Kojo Trip’s debut EP, Life’s A Trip, begins on an upbeat note with the rapper delivering assertive, forceful raps about how he “spits fire” and is the “cream of the crop.” A trope, played out by rappers. In here, however, the rapper doesn’t just yap, but also showcases his avowed skill and preeminence, via impressive raps and equally impressive delivery.
The tone and mood of the album switches by the 3rd track, Not Okay. Things are slowed down on here, and Kojo Trip gets introspective, reflecting on deeply personal themes from self-belief/doubt to familial relations:
Tell them that I’m fine knowing well that I’m not
Who am I if I aint true to myself?
All the times that I belittled myself…
On subsequent tracks, the young man, assisted by very fine guest verses from the likes of Abena Rockstar and Yung Pabi, casts his gaze outwards – onto scheming gossips, and then further onto criminal politicians, lying preachers, abusive police…
There is another played-out-by-rappers-trope Kojo Trip employs right at the beginning of the EP: a Mohammed Ali sound clip, for the purposes of invoking greatness. It just so happens that sometimes – or maybe even most times – such an invocation and a rappers’ performance turn out to be very far apart. Which is to say, simply, that: rappers in such cases fall short of the greatness they invoke.
In this case of Kojo Trip and Life’s A Trip, however, such an invocation of, and a claim to, greatness is neither unfounded nor far-fetched. The EP is that good.