Pure Akan Acclaimed A Musical god Amongst Men. You haven’t seen it all until you take a peep at our perfect reasons why Ghanaian rapper Pure Akan (@PureAkan) is the most unique rapper to ever do it in the history of Ghanaian music. It is a rare thing to find a well detailed and analyzed breakdown for any rapper especially Ghanaian based but yeah we finally have such a piece.
So heading back to the main topic which is the very reason why Ghanaian rapper Pure Akan deserves to be celebrated more than any other rapper, we can’t continue without a brief insight into the historical background of the rapper. To us, that knows a bit about him maybe we might want to know more and to us, that knows absolutely nothing about him, maybe we deserve to know it all.
Bernard Nana Appiah known by the stage name Pure Akan (born c. February 1990) is a Hiplife, Hip Hop and highlife musician from Lapaz a suburb of Accra in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. He performs in Twi which is one of the Akan languages in Ghana. Akan attended the St. Johns Grammar Senior High School for his secondary education.
In 2015, Akan released a self-titled Project “The Akan EP” that introduced him to the music industry in Ghana. This EP led him to perform at Beatphreaks PhreakOut Live Concert and Chale Wote Street Art Festival 2015 main stage. He later in 2017 released his debut album titled Onipa Akoma under the A-Level Music an indie-label run and managed by himself. In 2018 he celebrated 1 year of the release of his album with a concert at the Alliance Francais D’Accra.
It’s been four Good years since Akan released his last album which went on as one of if not the greatest albums in the history of Ghana music. It is no doubt considered the best ever rap album ever to be released in Ghana. The Album titled “Onipa Akoma” which translates into the English language from Asante Twi As “A man’s heart” lacked nothing to brand it the greatest masterpiece in Ghana.
Ever since then, the versatile and well-respected rapper has only done a few features which are worthy of his class and name and released a few mind-blowing singles. The most amazing of them all happen to be “Mensie Da” which features sensational Ghanaian songstress Efia. The song which is too good to avoid is rumoured to be off his next album which he himself refuses to give details about until necessary.
Breaking Down why Akan Deserves more recognition than any rapper in Ghana and why he deserves to be celebrated more than any other rapper in Ghana, Skul Son made his Points clear and understandable but deep. We will therefore do our possible best to break it down even further and decipher the hard to swallow facts.
“Pure AKan is unique. Saying he can rap now rings like a cliche. Rapping is the easiest part of his craft. He is the only rapper who deserves to be studied in schools be it tertiary levels or high school levels.”
For sure Akan is unique. We barely see a rapper currently touching him in his field. His use of the Ghanaian language will marvel you. With this been said, to have Akan lecturing you is something worth it. His songs contain nothing but elements of pure Akan language and not once will you hear him use anything aside Twi.
And this is not because twi is the only language he knows but rather twi is the language he represents. He does it with so much ease and without even breaking a sweat. It won’t be a surprise if senior high schools and tertiary institutions settle for his songs in the oral aspects of their Ghanaian language studies. He is the only one whose songs qualifies for that.
” In Ghanaian language and literature, his music is the only thing with every aspect available. ”
Just so you may question how influential his songs are on issues of culture and literature aspects of the Akan language, his songs are everything. The presence of Ghanaian language and literature in his songs are the reason they are much more special and unique. His songs are filled with nothing but poetry.
“AKan is a gifted storyteller who eschews braggadocios lyrics and punchlines for thought-provoking couplets that often leaves the listener spellbound.”
You may sometimes think he’s just rapping in his songs only if you aren’t looking at things differently. There isn’t a single song from Akan that doesn’t contain one or two stories. Sometimes you wouldn’t know but he’s actually doing it and that’s the Akan effect. His thought-provoking stories leaves you spellbound. It will be surprising to know that the entire “Onipa Akoma” album is a story about one man. You wouldn’t know unless a reviewer reminds you.
With this, it is understandable that a lot of people avoid his music. They are practically lazy to dissolve their brains in pure craftsmanship. They prefer the easy way out which the airplay like songs. Can’t we just simply stick to songs praising a woman and how much endowed she is or soak songs that talks about money, money, money and some more money or a song that literally tells you how some random person is dying for a lady’s love as if that love will fix roads in Ghana.
