Dir: Kwame Write
The last time I was this excited about reviewing a music video was when I was watching EL’s
Agbaza, although both are very different in themes and creative direction, they both have vivid visual signifiers that an active viewer like myself could not miss!
Kwame Write describes himself as word artist, creative director and biochemist, a mix that makes him standout from his peers by default – effortlessly straddling the line between poet, rapper/musician and artists. He immediately strikes me as a visionary, no sagging jeans, black huarache’s or oversized jewellery in site. Kwame rhymes over old school hiplife beats, referencing the corrupt leadership and current mediocre mindset of Ghana’s leaders and citizens, with Jamestown as a perfect backdrop. I’m sure you know the rich history of Jamestown and why the lyrics of the video lent itself to this location – if you don’t know this history, SHAME ON YOU!
The video opens with a mid to wide shot of a graffiti mural -which is only a part of ‘Million Man Riot‘- a collaborative project by Bright Ackwerh and photographer Nii Odzenma- of leaders and revolutionists who did their best to transform the pan-African narrative and structure – this instantly sets the tone for the rest of the video, especially
when the sampled voice of Kofi Wayo says ‘Look here my friend, our problem is our learders…’. I immediately know I’m going to like this one.
The video then moves on to a variety of landscape shots but quickly cutsto a minimalist shot of Kwame in an art gallery in the foreground of a continuously jaunty shot – at first I didn’t like this motion, mostly because I wasn’t used to it, however I found this movement actually caused me to pay more attention to the scene, (even noticing a beautiful painting by Adjo Kisser) drawing me ininstead of turning me off.
Enters Wanlov with his signature ECG hard hat, wrap, barefeet and lyrical tongue twisting genuis! Not that I’m a fan or anything (I AM!!!)… but Kwame made the right choice asking Wanlov to feature on this as he’s been a political commentator since his first album. In an interview I did with him in June of this year (we will post shortly), I asked what his
thoughts were on the surprised reaction to his political stance and comments and he said;
“The reaction/surprise that people are showing is a little disappointing but at the same time it means that they are finally paying attention, because someone also commented that why am I finally doing political songs. But the first song on my first album ‘Green Card’ which you may know of is 50th Dependence and it hits just as hard any political song I have done. So it’s been my theme I mean, its been a part of my music.”
Yes Kwame made the right choice on this one, very smart.
The last few shots of the video feature what Kwame describes as a ’metaphoric display by Samoa dressed as a traditional priest towards the end of the flick, signifies how we need
to ‘sankofa’ to the concrete African systems and bring the ‘light’ in’.
Very well done Kwame, you have definitely gained a keen new fan!
Review by Yoyotinz member Hephzie