Video Review: Ko-Jo Cue and Shaker ‘Up and Awake’ Ft. Kwesi Arthur
Ko-Jo Cue and Shaker released the official music video for 'Up and Awake' on 18th February 2018 featuring Kwesi Arthur and directed by Esianyo Kumodzi. This is my personal review of the video as I see it.
Ko-Jo Cue and Shaker also known as the Leaders of the New School released another mind-blowing music video for the song ‘Up and Awake’ featuring Kwesi Arthur and directed by the genius Esianyo Kumodzi. It’s the 3rd song off their power joint album titled “Pen and Paper” which is doing great on iTunes charts around the world.
People appreciated the video with different approaches. Some simply love the song because of the artistes combination, others love the movie-like concept for the music video and few of us appreciate how the lyrics in the song got translated into the beautiful and deep visuals… I’ve read ridiculous comments like “The Lyrics Has Nothing To Do With Slavery” well, actually it does and I will explain that now.
Before we get into details, if you’ve listened the “Pen and Paper” album, you’ll know the theme is on rising up as artistes even though artificial obstacles are in place to oppress the talented. Their first music video off the album which is also the album title “Pen and Paper” told similar story but in a more modern and less aggressive way.
Slavery isn’t always in the form of physical abuse/maltreatment or selling of people… Slavery also means a condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation… This is exactly what the music industry in Ghana is facing now. Basically, these artistes demonstrated how it’s like to be a “Slave” in the Ghanaian music world.
The video started with 4 young men planning an escape from a cruel system but one person didn’t agree to the plan probably because he was comfortable with the system and not looking at the future. Same happens in the music industry everyday… Some people will settle for less and making those fighting for a better industry look greedy or unappreciative.
The remaining three determined to change the scene (Slavery in Music) tried escaping and they faced the consequences of trying to rebel against the system. In music, when this happens, they stop calling you for shows, stop playing your songs on air, awful articles flying around about you, and more. This is even worse than the lashes they received in the music video.
Now, lets connect lyrics from each artiste to the music video concept… After watching this music video, my respect for Esianyo Kumodzi rose to the top even though he might not have planned everything in the video all alone. He shot it and every scene made sense! Now lets connect lyrics from the artistes to the video.
He spoke about where he’s coming from, the troubles he faces almost everyday in his career, and how determined he is to reach his goal even though there are a lot of boundaries to break before getting to his destination. Basically Ko-Jo found himself in an industry full of dream killers but the legacy of leaving his footprints on the sands of time will never stop.
Shaker has been in the music scene longer than Ko-Jo and Kwesi but for some reasons, he got locked up anytime he’s at the edge of flying and spreading his wings. His lyrics talk mainly about working tirelessly day and night for “Food” and mentioned people not being loyal and want’s to do things alone and ignoring him. You’ll understand this line better when you listen to the last song on the “Pen and Paper” album. Per my definition of Slavery, Shaker is a victim.
His scene was the most gruesome of all… He took the hardest lashes! The young music star who shot up to fame recently also talked about how it was hard for him to break through. He talked about not seeing results in whatever they put out, people not showing support, and others simply faking the love the claim they have for him. Once again, this perfectly fits my definition of slavery.
At the end of it all, these artistes had their freedom and dressed in wealth, value and respect which is depicted by the priceless Kente cloth. If you noticed, the hashtag is #EveryDayIsBlackHistory which simply means we experience slavery everyday in our lives. We face various forms of slavery all the time; just that, it isn’t the old-fashioned way… Watch the music video again and share your views with us.