Sarkodie’s sixth studio album ‘No Pressure’ packs well-earned confidence: Review

The project, as usual, explores multiple genres from his homeland and doesn’t shy away from his emotional and passionate side for the love of his life.

Photo: Instagram

Sarkodie remains at his king level delivery and provides us with the template for maintaining relevancy for more than a decade.

Photo: Instagram

Today, the Tema-native musical giant Sarkodie released his highly-anticipated album ‘No Pressure’, composed of fifteen records that keeps the two-steppers on the dancefloor until its eighth track, ‘Fireworks’ with Wale (American rapper with Nigerian roots) and Moelogo (famous Nigerian singer-songwriter based in the United Kingdom); his die-hard loyal fans are gleeful.

A year and a half have passed since his last album, ‘Black Love’, regarded as the “Twi infused Afrobeats” project that “celebrate[s] the beauty of homeland”, was released. We were all ready for something new. Whenever we hear new music bodies, we pick our favourites and tend to change over time.

Without question, ‘Vibration’ with Vic Mensa is high on my list. If you’ve been watching my Twitter feed, you know that I shamelessly asked for it and received it.

‘Non Living Thing’ with Nigeria’s Oxlade, which Drake and countless others have celebrated, is the only song on the album to pull my heartstrings due to the deep, poetic songwriting and singing on the song’s hook.

Fittingly so, ‘Round 2’ featuring Peckham’s living legend Giggs does a significant job of matching the previous record’s production style, and the Cypress Hill reference was pleasurable. Giggs has a way of threatening you, but with a cuddlesome delivery.

Next, we go back to Ghana with one of the album’s standout tracks, ‘Coachella’ with his fellow Ghanaian artist, Kwesi Arthur. If you’ve been listening to modern Hip-Hop from Ghana, you’ve heard the resemblance from this production in other songs like Lasmid’s ‘Sika’ featuring Deedpol and ‘They Don’t Know’ by Ghana’s Asaaka breakout star, Kofi Jamar. ‘Jaara’ with the incredible Medikal, one of Ghana’s best rappers, mentions Asaaka and is probably the only track on the album to feature as much Twi as it does, solely because of Medikal’s performance.

In ‘Married to the Game’, the champion recording artist lets us know he will rap until he is eighty years old if necessary. South Africa’s Cassper Nyovest reverts and begins his verse with the same idea that he will rap until his “baby got a baby”. They both say that they don’t do it to be famous. It is about the change for them. As the handsomely produced track plays out, we continue to experience God level bars with clarity and efficiency, showing us why they are where they are: Both larger-than-life successful young Black/African men making a living and supporting their families from doing what they love and comes easy.

The following comes, called ‘Anything’, and at length, it addresses clout-chasers, people leading double lives, and the inauthenticity that are remnants of such lifestyles.

The album slows down with the entry of ‘Fireworks’, and Moelogo’s voice sets the tone, making it a bright Hip-Hop/R&B track for commercial radio with a guest verse that shows he understands the demographic listening to ‘No Pressure’ at large. ‘Whipped’ with Ghanaian artist DarkoVibes is about love, finding your life partner, and how refreshing it is to no longer be on the search for “the one”.

If you want to get to know the mind of a master and hear about his decade-long journey, today’s gift album ‘No Pressure’ is a great starting point. The album is a vast dichotomy of hard-hitting bars and emotive records that present the softer, human side of the humble giant. Almost making the album a 50/50 split of how many records fall into each description. It also features guest appearances by Benerl, Tanzania star Harmonize, and Contemporary Gospel artist MOGmusic.

Be sure to check out the Rap Bob Marley’s upcoming interview this Sunday with South Africa’s LootLove on Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio.

Written by Richardine Bartee

Her unprejudiced love for people, the arts, and business have taken her this far. Join Richardine on her journey as she writes history into existence, one article at a time. Richardine is a member of the Recording Academy/GRAMMYs, and a GRAMMY U Mentor. She is the North American Press Agent and US Business Manager for Oxlade; Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

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