Sarkodie remains at his king level delivery and provides us with the template for maintaining relevancy for more than a decade.
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.
I need the radio quality version of #Vibration. Here's the email address to use: email@example.com
— Richardine Bartee (@THEYAMS) July 9, 2021
‘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.
I see what Sarkodie meant when he said his collaboration with Oxlade is spiritual. It's like he brought Sarkodie into his world, musically. It is the one I am most happy about on a personal level. All of the songs w/ singers are beautiful, but this one hits different! #NoPressure
— Richardine Bartee (@THEYAMS) July 30, 2021
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.