Posted in Diaspora, Togo

Fresh 2010

THIS IS MY FAVORITE ALBUM FROM TABI BONNEY!

Oh my goodness! With the exception of a couple songs Tabi Bonney definitely (and in my opinion, finally!) delivered in his 2010 album Fresh. Collectively, the sound of this album eclectically comes together in a smooth and “Fresh” fashion. Bonney’s lyrics are substantially more meaningful in respects to Africa in this album as well; with use of more clever lines, metaphors and higher vocabulary, it is very easy to see Tabi Bonney’s care with this work as opposed to his two previous albums.

The first half of the album definitely caught me by surprise! I expected to hear the same mundane beats and mediocre lyrics and features like the other albums that I have listened to of Tabi Bonney’s, but this record was excellently executed in all aspects and even added more of the DC flavor in most of the music. For example, the song Killer People featuring popular DC rapper Wale, Bonney uses a particular type of music that is very popular in the DMV area called Gogo music. Gogo music usually consists of wind instruments like trumpets, saxophones, and also includes tambourines and drumming. I was so excited to hear Gogo music being finally incorporated in his work. It adds so much life to his music and you can hear the liveliness in Killer People -which is a song about people that have negative things to say about a person’s progression- as well as in the track Winners Journey featuring Kokayi.
More songs that stood out to me in the first half of the 14-track album was Get Me, the experimental house sound of The Slackers Farewell, Killer people and my favorite song, Fever, featuring Raheem Devaughn.

Although Bonney still doesn’t talking about his experiences in fleeing with his family from Togo to Washington DC, he does mention Africa more in the album more than he has in the past. “This Togolese kid ain’t gone ever miss his ship ‘cuz even I’m late they gone wait ‘cuz I’m the shit.” A simple line but I believe that this is the only way that he will refer to Africa since he really was not old enough to be a part of any immigration struggles; in a lighthearted “you can find me in the A!” kind of way that is popular in the rap genre.
Along with more mention of Africa there is also better delivery in his rhymes and better punch-lines and metaphors. For example, the song Get Me he spits a whitty line: “I be makin’ moves, I ain’t no dummy; even Ussain Bolt in real life can’t run me.” His comparison to the documented fastest man alive may be a bit of an overstatement but it does make for a clever line that we have rarely heard from him in the past. Another line that caught my eye is actually in the same song, where he uses better vocabulary and relates it to his rhyme. “Name brand whore on the European tour, that’s a double entendre; the clothes and the shows. Sorry if your blonder, that’s over your head. I don’t miss on purpose, I prefer you dead.” Listeners, up until this point have not heard him use vocabulary like this and I feel that is was a very pleasant switch up; not to mention a slight magnifier on his college education that he has not mentioned in his music.
As I have said before, this album is the best that I have heard of Bonney’s thus far because of the content of some of the lyrics. It seems like he really carefully structured this work as opposed to others and it definitely shows.

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