Music is a powerful form of art in which individuals can express their emotions and convey meanings through beautiful, harmonious ways. Conveying such passion through lyricism and melody is no easy task. There is also an immense challenge in eloquently evoking emotions and experiences that one endures through rhythm. When delving into Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie’s work, it is evident that he elevates his music through his unique style, skillful diction, and prodigious bravery. He contributed significantly to the Ghanaian music industry throughout his career and is recognized for his genius work through several accomplishments, including the Vodafone Ghana Music Award for “Artiste of the Decade.”
Sarkodie’s passionate and insightful lyricism emphasizes the struggles and experiences that he and the black community face at large. One song that showcases his mastery is “Brown Paper Bag” ft. M.anifest. The lyrics, beat, visuals, and message work in harmony to create a true masterpiece. Sarkodie examines the reasons for the systematic racism against the African and African-American communities. He directly speaks to leaders and politicians for a call to action. The brown paper bag is symbolic of how the white, Western nations short-change Africans and African-Americans. A line that embodies the song’s message is “The United States of Africa is what they don’t wanna see… They divide and conquer with just a/ Brown paper bag.” Sarkodie calls out capitalist, Western nations for exploiting and short-changing African culture and people to divide the black community. He calls for the unity of all African people, and enhances his call for unity as he collaborated on the song with another prominent rapper, M.anifest. Uniting as African people, taking what belongs to Africans and African-Americans across the world, and finally achieving freedom is what Sarkodie conveys. Through his work, his message has resonated with the community and ignited many to demand change.
Mireri, Julian. “Sarkodie – Brown Paper Bag Ft. M.anifest: Meaning, Video, Fan Reactions.” Yen.com.gh – Ghana News., 9 July 2020, yen.com.gh/161541-sarkodie—brown-paper-bag-ft-manifest-meaning-video-fan-reactions.html.
“Sarkodie (Rapper).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 10 Feb. 2021, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarkodie_(rapper).