It’s been a good week on the Serengeti, plenty of herd animals grazing, I’ve been lucky enough to bag a few in my weekly hunt. Today’s catch comes from ZIF staple, M.anifest, actually it’s a remix of a track called “Suffer” which we showcased in April.
Ghana is currently blowing up music wise, although that’s somewhat on the low (so don’t go Google search “Ghana music” and expect to understand). Specifically the rise of M.anifest(Minneapolis), M3nsa, Rocky Dawuni (Los Angeles), and home stay talent like Macho Rapper have all been featured recently on ZIF. Something about West Africa…roots?
Something new from ZIF favorite A.R.M featuring one of the best MCs from the continent (Africa) – Tumi of (Tumi & the volume). Word is the album uprising (which this song is featured on) will be the 1st and last full length A.R.M will ever put out as a trio. My man M.anifest is doing big things, and with his intimate connection to Ghana/Africa, I expect him to be a big part of the unifying bridge between mainstream U.S. hip hop and bringing in more African rap acts, much like Macho Rapper, who I was telling you guys about a while back.
I like to think of ZIF as a respite for dope rap. A place where good rappers who have less mainstream appeal than Andre Nickatina can drop their dope shit for a doper audience with hopes, simple. An oasis of sorts. Here at ZIF, we consider M.anifest one of those artists, a Ghanaian rapper, now calling Minnesota home, sort of like Ndudi Ebi. This track is produced by fellow Minneapolis-ite Benzilla.
This song will be featured on “freetape for cheapskates” which will be put out about the same time (spring) as his official full length sophomore album – “Coming to America: Immigrant Chronicles.”
In a few weeks I’ll be headed back home to Ghana for a month to create music with my 89 year old ethnomusicologist grandfather, Prof J.H. Nketia. I’ve made many thrilling discoveries about him and striking similarities of his work with what I do Hip-Hop wise, including some poetry he wrote in the 40’s which when he recites sounds like rap! I kid you not. In the last few years a filmmaker, Justin Schell, has been documenting my musical progress and this connection between my grandpa and me as part of a bigger documentary featuring myself, Maria Isa and Tou Saik Lee.
Check out the dope remix of Golly Gosh by Ghanaian producer DJ Juls, I call it the Blackstar remix.
ZIF featured artist M.anifest dropped this video off in my inbox. The 8-bit look of the video is paralleled with a familiar theme from the African emcee, that being Ghana. This track will be featured on Producer/DJ Richy Pitch‘s upcoming LP, “Ye Fre Mi Richy Pitch”. The album will be released on famed record label BBE. Richy Pitch spent a good chunk of the last 2 years in Ghana and assembled an all-star all-Ghanaian cast for this LP (June Release). The album will feature some of Ghana’s finest contemporary music stars such as: Reggie Rockstone, Samini, M.anifest, M3NSA, Wanlov the Kubolor, Yasmeen, Sena, AB, DJ Black and Kwesi Dankwa. Richy Pitch first made his name back in 1996 as resident DJ at the legendary London Hip Hop club night Scratch. He has recorded and produced music in the US with heralded emcees such as J-Live, El da Sensei, Mr Complex, Asheru and Apani B where he recorded his critically acclaimed Live at Home LP on the New York label Sevenheads.
Is it just me, or are cats from Ghana taking over hip hop right now?
M.anifest hooked a brother up with a new leak. The song is off A.R.M‘s upcoming digital EP “Two Africans and a Jew,” set to be released at the end of March. The EP is a pre-cursor to the summer release of A.R.M’s full length “Uprising” which features Brother Ali and Tumi (of Tumi and the Volume, South Africa). A.R.M. consists of Mcs Krukid (Uganda/Vegas/IL) & M.anifest (Ghana/Minneapolis), with Budo (Seattle/Brooklyn) on production.
Ghana born and Twin Cities Resident M.anifest, released a single, Sankofa (my history), today on itunes and other digital outlets. The artist himself aptly describes the song as “a subjective soundtrack for black history month that details a bit of my personal journey and thoughts on reclaiming the past to move forward.” Sankofa, produced by Sebmaestria (France) is available for 99cents online on itunes, amazon, and other digital retail outlets.
Being Black History Month and all, you will begin to see a plethora of artistic tributes. Rather than point out all the hypocrisy that comes with a tribute, I’d rather show you a track from a cat who has something to say about being black. Hell, African to be specific. My boy M.anifest e-dropped this track late last night, and it’s Sankofa!
M.anifest – Sankofa (My History)
Cop the track on Itunes right here. It’s a buck for Chrissakes, man up!
M.anifest hit me up with a second track to leak off his upcoming Birds & The Beats project. The track is produced by a musical savant of sorts called G Mo. G Mo is a 17 year old producer from the Twin Cities who has recently made some noise in the Red Bull beat competition. Apparently G Mo has been producing for M.anifest since 2006, when he was a wee 14 year old lad. Golly gosh that’s on some lolita shit.
M.anifest is the type of MC who shakes your preconceived notions, perhaps even make you feel uncomfortable. Why is this rapper talking about global matters? Why the commitment to discussing his cultural and racial heritage? Why does he use big words and puns? Where is Akkra? This is Africa? I thought this was Minnesota?
Yeah, he’s an interesting cat, look out for two things from M.anifest this month: an interview with Zebra Is Food, and the Birds and The Beats tape which drops November 20th. Here’s a sneak peak.
Had me a sit down with M.anifest this past weekend and took the opportunity to get the inside scoop on Ghana, Minneapolis hip hop, and his current come up. Look out for that interview later on this week, in the meantime M.anifest hooked us up with this exclusive track to “leak”. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take this over that Maybach crap any day. Sorry Ricky, don’t hurt me!