One of the most beautiful things about KooKusi’s G.F.A. is what he does in practice with the intro to the project. It is almost unnoticeable and seems very ordinary but taken into consideration, ties in seamlessly with some of the concepts and the overall theme of the project in a very creative and intelligent way.
Besides the very engaging instrumental on Greetings, the infectious hook by Michael Adjaloo, and the immaculate delivery, lyricism and the relatable stories told by Victor Morgan, what is most fascinating about the intro is how KooKusi throws a bone to his colleagues, Morgan and Adjaloo, allowing them to do their thing on the entire song speaking from a perspective that brings to life the reality of most Ghanaians home and abroad and the nature of majority of those relationships.
This is done with the titling and sequencing and immediately realized on the second song on the tape where KooKusi is heard rapping from the perspective of a Ghanaian who has had the opportunity to go abroad via the educational route. The most common misconception about traveling abroad is the notion that once you set foot from an African nation, things are bound to change for the better, a misconception of course facilitated by the nature of the systems that exist within African nations and the glaring disparities observed from behind these black mirrors referred to as screens and sometimes perpetrated by those who have had a taste of what it is to succeed after persevering while in their respective home countries.
That contrast is almost immediately expected at the mention of ‘travel’, and speaking from the perspective of one with such opportunity, KooKusi clarifies and elaborates on some of the challenges such ones also face upon arrival and the fact that although systems might work and benefit those who put in the work, it is also not as easy as it is made to seem. This can be observed on the third track, a skit which features Ghanaian rapper Nine99 pronounced ‘Niney’ who plays the role of Agya Amo, a character created to play the role of an entitled relative, in this instance an uncle with expectations. A sonic example of the reality of most relationships between Ghanaians in Ghana and their relatives abroad.
The transition from the skit to the fourth track, No Where Cool which features yet another notable rapper within the emerging Ghanaian music space who goes by RBD is a clever continuation and opening to an extended exchange which takes place between KooKusi and a friend, RBD. The conversation that ensues touches on perceptions and realities where an initial assumption is made about the potential trajectory the ‘Japa’ candidate is bound to ‘enjoy’ while he makes an attempt to paint a picture of what it’s really like there too, drawing to the conclusion that it’s not easy anywhere and ‘Problem no dey finish’.
If you dey twitter, you’ve probably witnessed exchanges between ‘diasporans’ and the local community which has often time resulted in the question “If e bad like that, why you no return?”
Well, KooKusi has an answer for you on track 4.
RBD’s dexterity and ability to execute the theme while actually bringing real-life situations, social, political and economic in nature to the fore is not only admirable but commendable.
Greatest Fear, the fifth track off the G.F.A project features one of Ghana’s finest emerging acts, AraTheJay, on a song that is an instant classic and touches on a subject that is probably one of the most relatable. The fear of failure, the battle with imposter syndrome amongst numerous other phobias. Greatest Fear is soulful, real and delivered in a manner that is bound to evoke and stir up a range of emotions.
Another noticeable observation is KooKusi’s seamless transition from Fante to English which is extremely impressive, coupled with Ara’s verse and sultry vocals on the hook to give it a spiritual feel.
Li Diaw is heard on the sixth track of the project, on the same instrumental as Greatest Fear delivering what can only be described as its continuation, an affirmation to the relatability of the subject and the impact of fear and the struggles of dealing with it. The 5Foot3 creed is a powerfully delivered spoken word performance with the potential to arouse a spirit of defiance against any such phobias and a mantra of sorts bordering on perseverance.
Clearly, KooKusi’s genius about titling and sequencing is recurring throughout the entire project and the final indication is track seven, Nsuro which translates as “do not be afraid”, a perfect follow-up to the previous tracks and the theme they centered on. Nsuro is a spirit-filled outro that leaves one, especially in the case of ‘believers’ invigorated. It is reassuring of the light at the end of the tunnel as long as you keep moving.
The decision to make a body of work that highlights the daily struggles and realities of millions of Africans, most considerably the youth, during a period where migration for the purposes of greener pastures is quickly becoming the norm, a seemingly singular solution to the difficulties faced by many in itself is a thoughtful and commendable act. Most importantly it reflects on KooKusi’s personality as being very humanistic. Throughout this project, he is able to resonate and identify with the people in terms of acknowledging the reality of things from the perspective of those in his home country and beyond while also giving perspectives on his experiences and that of others abroad having witnessed it first hand and with the help of his fellow artistes, thereby availing them the platform to do same while also bringing them along into the spotlight.
It goes without saying that these issues have been begging to be addressed for the longest time and couldn't have been delivered at a better time. However, his ability to bring these issues to light while also being able to reassure and give hope to listeners is the highlight of the entire project.
Like some of the greats within the Hip hop scene of the Ghanaian music industry, KooKusi is slowly garnering admiration and attention from the masses and constantly proving himself a force to reckon with.
Greetings. From. Abroad is a masterful project and will stick with the people for a long, long time.
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