Even if you'd never heard of lanky 28-year-old rapper, producer and sound engineer EL (Elorm Adablah) and, as a result, didn't know he was one of the driving forces behind the recent revival of Ghana’s urban music scene (having produced some of the biggest to have come out of Ghana in the last 18 months: Sarkodie's You Go Kill Me and Dangerous, D Black's Get On the Dancefloor, Reggie Rockstone's Rockstone's Office and Asem's Check Your Weight, to name a few), you'd certainly be intrigued after seeing Check My Swagga (below), the clip he released a few days ago to promote his debut album, Something Else.
But chances are you will have heard his name, partly because it came up again and again in association with hits from so many major Ghanaian artists, but also because he's dropped a few under his own name, Obuu Mo, One Ghana for Your Pocket and Turn the Lights Down being the most well known. So, the anticipation for this debut album has been high, though no one was expecting a double album's worth of good music.
There's enough to enjoy here for azonto fans, hip-hop heads, Pidgin rap and GHrap fans, and for anyone who just digs the Ghanaian vibe (Auntie Martha), but our fave picks are Mame Wossop, Obuu Mo, Kaalu, One Ghana for Your Pocket, and Egbee Mli, and hip-hop heads should definitely check out Ame Naa Mi, ft. Raquel, and Fear Nobody, ft M.anifest & C-Real.
As expected, it's already garnering props at home and abroad (Mosca (BBC 1): "EL’s album is sick!"). EL's year in the studie has paid off big time.