɔkyena me wu ɛ?

Because of his bad ways, he is now stuck in a 9-to-5 that is not his absolute favourite. He talks about bad choices in love. In chasing the side bae when it could be a land mine waiting for just the wrong footing to take you off your feet.

Hook: Get this free book!

Yaa Pono adds his verse succintly:

I will not spend posh on you while my future remains uncertain. Burn me when I’m dead. Give the old men beer. Except, he says these in reverse, which adds to the beauty of Bayku’s hook:

Every time I tell am go-way
They turn around and follow
Ting go Jom you today but turn around tomorrow
So, so so so so
Ting go Jom you today but turn around tomorrow
So…

Mek you no follow me oh, don’t follow me
Mek you no follow me oh, don’t follow me
Ting go jom you today, but turn around tomorrow…so
Follow me oh, don’t follow me

The storytelling on #DontFollowMe is excellent in how the narrative is told. Referencing the “Forever Child” Peter Pan who lives like there’s no tomorrow, M.anifest has employed a worried trope about lost love to point a warning finger at those who follow blindly. The PDA bit reminds me of “PDA” by Backstreet Boys, chale. Like, “I want to run, all over your body!”

And Mani seems to be doing a lot of love stories these days. Ever since he said “Obia sɔri a, ɔdɔ dwom nkoaa,” on Makaa Maka (that track is one of a kind, really!), a mini-jab he employed again on 100%, M Dot has done Simple Love, Goodbye, both on the #NowhereCool project. He has also done Be My Woman and #MeNeWoa. What has changed? Is King Amet speaking about his current love situation?

He is one person who never shies from being vulnerable about his life on a track. After contemplating counting his blessings by doing a victory lap with his son on his laps on No Shortcut to Heaven, he narrated the pains he suffered in losing his loved ones on Now Here Cool. Myers has hinted at an album in the works. As for me, maybe I got this thing right. Maybe I didn’t. All I’m interested in is this:

Please, who is Gloria? It is important paa!


If you loved reading this, you might enjoy this Anansi’s Lies. Get it here!

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