In the past I used to go for any style of rap from any artist provided it was not monotonous. Today, I enjoy rap based on three most important ingredients — concept, word play or the use of literally devices and punchline.
You’ll literally sweep me off my feet if you can mix these ingredients into a sweet melodious tune. I like rap music and when it comes to Ghanaian music I seriously hate the humdrum of some rappers.
I’ve said in the past that I’m a big fan of Teephlow and when it comes to Fante Rap, he was the guy who made me fall in love with it even more. The guy is genuinely creative, gifted, funny and knows how to play around the words in every song.
I’ve been following Teephlow’s music for a long time — I virtually have all his tracks and not once has he ever disappointed me. He is one of those guys I’ll spend my last megabyte to get his song on my device.
After keenly listening to his music, I give you 6 lines from his songs you’ll love to hear again when you understand it better. Feel the wordplay in these lines
1. “S3 me ntum anfa rap a burn wo a, petrol na matches wo ho” – (The Warning ft Sarkodie)
This a line from Teephlow’s song “the warning” featuring Sarkodie. This line literally translates as “If I’m unable to burn you with rap, petrol and matches are still an option/available”.
Teephlow uses wordplay and the first meaning of the line says that he will burn you with rap. “Burn” here shouldn’t be taken literally — it is a rap slang for “murder”. Musicians in the rap game show their superiority whenever they “murder” fellow rappers with their rap. Since Teephlow wants to tell other rappers that there is no way any rapper can beat him in this rap game, he ends by saying that petrol and matches are still an option to “murder” any rapper who competes with him in case his rap fails him. So in both cases he wins — either literally or figuratively he will murder you because there is no room for failure. I don’t think anybody can survive a burn from petrol and matches so whoever wants to battle him should rethink his decision.
2. “O claim d33 owo bars, but then I’m the station” – (The Warning ft Sarkodie)
Another genius line from the same “the warning” song which literally translates as ” They claim that they have bars (bus), but then I’m the station”. Here, Teephlow uses another figure of speech known as homophone. Two words are homophones if they are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning or spelling or both — and these words are bars and bus. According to Teephlow, other rappers say they have bars — which is a notation for a repeating pattern of musical beats and he again figuratively twist it to mean they have bus but then he is the station. The literal meaning of this line is that, even though these rappers claim that they have bus, which is the largest and most useful vehicle one could own and brag about he is the station. Station here can symbolize and end point to anything, the terminal in the transport business — meaning wherever you’ll drive your bus to, you’ll eventually end up parking it at the station. The station is the most important terminal in transportation. Simply put, if you have all the bars(bus) in this world, he is the terminal.
3. “Me nfa watch mmo me sisi, I don’t ‘waist’ time”- (Dues ft Obrafour)
I think we can all get the literal meaning of this line and simply enjoy the wordplay.
4. “Me drop punchline, you for duck, dabodabo” – (Dues ft Obrafour)
Here he uses a literally device known as homonym. Two words are homonyms if they are pronounced or spelled the same way but have different meanings. Duck here can either be a verb or a noun. It can be literally translated as the domesticated bird with web foot or as a verb to mean ” to move (the head or body) quickly downwards or away”. Teephlow here tells us that his puchlines are too heavy that whenever he drops a punch, one has to duck to avoid its impact. This movement is likened to that of the duck in literal sense.
5. “Etua wo church dues aa, nkyer3 d33 3y3 tight (tithe) rapper” – (Dues ft Obrafour)
This line literally translates as “Honoring your church dues doesn’t make you a tight(tithe) rapper”. Another use of homophones.
Tight is a slang used to describe someone who is stylish, cool, having everything together. In rap, a tight rapper could be a rapper who is well-rehearsed, never disappoint his audience and is always on point.
In religious context, a tithe is an offering of a tenth part of some personal income. Someone who honors his dues in church does not necessarily mean he/she is honoring his tithe. He or she may be giving out the dues in support of a different course (eg. church building, charity etc.). Teephlow tends to inform other rappers of the fact that paying their dues in this rap game doesn’t necessarily make them “tight” as they think they are.
6. “Br3da, me wo punches, m3ntry me powers, Ayittey” – (Kwaw Kese – Swedru Agona)
Here, he likens the strength of his puchlines to that of the the punches thrown by Ghanaian boxer Ayittey Powers in every bout. Can you spot the literary device here? I’ve said a lot and explained similar lines such as this so it will be easy to make meaning out of this one.
Other lines or wordplay worthy of mention:
“So call your self Ozorkor, and just exercise patience” – Hustlas Musik
“Sika duro paa de3 )w) h), nanso doctor mmae so just be patient” (patient as a person who requires medical care)
If you think there is a rapper who has more wordplay in his song, drop his name in a comment or find me on facebook here and I’ll give my review in my next post. You can also whatsapp me on 0547185835 or email me to [email protected]
By Frimpong Prince/EonlineGhana.Com