If you have been following M.anifest for the past couple of months, you will realise he has released playlists for JAY-Z’s Tidal. Each playlist was dubbed, GMT: Ghana Mean Time. What is interesting is that GMT is actually the name for his new album. He made that slip during his last interview on Class Fm with Prince Benjamine some weeks past. Personally, I think we are long overdue for another M.anifest masterpiece and these are some of the things I am looking forward to.
The Love Bite
It is now official that M.anifest has been bitten by the bug. The number of love songs he’s done has increased significantly since the last album especially. We’ve had Cupid’s Crooked Bow, Simple Love, Good Bye, and, later, Be my Woman, and Me ne Woa. It’s likely we’ll have another set of love-tangents on the GMT album to show what madam Gloria means to the “vagabond man.”
Did you think Yaa Pono’s verse seemed truncated? Incomplete? “Like a house without a roof?” You’re right! In letting the word slip about his GMT album, M.anifest confirmed the extended verse will be available on his new project. This is not even a random thing, as King Amet has stated his admiration for Yaa Pono long before they did this collaboration. It leaves one wondering if there are other projects in the works.
Me ne Woa was only a beautiful accident. Mani and ‘Go, go Promise’ were looking to create a different song. Getting to the studio, Ghana Man Time happened with the scheduled producer and something occurred in “the mean time.” (You see the pun there?) That thing became the monster that is Me Ne Woa, a lover’s comfort, a hustler’s tune, and the hope that distance shouldn’t kill love. Shout out to all the gnashers; you are all in a long distance relationship with your yet-to-meet better halves! So the question is: will GMT host at least another piece with Sakora Man?
I love music that tells an actual story. M.anifest is stellar with his choice of words. Every song he releases serves a subject that is not trivial. However, I find he doesn’t do much in terms of story telling, with a couple of exceptions, of course. Now Here Cool is one such. We hear of his life and the deaths in his life, the pain he felt for not being there. The last verse is raw emotion with a dash of deliberate word choices. Died. Cried. No lie. Sigh. When death came calling had no reply. Alibi. You no try! And then it ends with that poem by Prof Ata Aidoo.
But the one song he did that I loved for its beautifully-written story is #DontFollowMe. I always compare Mani to artists like Kendrick (No, it is not unfair. I ain’t talking numbers, but skill and dedication put in the creation of a song.) Listen to the story progression on Maad City, Sing About Me, Keisha’s Song, and Nas’s One Mic, and you know what I am talking about.
This is not an indictment on M digidi, it’s just a personal hope. Motion Picture comes close, though.
Kudzanai Chiurai, you ‘alrai’?
Yo, we have been waiting for the video for Sunsum Praye for so long it is not even funny. M.anifest said some genius from Zimbabwe has promised to come up with something. That guy is Mr Chiurai, an established genius artivist. There is no questioning his ability. But…my questions are: has he forgotten his pledge? Did he also get overthrown with Uncle Mugabe? Is he fucking with us? How can you hold on to such a project for so long? My guy, should we send Anas? Really, wassop?!
Chasing Features can feel so needless
Ebi so M.anifest talk on Damn You Rafiki. However, there is reason to believe that M Dot will feature more artists on his new project than we probably expect. We all know long time collaborator, Worlasi is on it, as are Bayku and Yaa Pono. It’s logical to expect Kwesi Arthur and at least one of Ayat, B4Bonah, Kofi Kinaata, Kla Manye.
Don’t look at me like that, chale! A man is allowed to dream som.
Back to Jozi?
M.anifest be dada bee, every bro know am! While others are chasing the grime and lime of Lagos and Abuja collaborations, Mani hops on a hot air balloon and rides for the rich affluence of Joburg and Cape Town. Some of his best projects have been with South African collaborators. Name Jigah with HHP, Forget Dem, shot in SA, Bear, directed by Garth von Glehn, and that one with Nomisupasta! There is no doubt the southern African country has a more structured system, and so one would expect that more projects will be produced in or around Mandela country.
I am too in my feels right now to think the playlists are all that he has to offer. Having consulted my personal golden orb, I have come to the rather obvious conclusion that there is something else going on with the streaming site.
TIDAL claims to pay highest royalty in the world, making them an artist’s haven. Much like KDP Unlimited, however, TIDAL allows exclusivity, which means an artist can’t publish the same music on other platforms. If M.anifest should publish GMT on TIDAL, he won’t be able to publish it on other platforms for a time. Given TIDAL’s famed high subscription rates, it is possible only a couple of songs will be published via the platform. Beware, though, TIDAL has been accused of inflating its subscriber count. It has also been suggested Bey and one other got more royalty at the expense of other artists due to concocted figures regarding music streams. Exclusivity also begets piracy, but that is not a big issue for M Dot, if you listened to any of his interviews.
But that might me be reading too much into matters. You can’t blame me for this, you know! You know that, right? Right…right…
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