“In the future as the world of Africa & the West mate more & more into the totality of world culture, the creative strength of the African personality, which is evident in tribal sculpture, will contribute far more profoundly to human fulfillment than can yet be imagined” Dr. Kwame Nkrumah- 1966
In this new decade when great soul filled, lyric driven, make you think & feel type of music seems to be steadfastly taking back the reigns from the usual mindless booty shaking and flashy antics; Wale has cemented the fact that Africa is the future by paying homage to past generations, while taking the children of West African & Caribbean Islanders down memory lane with the same pure, thought provoking, relatable, lyrical realness that he gave us on “Shades”, this time with a special shout out to Ghana & Nigeria as he calls out:
“I needed to feel like.. u know when ur mother use to take u to the African parties…make my jaloff with lots of peppa …God is blessed her…Prada dresser…mix my Guinness with a doctor pepper ..money on the floor throw it on a broad..this is not ballin’.. this is our culture”.
This verse simply takes you from old to new, representing the new generation of global Africans taking the world to another level by taking it back to the roots with the new flavor of its fruits! From Ghana to Nigeria, South Africa to Kenya, DC to New York, London to Brixton, Paris to Marseille, Amsterdam to Rotterdam, Toronto to Vancouver, Milan to Calabria , Gujarat to Guangzhou & all points in between –The new age of Sankofa- returning to get it!
You always know when you roll up into an African party, there will be plenty food for chopping, plenty Guinness to quench your thirst & some special home grown libations tossed in the mix! What better way to honor Black History month & Valentine’s day than to take us back to our original African history in times of celebration of the purest, rawest, most beautiful type of love testimony… “ I was blind but I now can see what happiness is meant to be..U took my body, soul & all.. U make me feel like 10 feet tall..UR my sweetie, my sugar, my baby, my lover, so honey let me hold u …let me love u forever oh yeah, oh yeah!” This is a new decade in time when young Africans honor their roots with a new era global flair.
Wale sampled “My Sweetie” from the 70’s hit song, “Let Me Love You” by Sierra Leonean musician, Bunny Mack . This modern day version by Wale infuses the rhythmic bounce of DC’s gogo music , adding a little extra spice to a classic, just as Bunny Mack did back in the 70’s along with other top African musicians who added the extra spice of funky guitar strings & baselines found in funk music to the traditional drums & strings of West African hi-life.
Most West Africans, particularly Ghanaians, Nigerians, Liberians, Ivorians, Togolese, Sierra Leonean & Senegalese remember the song, “let me love you”, as the ultimate African party jump off song, when the hankies came out, booties began shaking feverishly in the most trible way, the ultimate love song, mating call & celebration of African love, beauty and jubilation! When this song came on you could physically & mentally feel the love in the room between lovers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, cousins, grandmas, grandpas, and just true pure one collective African expression of joy!
Wale goes in as he calls out:
“ If she’s sweating & you got some money in your hands you have to spray her.. There’s money on the floor spray it, spray it”, the ultimate creators & perpetrators of “making it rain” in celebration of life and African expression in tribal culture & body movements, which had you sweating so hard to earn that cash that was stuck to your forehead strictly by the heaviness of your sweat, showing that you put the work into the celebration & testimony of your joy! This was and is traditional African culture, which was never done, seen nor intended in the vulgarity that the concept of “making it rain” is today. Wale has the westside representing hard! Back to a time when we honored our fathers & mothers, when family meant the entire village, when a child always knew his/her place and a junior would never dishonor his/her senior. A time when even with little, we made due and showed our richness in culture, happiness & love of self, nation & continent. A time when I am my brother & sister’s keeper were not just cliché words from a movie, but rather a part of the mantra & way of life of our culture, where we understood and believed that it truly takes a village to raise a child. Wale has allowed his inner Super Eagle to soar with this track, taking us to yesteryear with a modern day haute twist to lace the track just right for a new decade in global consumption!
Go on witcha’ Bad Self Wale Olubo as you put the exclamation point on the track, putting hip-hop on notice & letting them know “ur not hard ur fufu soft…Too much Kanye, where’s my chauffeur!”
The hi-life songs “Asafo Beson” by C.K. Mann from Ghana & Sweet Mother by Prince Nico Mbarga from Nigeria were also two of the best known & traditional West African party jump off songs of all time, which I look forward to having a new decade spice of fire, giving them new life for a new era of global consumption. Take out your handkerchiefs & let’s take a joyride down hi-life’s memory lane with a little new era hip flavor & education.
It’s all so beautiful in all of our sounds & shades!