Finally the wait is over. After two years the ‘Highest’, Sarkodie’s latest work, is out. The King has spoken and his subjects are excited. Before the release, he stated this body of art essentially represents his current frame of thoughts and to him it is the highest. Naturally, such proclamations ignites interest. An opportunity to glimpse into the mind of GH’s hip hop royalty is seldom presented. And rightly so, we are interested. The album boast of the Crème de la Crème of features from artist across the African continent. Notably, Flavor and Bello of Nigeria, and Victoria Kimani of Kenya.
After listening to the album, I’d say it’s well put together. From the start is ‘Silence’ which, begins with an encomium dished out by the U.K. based Ghanaian poet Suli Breaks, heralding Sarkodie. As his commentary wears on, in the midst begins a seductive drum pattern with percussion and bass bending blending beautifully to create an enchanting rhythm. In comes, King Sark riding the beat as expected in usual fashion. Sounding warning to his peers, reaffirming his stature. Delivery is on point and lyrics full of self praise – braggadocio is nothing new in hip hop.
‘Overdose’, the second track, has a theme similar to ‘Silence’ but rendered over an afrobeat rhythm. Coming from a previous year of mockery, being a victim of a diss track, it is expected that the situation would be addressed. And the answer is ‘We No Dey Fear’. On this track, Sark vent on the debacle of the diss track ‘God MC’, pitting his achievements to that of his antagonist. The irony though is, lyrically, it comes off as a dog barking at a challenge and yet it’s not prepared for it.
On ‘Certified’, Sarkodie enlist Jayso and burgeoning talent Worlasi to create a truly certified hit. The trio really delivered on this joint and honestly I can’t help but to keep it on repeat. Sonically, the album is solid, weaving it’s way seamlessly from hip hop sounds to afrobeats and back. The production is top notch, utilising a variety of instruments and balancing them perfectly. The album did not lack the use of digital effects and it wasn’t over done to make the production amateurish.
Lyrically, it’s interesting to listen. The entire album evolves essentially around three themes: making money, love, and reaffirmation of his hip hop stature in Ghana and the entire African continent. Upon a careful listening, it becomes obvious that Sarkodie is fencing – building a wall around him, trying to keep a close knit circle. Titi and Tracy, daughter and baby mama respectively, are of prime importance in this circle.
On ‘Baby Mama’, a track dedicated to his boo Tracy, Sarkodie reveals his admiration for his woman and doesn’t hesitate in expressing his adulation for her. It, however, didn’t come without some questionable lyrics. On the second verse, it would help if he could come out to explain what he meant by these lines, “use to say all I wanted was a bad bitch. Freaky in the sheet and fucking with that shit. First, or claiming cute, saa na she be ratchet.” Personally, I think that’s no way for one to describe his woman.
Overall, the album is well structured and the production quality is very good. Vocal quality is on point and the songs are well performed. The commercial potential of this album is high if marketed well. Congratulations King on your project and I wish you a success, hah.