Loud Sound GH
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EL ‘Bar 4’ Mixtape Review and Our Rating (Part 1)

Mulitiple award-winning artiste; EL, Released the 4th edition of his annual hiphop mixtape series dubbed "BAR" (Best African Rapper) on 25th November 2017. This is our review on the HipHop project.

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EL’s ‘BAR’ (Best African Rapper) Mixtape series has one common message said in dissimilar ways in each episode; and ‘BAR 4’ simply defends EL’s title as the Best African Rapper just like the earlier episodes. The ‘BAR’ mixtape over the years have introduced talented rappers from Ghana and given them the platform to show the world what they have inside them. It has featured some of the best rappers we have in Ghana as well.

Undoubtedly, majority of the young rappers in Ghana look up to EL and it’s always an honourable moment in their career when they get featured on the only consistent Hiphop mixtape in Ghana and Africa. A real definition of HipHop made in Africa is what the ‘BAR 4’ mixtape portrayed.

The intro song “Welcome” inspired by the legendary Afro-Rock/Highlife band Osibisa sounds like a perfect intro for the mixtape. Produced by EL, he paid homage to the band and ushered the listener into the world of HipHop as defined by EL. Sounds more like a patriotic anthem to start a major national event. He thanked those supporting him and pushing him to do more and as well, reminding us about what the ‘BAR 4’ is all about. Transforming the original beat for “Welcome Home” into HipHop sound is phenomenal!

Messaiah

EL Messiah from BAR 4This is about his dominance in the music scene and him saving HipHop made in Africa. Kev stayed on Concept and expressed how honoured he is to get featured on the song.

His line “I use to pay for the BAR to listen but Akpe Na Mawu (Thank God) We made it on the 4th Edition” expresses his mood on the song even more.

KB did great with the beat and it totally sounds refreshing! I think this is perfect in all areas. Black O laced a perfect hook on this beautiful piece!

Home

The message in this song confused me for a while… In EL’s lyrics he’s trying to get out of his comfort zone and make impacts around the world, grow his fan base and go as far as he can. I feel “Home” as the title rather talks about going back to his comfort zone and living the happy life he used to live back home. RJZ made a beautiful entrance and the story line is something I can totally relate to. Even though I think it’s an awesome piece, the title kinda sway the concept. Listening to this with an “Average” ear, that is how it descends on me.

Ghana Boy

This song takes us on a “hippy” ride. Head-Knocking instrumentation well-laced by Jay So who also got featured on the track. The song once again raises the purpose of the Mixtape and will get any HipHop head having that “Crescendo” moment listening to the mixtape. Let’s just say Skillions got resurrected on this song!

It talks about how fearless, talented, “Cocky” and amazing a Ghana boy is. Mainly about greatness as a Ghana boy. It’s definitely a song you will leave on repeat and playing real loud!

Accra (I Cry)

One of the most emotional songs on the mixtape. The song featured Joey B and produced by Peewezel. I think EL poured out his heart more on this song by telling the listener how he gets frustrated and dealing with ungrateful people. Police harassing him because they don’t believe him when he said he doesn’t have enough money to share with them, dedicating his life to music and working hard around the clock to win best rapper in Ghana only for people to say he doesn’t deserve it, getting involved in an accident and doing all he can to save someone’s life only to realize his efforts were in vain because the doctor is nowhere to be found and the hospital had no electricity. This song puts the listener in EL’s shoes and makes them respect his hustle.

Make A Hole

Shaker and Ko-jo Cue
Shaker and Ko-jo Cue

This song featured his old label mates Ko-Jo Cue and Shaker and it’s more like a family reunion. The chemistry still exists and the bond they have is vivid in their lyrics. Each one of them were in their element!

I wasn’t expecting anything below dope in this song, and I this this song deserves some replays as well!

One of my personal favourites! The song basically tells the “Leaders of the New School” story and simply telling critics to have a wild swing in the jungle for all they care…

Bestie

Song produced by Kuvie has metaphoric contents. His “bestie” called Mic (The Microphone) has obviously been there for him throughout his career.

This song tells us about the passion EL has for music and knowing the Microphone takes one of the biggest stress in the recording process. Redoing verses over and over just to get it right; and the Microphone is always there to take in everything and the first listener of every mistake.

Makes a lot of sense! Kuvie did awesome too! The instrumentation makes me imagine EL and Mic taking a long ride to a far away place!

Conclusion

This ends part one of my review and so far I can say the mixtape gives me mixed feelings… Makes me see EL as The best, the humble, the most hardworking, the toughest and the soft or emotional. All artistes featured on mixtape seems perfect for each song and they synchronized perfectly.

The mixtape wasn’t “mood friendly” and that is to say you have your head nodding with energy through a couple of songs and you totally get emotional in the next song. I do believe that is EL’s intention and I must say it’s a great way for you to realize how much impact the song has on the listener.

Instrumentals on the tape so far sounds unique and original except for “Welcome” sampled by EL. Refreshing instrumentation and awakening tones! The Best African Rapper has good taste for beats which is very obvious!

Keep your eyes on Loud Sound GH for the second part of the review. Mixtape is on AFTOWN and all digital stores across the globe. Discussions are open and you personal reviews highly welcome!

Review By: Alfred Brain Aborga (Loud Sound GH)

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