Thursday, June 1, 2023

KWEKU SMOKE – EYE RED REVIEW

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The Ghanaian rapper’s EP is stacked with an inoffensive watered-down drill that sums up a youth’s daily life. Kweku Smoke is easily one of Ghana’s most original rappers, teaming up with Bosom P Yung to make some of Accra’s finest hip hop records. “Eye Red ” is a relatively by-the-book 6-track EP that highlights his stone-faced raps and melodies, with a series of Asaaka raps that sums up a proper Ghanaian hip hop project.

Listen to the EP on Spotify

The album kicks off with “Yawa”, a typical youthful anthem that sees that rapper startling bluntness and raw desperation about the country’s current economic crisis, he sounds playful, thanks to his hyper-prolific approach, but rapper upgrades his fidelity and sharpens his focus, adding bits of motivation to inspire the country’s youth. It pretty much sums up the EP’s title, as “Eye Red” is a Ghanaian jargon for a serious citizen or a relentless one. Alongside his conspiratorial bars and non-stop flow, the production soars on the project, with all songs produced by Hordzi, the Ghanaian producer is completely focused on creating drill with crossover appeal, and he doesn’t miss at all. “Asaaka” pays homage to one of Ghana’s fastest-growing sounds. It is the best pure drill cut on the EP; he gets fairly introspective over Hordzi’s  jumpy bassline, and with a handful of catchy chorus, there’s enough standout moments to do right to Asaaka’s sound.

Despite his government approach, he still makes time for his love life, on “Loving You”. he has the charm of a catcaller as he flirts with his lover, and assures her of a soft life. In all his crooning, there’s still drill’s signature elements like the sputtering drums and gliding 808s, and his singing tenders the beat, it’s the type of song you can get sturdy to at a wedding, that is if you are really about that drill life. He takes it back to the trap from the bedroom on “I’m different”, a song where he flexes his muscles as a refined Ghanaian rapper, transforming into an MC,  commanding the audience to put some respeck on his hustle. There’s only one slot for a feature, and who can do it better than Asaaka’s best lyricist? He recruits Kweku Dmc for “ Trapper of the year”, probably the hardest song on the project. On a technical level, their forms complement each other well, with flows and funny lyrics that describe a typical trap house in Ghana while highlighting the pair’s complimentary gifts. Kweku DMC’S captures enough of the verve and strategically enigmatic storytelling that has made him a fan favourite for rap over the last two years. Kweku Smoke ends the EP with a hard heartfelt song, it’s actually a funny yet cute record. On “Fall”, he expresses his love for a girl in the loudest way possible, with a chorus that sounds like layers of bis voice, the song’s strong-hold is it’s sing-along trait, and with raps that reaches vast new emotional depths, it balances his vulnerability and gansgterism perfectly.

The rapper sounds free and at his best on “Eye Red”, the contrast between his whimsical side and the increasing poignance of his writing makes the expression of sincere emotion land harder, but then again, that is a typical trapper for you. Untamed and definitely not fazed.

Follow @kwekusmoke_ as he just announced another project and we are anticipating this over here at Hiphop Africa.

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