Posted in Ghana, Student Projects

“BRKN LNGWJZ” – FOKN Bois

no1 mango street
No. 1 Mango Street (Album Art)
foknbois
FOKN Bois (M3nsa left with puppy, Wanlov the Kubolor right with stereo)

 

 

FOKN Bois is a hip-hop and hip-life duo comprised of Ghanaian musical artists Wanlov the Kubolor and M3nsa.  As we learned while studying their musical Coz Ov Moni in class, this duo is known for engaging sociocultural and political issues, themes of identity, and themes of migration and internationalism in their music.  They are also known for their counterculture style which often parodies institutions such as religion, state, and spelling and grammar.  I’ve really become a fan of both their music and style.  I greatly appreciate how their art is innovative, organic, eclectic, and conscious without becoming pretentious or contrived.

“BRKN LNGWJZ” has one of the group’s more hip-hop heavy beats.  Although there is little to no bass, the beat is kept with a deep clapping sound as synthesizers vibe melody in rhythm on top of it.  I find the beat very unique, as it accomplishes lightness and strong, steady rhythm at the same time.  To listen, the song can be downloaded on iTunes from M3nsa’s album No1 Mango Street (pictured above). Also, its music video is also available on YouTube HERE.

“BRKN LNGWJZ” playfully discusses identity.  During the song’s intro, Wanlov asks the question, “They don’t really know wanna identity.  So, how you go describe yourself?”
The rest of the song is thusly lists of Wanlov and M3nsa expressing their various identities with playfulness, humor, and sarcasm that sometimes borders on self-deprecation.  Then again, perhaps in the more self-deprecating lines the artists are not making fun of themselves but rather making fun of the dominant culture that tends to stereotype them as such personas.

There are so many intricacies to their art, and yet it is so fun and playful that it does not feel like a mental exercise to engage with it.  I think I’m going to buy M3nsa’s album to further support their work.

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