YAW TOG / MOOD

FROM THE POLYRHYTHMIC, PERCUSSIVELY DRIVEN TRADITIONS OF THE COAST TO CONTEMPORARY STYLES SUCH AS HIP-LIFE AND AFRO BEATS, GHANA IS UNDOUBTEDLY ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE CREATIVE POWERHOUSES ON THE FACE OF EARTH. HAILING FROM THE CITY OF KUMASI, MY MOST RECENT GHANIAN MUSIC OBSESSION IS THE ASAKAA BOYZ MOVEMENT; A DRILL STYLE OF RAP INSPIRED BY THE LATE, GREAT POP SMOKE.

EARLIER THIS YEAR, 18-YEAR-OLD ASAKAA ARTIST YAW TOG RELEASED HIS DEBUT PROJECT, TIME, A 7 SONG EP OVERFLOWING WITH HEAVY HITTING DRILL BEATS AND A SEEMINGLY ENDLESS SUPPLY OF FLOW SWITCH UPS AND DELIVERIES. MY PERSONAL FAVORITE TRACK OFF YAW TOG’S PROJECT IS ONE CALLED “MOOD”, WHICH BOASTS A FEATURE FROM THE MAN BROADLY REGARDED AS THE GODFATHER OF GHANIAN DRILL, SEAN LIFER. TOG AND LIFER COMBINE FOR A COLLABORATION THAT, WITH TRULY IDIOSYNCRATIC VOCAL DELIVERIES FROM BOTH ARTISTS, IS SURE TO CATCH THE ATTENTION OF DRILL FANS ACROSS THE WORLD.

YAW TOG AND HIS CREW UTILIZE A VARIETY OF LANGUAGES INCLUDING TWI AND ENGLISH, AS WELL AS A REGIONAL SLANG KNOWN AS SAKA (HINTS THE MOVEMENT’S NAME). THE COMBINATION OF LANGUAGES, WHICH IS A REFLECTION OF KUMASI’S HISTORY AND CULTURE AT LARGE, ADDS YET ANOTHER LEVEL OF DEPTH AND VERSATILITY TO THE MUSIC. AS SOMEONE WHO SPEAKS NEITHER TWI NOR SAKA, I KNOW THAT I’M MISSING OUT ON TONS OF INSIGHTS AND LYRICAL GEMS. I’M CATCHING UP WITH A GHANIAN FRIEND SOON AND WE’RE GOING TO BE BREAKING DOWN SOME OF THE LYRICS, SO LOOK OUT FOR THAT IN FUTURE COVERAGE OF THE ASAKAA BOYZ ON EARLY RISING.

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED; TIME IS AN INCREDIBLE DEBUT BODY OF WORK, “MOOD” IS A MOOD, AND YAW TOG HAS A VERY PROMISING ARTISTIC PATH AHEAD OF HIM. AS I TOUCHED ON EARLIER, THE ASAKAA BOYZ MOVEMENT CAME TO FRUITION BECAUSE A GROUP OF ARTISTS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD WERE INSPIRED TO MAKE DRILL BY THE LATE, GREAT, POP SMOKE. AS MILLIONS CONTINUE TO BOTH MOURNE AND CELEBRATE SMOKE’S LIFE, IT IS AMAZING TO WATCH FLOWERS SPROUT VIA HIS INFLUENCE AND LEGACY. CHECK OUT “MOOD” BELOW AND LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!

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