“Akan- someone who doesn’t pander to mainstream pressures and create works that appeal to him rather than satisfy the mainstream market.”
Despite his growing reputation, Akan still reminds himself of his purpose. He is here proudly to make conscious music and nothing else. He doesn’t lust for mainstream attention or get shaken to make radio acceptable music and that is what makes him even more unique. Every single song he ever released so far isn’t the type to sell out but rather the type to drown in.
“For any artist seeking to release an album, they need to ask themselves if it measures up to “Onipa Akoma”. Just like “Pae Mu Ka” did in the early 2000s, Akan has mapped out a template for others to follow. That is, inspire a new wave of artists to believe in themselves and create a body of work that they want”
To be the god amongst men, you must first be a leader amongst them. Akan sets that bar straight by inspiring self-belief. It will be surprising to know that a lot of people has attempted to make something appealing but the thought of no one paying attention wards them off. In a country where everyone wants to dance, Akan forced them to listen.
He does this by releasing an album dear to him. Something he was well aware no one will pay that much attention to but came out everyone got to love it. He inspired a lot of people to believe in what they want to do.
“Akan on ‘Onipa Akoma’ has intelligently given us a project so dense and layered that it’d take weeks, months or years to unravel its essence. I won’t be mad if he never releases an album again. What he needs to do now is to let the corners of the country and those outsides- hear this beautiful piece of art.”
Akan Is A Son of Tradition. One will wonder why and how he manages to exhibit all those traditional qualities in his music. The answer is as simple as ABC. He’s a son of tradition. He was brought up the traditional way and exhibition of tradition in his craft is what he does best.
AKan is no doubt the last of his breeds. We don’t remember but the last time a rapper was as versatile with the local language was Obrafuor. Now that Obrafour is slowly hanging up his career the closest thing we have got is Akan and the big surprise is Akan does it best. The breed of Traditional rappers is all extinct. Currently, we can only name Akan. But when he’s gone what’s next? Will the new generation take a similar path as Akan or will the extinction of traditional rappers be 100% completed.
The fake American style of rap is the current go and once Akan is gone a culture is forever lost. There will be no more proud authentic Ghanaian rap music artists. And this will be a bad omen.
We are currently witnessing another piece of greatness from the rapper and this time around four years after his first album and we are more than stunned. According to him, he invested his time and energy to put this new project dubbed ‘NYAME MMA’ out and it took him four good years to complete it.
He explained on the Ryse N Show with Y102.5FM’s NYDJ: “In between, there was a creative process for the next project. So Nyame Ba for instance started with skeleton beats and production and we made the needed changes. Then we started building it up with the recordings and recorded a lot of songs with about 20 kids and that was a lot of work. Also, their timing, the production, was also time-consuming so it took four years for the project to finally come out”.
From the chirping sound of crickets at the beginning of the album to the last track, Akan is recounting tales by the fireside. From tracks like ‘Agyapadeɛ’, the storyteller disseminates how one is born into a typical clan and their connection to the cultural values.
Down the lane, on ‘Mensesa Me Ho’, as indigenous as he could be, the artist is staying true to his own values. As opposed to being conventional, the artist is one of a kind – and he will not betray himself, which also brings him happiness.
On ‘Wo Dansefoɔ’, he becomes a listener. Kwa Appiah as he’s also affectionately called, Akan relays a story of reselling an ideology to a true custodian who has little or no support. Call it a typical cultural appropriation.
The immediate next soundtrack, ‘Tuntum’ talks about the rediscovery of a person’s true belonging and finding their true meaning.
This time, he recruits the ‘Moving On’ hitmaker, Ayisi on this self-explanatory title ‘Apɔnkye Is a Goat’. Surely, Akan is a sensei of his art. Probably one of the most controversial lyrics of the time. He insinuates he’s the slave that jumped overboard ship and went back to his people. He must now regroup his people and remind ourselves and others of our history.
‘Bɔkɔɔ’ which is the last track, Kwa Appiah talks about the virtue of patience and resilience. He features King Ayisoba on this one.
No one could have delivered ‘Nyame Mma’ more than Akan. This is the closest literature one can actually get to relive the nostalgic memory lane of a true African experience. Surely, this project does not belong in a vitrine but everyone should hear it.
The album is available on all major streaming channels.