VIDEO: M.anifest featuring Obrafour’s “No Shortcut To Heaven”

M.anifest worked with Garth Von Glehn to create the video for “No Shortcut To Heaven”, shot in Ghana at a mining site, and he says he wants to show the portrayal of “a small-scale miner while narrating the cautionary tale of a young hustler trying to make money and navigate.” Hip-hop with a thought-provoking message, the song is from his most recent EP, Apae: The Price of Free.


VIDEO: M.anifest’s “Someway Bi”

“Someway Bi” is a video that touches on the day in the life of, be it you, his friends, his family, or those within his neighborhood or those around him. For M.anifest, it could very well be about him. The song can be found on his latest project, Apae.

VIDEO: The M.anifest “Apae Taxi Diaries (episode 1)”

M.anifest has released a new release called Apae: the Price Of Free EP and he decided to give it a “test run”, which generally means going into a car to hear how it sounds, get a bit of the dynamitcs, to hear how it “feels”. Instead, he decided to play Apae for friends, along with some people he didn’t know, in a taxi cab. You should give it a test run as well.

VIDEO: M.anifest’s “Blue (Chale What Dey Happen)”

“Blue (Chale What Dey Happen)” is a track by M.anifest that has a pinch of funk with a nice hit of jazz to coat its spirit, and he has now turned the song into a music video. For M.anifest, home is where the heart is and while he may be far from the place he calls home, it will always be in his mind, body and soul. It’s an excellent track with a complimentary video, and while not all hip-hop can sound like this, I wish more of this style would be pushed to the eyes and ears that need to hear it. Eh, more for us, right?

VIDEO: M.anifest featuring Efya’s “Asa”

The new video by M.anifest is a true banger, partly because of the fact that he rhymes over a time signature that isn’t considered “normal” in hip-hop circles. Or when someone does do it in that time signature, it’s wrong. Or worse: when a producer creates the beat in that time signature but an acapella with something completely different will be layered over it. Sure, you can do a 3/4 over 4/4 or be able to twist something with a different accent, you do have common denominators when it comes to music, but it sounds like a mess. This, however, doesn’t sound like a mess at all, and that’s what keeps me listening to M.anifest, because I know I can put faith into what he does. “Asa” is a track he did with vocalist Efya, and it makes me wish this song was the center of attention within today’s hip-hop circles.

VIDEO: M.anifest’s “Makaa Maka”

M.anifest is one of my favorite MC’s out there, and when he releases something new, I make it a priority to listen. In this case, it’s also a means to watch. “Makaa Maka” is translated from Twi as Twi “If I said it I said it” or “I say it without apology”. In other words, if he says what he means, then he means what he says. It makes me wish more people were aware of this guy, because he deserves to be up there with some of the best, because he is one of the best. If you are a fan, you know what I speak. If you’re wondering “can this guy be that good?”, then watch and listen for yourself. In the words of M.anifest, “makaa maka” indeed.

The video was directed by Isaac Offei Awuah, and what I also like about this video is that he’s dropping a track on the tracks.

REVIEW: Richy Pitch’s “Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch”

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Richy Pitch is a producer/DJ who has a love for all of the music he plays and collects, with a deep fascination with the music of Africa, specifically in Ghana. He spent some time there and became familiar with the local musicians, which lead to him creating an album and putting together the results. Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch (BBE) is an album that not only shines the spotlight on his production and organizational skills, but is also shares the kind of music that makes music in itself such a powerful force.

Maybe it’s due to it being “the start of a decade”, which allows people to reflect, look back, and perhaps reconsider things. Some might argue that the 00’s was one of the worst decades in mainstream music. Even though digital technology has made it possible to obtain any and every piece of music available, there has been an infatuation with music of a low standard. It has left many to wonder if there’s something in the air. In New York City, there has been a very successful Broadway play on Fela Kuti going on. As pop music takes a nosedive, it has made people look at music and artists from the homeland, from the ultra obscure to those who have managed to gain an audience outside of their hometowns and countries. Just as hip-hop heads tapped into soul, funk, and jazz in the late 80’s and early 90’s, it seems the scope of exploration has moved further and deeper, as if it has been an unspoken way of saying “maybe something is missing, let’s go back to the essence.” It is a theme that was a major element of hip-hop music for years, and now it exists as a way to archive the music of the past in order to find music’s future.

In Pitch’s case, it’s about archiving not so much “the past”, but historical and cultural traditions. Ye Fre Mi is an album that seems to have a message that may not be obvious at first, perhaps subtle in its execution but one that is not hidden. In the music and the lyrics, there seems to be a message about “coming home”, returning to something that we as individuals may have left. It can be spiritual, emotional, or habitual, but it’s also about keeping things close to heart and believing in it and ourselves. With the sound of Africa as its core, Pitch brings together not only what Africa has influenced, but how Africa has been influenced by different sounds from other locales. “Show Me How” may sound like something fresh from the mountains of Jamaica but the horns could easily be from Detroit, or maybe Los Angeles via Brazil. “Dey Suffer”, featuring vocalist Yasmeen, sings about the sufferers around the world and how some abandon their roots in order to find some sense of better. The end result of that is seeing those roots crumble and fade away, and it’s done over a nice, club-style dance beat that you could easily mix alongside tracks by Casa Mena or Mondo Grosso.

One of the more intense tracks features MC M.anifest in “Black Star”, and what I love about the track is that it starts out like something that could be a club banger, and you want to nod your head, dance, and rotate in figure eights. The tempo slowly gets faster before it reaches a comfortable level for the first chorus, but then the tempo slows down to a pace where I was wondering “holy crap, how is M.anifest going to do this.” The closest thing I can compare this to is J-Live‘s “Them That’s Not”.

Other guests on the album talk about holding true to what makes you the person you are, how it pays to live life in a sensible manner and perhaps more importantly, enjoy life as you see it, be happy with what you have and try not to rely on false hopes. Another theme I enjoyed is the reality of growing older, being comforted in knowing it’s okay to leave certain things behind, as there are more things to enjoy and learn in the life we have ahead of us. It’s a sense of positivity that at times feels like a rarity, but it’s about stopping everything and allowing ourselves to not only pay attention to our surroundings, but to actually be in tune with ourselves. It’s rootsy, it’s very much a folk album, but there’s some funk and soul, some jazz touches, and the one thing it never forgets is to enjoy the music by letting your troubles go away, and simply dance. The production is very good and take a deep listen to how it was assembled. It might feel like a cross between Jazzanova and Quantic but after awhile the comparisons fade away and all one hears is how well this was put together.

Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch shares the beauty of Africa through its music and words, and very much its people, with the help of a curious DJ who wanted to get closer to the source by working with them. The concept of home is different for all of us, but through this album you’re able to hear it with clarity and hope at a time when perhaps they are needed the most.