SriBuO Release for the week – Asaase Aban – Nana Yaa

Asaase Aban

This week, we are bringing you the sophomore album from the Hot Boyz – Asaase Aban. Nana Yaa is a Hiplife album in the truest sense of the word. It is very common to see albums of “Hiplife” genre that are rife with beats and instrumentals devoid of almost any traditional Ghanaian beats. This album is different. On every single track, you can distinctly hear the “Ghanaianess” of the sounds. When you couple that with the local dialect raps of the artistes (Ga, Twi etc.) it makes for a very unique listen that is a departure from what you would traditionally find on the Ghanaian music market.

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Odoyewu, the first track on the album has straight up High Life instrumentals. The song simply asks the following question: “My love, will you do or die with me?”. Nana Yaa (ft. Screw Face) follows next. This track was a real hit when this album was released. JQ lays his famous beats on this track whilst the Hot Boyz narrate a story about the love and betrayal of their one and only Nana Yaa. We dug up the video from the archives for you:

The next song was another hit from this album: Dabenda (ft. Babilon). The tempo for this track is at the pace of a Jamaican reggae song. JQ also produced the beats for this song. Yooba BK, Drasty Pozo and Asaase Aban walk again tell a story of love. Dabenda asks when “my long lost heart’s toffee” will “be back”. Yooba BK says he will sing songs of his love till his teeth fall out, songs of his A1, B2, C3 … It is quite interesting that the video for this track resembles a Western Hip Hop video whereas the beat and lyrics are quite a departure from that. See for yourself below:

Lai Momo follows next. This track is unique in that it is all in Ga. If you ever studied the language and understand it, you will appreciate the constant stream of proverbs that Yooba raps on this track with. Lai Momo also has a kpanlogo (Ga traditional music) beat for its soundtrack. The Hot Boyz collaborate with Castro on the next song where they take an excursion to Nigeria. Selepe, is reminiscent of a mix of Juju and Highlife beats with raps and songs in pidgin music that make this song even more Nigerian.

I know I already mentioned that there was a traditional sounding Ga song on this album. I was wrong .. there are two. The second one follows next and is titled “Aye”. It is another classic JQ produced song and the title literally translates to “They ate with me and now they have abandoned me”, yet another song about love and betrayal, a theme that seems to run through this album. It makes one wonder if any of the Hot Boyz were suffering from heart break when they composed this album. Aye is definitely worth the listen. King Ayisoba features on the next track where Asaase Aban takes us to Northern Ghana whilst not forgetting about their Southern Ghana roots. Musuo (Taboo) talks about men who ravish women without performing proper marriage rites on them. In case you didn’t know, this is a taboo in traditional Ghanaian society. High life and Northern Ghanaian string music blend beautifully on this song.

Baa Ba You Go Go … Baa Ba You Go Go … Go where? I have listened to the “You Go Go” track over and over again and I still haven’t been able to figure what where You will be going to … Maybe it was a rhetorical question? Nevertheless this is one of the outstanding tracks on the album that definitely has a catchy chorus. You be the judge and please let us know if you figure out where exactly the Hot Boyz were saying You would Go to after you listen to the track below:

Gyae Su, Awo Mansah and Gyegye Meso (ft. Albert) are the rest of the songs on this album. They all stick to the central theme of love and betrayal and are laced with Ghanaian home grown sounding beats. If you are looking for a Hip life album that sounds more High Life and less Hip Hop, this is the album for you. The Hot Boyz and JQ weren’t afraid to go traditional on this album and it really sets it apart from a lot of the other Hiplife albums out there.

Check out more tracks on SriBuO’s Facebook page.

– Credits George Armah


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