Sunday, January 11, 2009


Ensemble Instrumental National du Mali—Vol. 4 Musolu

Side 1
Aw Bissimilaï

Side 2
Hilo Hilo

In Mali, government-sponsored music apparently means the best music in the world.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Sounds of Our Time, a compilation by Hammer

Side A
Dora Motia*
Kwakwa Kwau Kese*
Wotome Agbeko feat. Paxi*
You May Kiss your Bride Bollie*
Ke Shi Ka Le Scizo

Side B
Agynoamoa Kwesi Okra*
Skillz Trigga & Nyega
The Workshop Okra & Motia
Ngbe Yee Yoo The Last Page
Odo ne Asomdwe Accra's Finest
Close Down (Outro)


Hammer's Sounds of Our Time is some of my all-time favorite hiplife from Ghana, a highly influential mixtape when it came out in 2004. It brought mainstream attention to the then-burgeoning trend of well-known producers making compilations featuring up-and-coming rappers culled from their "stables"...At the time, Hammer was already a successful producer with an influential production style. This release introduced a slew of virtual unknown rappers that received initial air-play and recognition through their association with Hammer. A few of these artists offer incredible performances on this tape and went on to become stars, which helped consolidate Hammer's legend in certain circles.

The producer took pains to include a linguistically diverse selection of guys (and gals; see track 9) who rap in Twi, Ga, Ewe and English. Since hiplife is mostly in Twi and the non-Twi tracks here are so impressive, this record helped break new ground in encouraging young artists from less-dominant language groups to participate in the movement.

These may not sound like instant classics to you but there's not a club or party in Ghana that doesn't explode with energy when the DJ spins "You May Kiss Your Bride".

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