Exclusive Interview With Okyeame Kwame


The ‘Rap Doctor’ explains the lyrics and story behind his hit track Anaa featuring Morris D’Voice. You describe yourself as the Rap Doctor, what is RAP?

Okyeame Kwame: RAP is the acronym for Rhythmic African Poetry. In simple terms, it’s poetry in motion; poetry being recited in rhythm. Another school of thought explains that rap is a clip version of rhapsody which is explained by Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato as appellations. In an African sense, it can be traced to court poetry. An example is the drum language (Ayan and Amoma). In short, the rapper is the chief drummer communicating over the background drum sets. Picture an ensemble of drummers at a function with a lead drummer. The lead drummer is the rapper while the background drummers are the beat used by the rapper. Did you consider this strongly in composing the song Anaa?

Okyeame Kwame: Yes I did. As already explained, Rap is a combination of 3 elements – rhythm, African and poetry. With this song, Anaa, the poetry dominated. However, the remaining elements are present. It’s African because when the rap gets to its peak, ie where it is fast, the drum pattern changes to kete. The rhythm here is the African part of the poetry. Another African feature about Anaa are the twi pronunciation and traditional signals eg “me t? ntoma wo a wobefura ma n’apa.”  In contemporary times, the men buy designer clothing for their women not cloth. Also, I employed history, like the legend of Boasiako, the man who sacrificed himself to save his people. Were you that particular about the poetic devices employed for Anaa?

Okyeame Kwame: In Anaa, I use hyperbole or exaggeration. The song in its entirety is metaphoric. When one listens closely, the intended meaning is embedded and buried deep in the song. The rap expresses the ideas of a man desperate to know what exactly he must do to make his woman happy. To express how desperate he is and how naïve he is about the needs and feelings of the woman, he asks the woman questioningly “Anaa”.  This is a word of uncertainty. For a superman who is capable of turning himself into blood and going into the blood vessels of the woman to feel what she is feeling to ask this question of uncertainty is a sign of humility. The superman must know everything which is not the case here. This expresses conflict which is also metaphorical. To express how confused I am, I also soliloquised, changing from addressing the woman to addressing myself “menye den menye den eyaa me bisa me”. This is an expression of desperation. I also employed the device of repetition which is for emphasis. Example is the recurrence of Anaa. The chorus is in a call and response. Response is wo bedi ama n’asa which symbolises insatiability and wobefura ama n’apa expressing perishability and enye ade a obi nny?? bi da signifying originality. These explain the extent to which the man wants to please the woman.

Ghanacelebrities: why does the speed of the rap change so drastically within the song?

Okyeame Kwame: I slow pace the rap at the beginning. I rap fast at some portions because the lyrics suggest I do so and at other times just for stylistic reasons. After all, music must not only communicate but entertain. There, the issue is at its peak. Also, the main theme is found in the chorus and the first verse where it is relatively slow. All in all, what is the meaning of the song?

Okyeame Kwame: People look too far for love. That is because love means different things to different people. So the song is trying to find out whether it is clothes, or sacrifices that makes one’s partner happy. Before the man comes back to these simple questions, his mind wanders far away into seemingly little but very significant things of nature like air, nails and blood which come to us freely yet placing less premium on them. If we look critically, we will realise that all these three natural things are very helpful and lifesaving to the human body. Is this a Single?

Okyeame Kwame: This song is not a single. It is on the M’anwensem album. However, at the time of release, crunk music was the order of the day so the public piqued their interest in “Woso”. However, One Mic Entertainment believed the song was very artistic and decided to bring it to public knowledge. There are other great songs on the album that have various artistic concepts which are very interesting. When is your next album coming out?

Okyeame Kwame: In June. But One Mic will drop one from my album any moment. Tell us more

Okyeame Kwame: The album is called THE CLINIC. Not done with the recording but will give my friends and fans their money’s worth. The doctor gives counseling, diagnosis and performs his therapeutic works all from the clinic. The Rap Doctor’s lyrics seek to achieve the same goals. The place where my lyrics come from represents the clinic. Morris D’Voice, Tattoo, Tinny, The Lynx family, Kwabena Kwabena, Bradez, Samini, Obuor, Sway, and David Banner are some of the artists featured on the album. Final Word:

Okyeame Kwame: One out of every six Ghanaians is exposed to the hepatitis B virus which is contracted through body fluids – especially through sex and kissing. So I will plead with the youth to watch casual sex and kissing. Because health problems lead to financial stress which leads to social problems which make its impossible to indulge in art.

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