Of the many publications that release EOY music lists, one of the best and most diverse (outside of our own 😉 ) continues to be NPRs. While listening to the list last year, I was first introduced to Ghana’s Mohammed Ismail Sherif Kwaku Frimpong (aka Black Sherif). The twenty year old rapper/singer released his first single in 2019, started to get attention with his next songs released in 2021, and finally made a breakthrough with the excellent track “Kwaku the Traveller”.
The hip hop track simmers over a subdued beat, with a light, atmospheric melody heightening the intensity and melancholy of the song. Other tracks on his debut album The Villain I Never War lean into more traditional reggae sounds, like the sunny sonics of “Oh Paradise”. “45” has a relaxed, mellow groove, though Sherif isn’t taking it easy with his lyrical delivery. And as he “sends love to my Rastas” on “Sad Boys Don’t Fold”, one can hear a bit of Bob Marley in the young MC’s spirit.
Keep an eye on this rising Ghanian star, and lend your ears to his music in our World Watch Playlist on Spotify or Apple Music.