If like foot-tapping Hip-hop delivered with intelligent rhymes, you need to check M.anifest. Along with Wanlov, M3NSA and Blitz the Ambassador, he's on our "most notable from Ghana" list; artists making thought-provoking music that's audibly rooted in Ghana but at the same time draws on international experiences.
He's on DJ and broadcaster Rita Ray's radar, too, as we discovered a couple of weeks ago from this BBC radio clip. It's not for nothing that he's collaborated with artists like Femi Kuti, Damon Albarn, Amadou and Miriam, Mick Jones (The Clash), Tony Allen, and the Noisettes, or that The Minneapolis Star Tribune wondered "What's a rapper from Ghana who's as smart as Talib Kweli and as funky as Kanye West doing in Minnesota?"
Makaa Maka is his brand new song, and comes with this raw and riveting video shot in Madina and other gritty parts of Accra, Ghana. M.anifest raps fluidly from English to Twi to Pidgen, asserting his place in Ghanaian Hip-hop over raucous hard-hitting production from Kwabena Jones.
Makaa Maka is Twi, and loosely translates as "If I said it I said it" or "I say it without apology." What's he saying without apology? Lots, from unapologetically proclaiming his lyrical prowess to questioning the tendency of many emcees to rap about nothing when there are so many issues to rap about. To true. A shout-out, too, to Reggie Rockstone (spot the cameo), the Godfather of Ghanaian Hip-hop who popularised the phrase, but who also paved the way for the international reception of Ghanaian artists like him. The video directed by Isaac Offei Awuah (who also directed that new 2Face Idibia vid we posted the other day).
M.anifest's most recent album Immigrant Chronicles is in stores everywhere. Fabulous Afrobeat-infused stuff. It's one of those albums you can easily listen to from start to finish. It's also a treat for the growing band of "global citizens" who feel at home in more than one place. If you count yourself among this number, check it out.
DOWNLOAD the mp3 of Makaa Makaa.