Manifestations (2007) was an amazing album! The album is mostly in English, however on track 5, Gentlemen Ft. Wanlov the Kubolor they speak in their native tongue for at least 30 seconds of the song then continue to rap in English.
M.anifest speaks about his immigration in just about every track of the album. However, majority of the immigration experience is rapped about during track 2, Babylon Breakdown. During this track M.anifest specifically talks about how he experienced not having a passport or visa and being neglected in his own country alongside his people. Also in track 6, Manifestation, M.anifest continues to rap briefly about a “slave economy where money is the root of all-evil”. However, he encourages listeners to get to know who they really are. Which is exactly what he did to give him a different perspective on life.
M.anifest clearly shows that he represents his hometown, Ghana and Africa throughout the entire album. On track 4, Swing Low, M.anifest raps about a carriage that would carry him back home. Meaning that if he were to die in America he would want that carriage to carry him back to Ghana to be buried. In track 5, Gentlemen Ft. Wanlov the Kubolor, both men rap about how they will forever be “Sons of Africa” and by doing so they are satisfied within themselves. They also believe that “Sons of Africa” do not have to wear a typical suit to be gentlemen. Being all natural, using herbs to heal their wounds, and shopping in a traditional market are small things that are meaningful to both men to pay tribute to their country. Lastly, track 9 Africa Represent, M.anifest raps about how he focuses on providing fans or listeners with relevant rhymes that mostly give back to his country. “Represent who? Represent what? Africa!” M.anifest wants to show his people that throughout everything he and his people have gone through that they should be proud of their culture.
M.anifest raps about a variety of social and political issues from being neglected, poverty, to his views on a “black paradise”. Mainly on track 8, Against the Grain Ft. Checkmate, both men rap about the issues that are always portrayed in media. A few issues for example are, a drug free country, traveling without a visa, no HIV/AIDS, less sex on television, and no heavy taxes. A “Black Paradise” would be a place where none of the above issues exist. But a place where you could chill and not worry about being killed. Going against the grain means making a change and not doing the usual. The commentary at the end of the song really helps you realize that there are so many problems worldwide not just in Africa. I believe this song gave M.anifest the chance to vent. “Too many problems, music feels like my only friend”.
M.anifest mainly speaks to the people of Ghana and Africa. However he raps internationally to allow everyone else the chance to hear what he has to say. On track 2, Babylon Breakdown he raps “City where I rest, pick your chest up”. M.anifest raps to give his people strength. Also on track 10 Change Gon Come Ft. Desdamona, M.anifest and Desdamona give listeners courage that change is always happening. But most importantly change is the ability to free your mind.
M.anifest does not exactly point out any specific African Americans in his album. However in track 3, Emcee Psa, he raps about having innovation and creativity. He believes that a real MC should rap about reality. “Sharpen your sword”, M.anifest flows for the people not for the money/industry. That is what he believes has made him different from all other MC’s.
Although I only brought up specific tracks that made M.anifest’s album Manifestations different from other rap music today the album had other songs that were extremely catchy and did not have such an emphasis on African culture. I enjoy rap more than any other type of music, therefore it was easy for me to understand what the album was about and enjoy the beats. I loved that at the end of certain tracks there would be commentary or a sample of African drums which made me just want to groove with the beat. I am glad that I got the chance to do an album review on Manifestations it was a great album.