David Mawuli reviews Sarkodie's most talked about single "New Guy" featuring American rapper, Ace Hood.
Sarkodie’s "New Guy” featuring Ace Hood which was released recently has surpassed the record of Joey B’s “Tonga” featuring Sarkodie, in terms of media hype, anticipation and trending on social media. The song which trended on Twitter for days before and after its release has raised interminable arguments, verdicts and ratings from common music fans, sound engineers, promoters and pundits. Support from The Ivy League and Tigo Music boosted the promotion. But is the collaboration worth the publicity and wait?
Rap music, a style of Hip-hop, as defined by many pioneers as spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics, including content, flow (rhythm and rhyme), and delivery is exactly what Sarkodie and Ace Hood demonstrated on “New Guy”.
From arguably the greatest Hip-hop acts such as Afrika Bambaataa, The Notorious B.I.G., Nas, Tupac Shakur, 50 Cent to Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, etc, Hip-hop has come a long way and often there is no strict formula to it. Which means, as time goes on, the activities of the new generation will affect the genre. They brag about their wealth, they ‘diss’ haters, they apologise to people they’ve offended, they thank God, they express their affections to their lovers and whip politicians for some of their unpopular decisions that probably affect them. Hip-hop is an expression of life; what’s going on and what you are going through at the moment you enter the booth.
I disagree with people complaining about “New Guy” beat and sound quality being a problem because with or without or without beat, Hip-hop can be produced. Moreover, most of the songs downloaded online were ripped so people shouldn’t expect to have a clearer or original sound quality when you illegally acquired the track.
Sarkodie has come a long way to reach this significant point of his career so he deserves some commendation. Having worked with two of the Ghana’s best Hip-hop producers, Jayso and Hammer, the rapper has managed to build himself an empire full of Hip-hop fans.
Having said that, let’s highlight and analyse lyrics from the “New Guy” track.
The intro which was also used as a hook says: “That’s why I wake up every morning. I grind from sun up to sun down; waking up and knowing people are expecting me to lead them to a win. It’s tough they are looking at me for the answers, hoping that I can lift them up from their fears and problems … So I grind Sunday to Monday. Because there’s no role models, there’s no true leaders left. So it’s up to me to make sure the world know that I’m that new guy, I’m that new inspiration”
Here, Sarkodie reiterated his commitment to taking Ghana to maybe the Grammys. He believes that Ghana can make it to the top but it takes bravery and motivation to achieve it.
Also, it takes courage to tell the truth about the ‘dying’ Ghanaian music industry on international platforms and Sark exhibited that on “New Guy” though, he bragged as well (Of course, it’s part of Hip-hop).
Another line which a lot of people disagree with “I made it from the slums back in Africa where my niggas committed suicide.”
According to some people, the rapper has disgraced Ghana with the ‘slum’ line but I disagree. Sarkodie has always talked about the struggle he went through while he was living in Tema ghettos (you can also call it slums) so he is right.
A lot have also forgotten that after Sarkodie’s line, Ace responded “Sark medaase. Am the new pac on the project. Welcome Sarkodie to the United States where they sell NARCOTICS.” I bolded the ‘narcotics’ because that is what some people arguing over the slum lines haven’t seen. This is Hip-hop – an expression of the happenings.
Another interesting line is when Sarkodie said he will build a statue for Ace Hood in Ghana. He spits “Ace, let me take you to the whole Africa. My people dey love you. I came here you showed me some love and I promised to build you a statue. Ace Hood akwaaba and Sark is a hell of a nation. M’signe wo din w) Kumasi m’apem so 3ny3 ade3 a wo b3 hia confirmation.”
Yes, Sark has literally built a statue for Ace in Ghana. Apart from Ace breaking through the international music market with his mega hit “Bugatti”, “Hustle”, etc, he has not enjoyed much airplay in Ghana but within the few months, most Ghanaians have been talking about him. He can even come to Ghana to play gigs.
In my candid opinion, Sarkodie is a leitmotif. He redefined African Hip-hop in a way that a lot could understand and criticise his lyrics.
In my opinion “New Guy” is a revolutionised African Hip-hop that has redefined and reintroduced Sark as a new guy just like Beyonce became “Sasha Fierce” after releasing her best-selling “I Am… Sasha Fierce” album.
Nonetheless, the beat is perfect and it suits the lyrics and the hook.
Most Ghanaians are more familiar with Highlife (which has been neglected even though we originated it), Afro-pop and Hiplife so they find it difficult to understand the concept of “New Guy”.
Also, Sarkodie targeted the international market so it didn’t need meet the expectations of Ghanaians.
I have heard a plethora of Sarkodie’s Hip-hop songs ranging from “Let ‘em Know Now” to “Shots on Shots” but “New Guy” is an impressive record. At least, he managed to get everyone talking about the “New Guy”.
4 Stars (out of 5)
Let’s have your ratings below.