Allan Family – Ke Ofee Nɔ Nŋ Afeee
The Allan Family Culture Troupe plays Ga traditional music. They have been recording four-joint albums like this for years, this is only one I could find in my collection today. The Ga people live in Accra, Ghana, where their once-dominant language has been over-run by the influx of Ghanaians from other parts of the country. Not as many people need to speak Ga in Accra these days. I found the Ga language incredibly challenging, and more recently have had that notion reinforced by its baffling wikipedia entry. My goodness.
In any case, this tape is really good. These are the rhythms upon which the dzama (or jama) style of hiplife is based. But even without the now ubiquitous presence of these patterns in Ghanaian pop I would hasten to say this music is some of the most vital traditional music in Ghana. Pep bands even rock these jams in the stands at pro soccer matches. Everyone gets pumped.
Cheers to my friend Aaron of Denver/Berlin who introduced me to the Allan Family long before I ever thought of visiting Ghana.
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Loving the lyrics in pidgin at the beginning on the Gome track:
“Whatin make yo mauf big??
you are a pikin. (child)
wo Maame, wo Papa. (your mummy, your daddy.)
whatin make yo mauf big??
you are a pikin.
de ting weh makes yo mauf big, you too you go grow!
baba, you go grow!”