E.L, the BBnZ frontman, is indeed a household name when it comes to music in Ghana and Africa as a whole. E.L is predominantly known for club bangers most of which are commercial thus proclaiming himself as the Best African Rapper got most of us scratching our heads. Who could have predicted E.L would ever sellout? Having released Project Hip-Hop with C-Real, E.L made a clear statement that he is here for Hip-hop. Maybe it was an unclear one. Maybe E.L’s main intention was not to only start raking in the bucks but to show the world that he is more than just a rapper but an all-round artiste.
The tape begins with a prayer, “Close your eyes. Holy mother of Christ, I swear I never spitted a phony bar in my life, if the spirit, father and son make up the holy Trinity, before this tape is over, the whole world will be feeling me…” “BEST AFRICAN RAPPER” is a Public address to all undeserving rappers. E.L drops names of rappers who are killing it in his books- Blackway, Manifest, Scientific, Stargo, Ali, Jayso, Ko-Jo Cue, Rumor and Joey B, just to name a few. In a world where untalented people just decide to start rapping any time they want, it comes without shock that a lot of unworthy songs receive massive airplay. Most emcees agree with this sentiment.
“MY GUY” is a rousing or uplifting song, which a particular group can relate to. The song is about the hassle every musician struggling to make it in the industry goes through. E.L makes us know for certain that becoming successful with music isn’t for everybody and that having the talent is the easiest part. The fact that you see him making it look easy doesn’t mean he had it easy. Production credit goes to G-Mo.
Dex Kwasi and C-Real join E.L on “WORK” as they give an insight on their M.Os to success. Their secret is Work. “All I do is work, work, if you think about it for long enough you gon’ get it, but you’ve got to work, I tell my niggas hold on we gon’ be there any minute” This is a motivational tune to inspire anyone needing a push to do something great.
“AMERICAN PASSPORT”, one of the favorites had E.L and Joey B talking about wishing they were born in the USA. This track received a lot of attention probably due to its controversies. A lot of people misjudged this song- “Why America?” was the question on most people’s lips. This song, I believe is far from just wanting to be born in the land of liberty but it depicts the inherent frustration at what they have as a music industry. I think they only hoped they had a much effective one.
“GO TO CHURCH” featured P.K (half of the hip-hop duo-Greenfield) and Gemini. P.K’s verse, in my opinion, walks away with the best guest verse. P.K had very good wordplay coupled with faultless delivery. “I love Green, I could pop eyes for the spinach” “Hip-hop had lost faith when Faith lost Biggie” Gemini takes shots at a very popular rapper in the mainstream. I need not give any hints or clues, we all know who he was referring to. What I want to know is why it didn’t cause a stir on social media.
“MY PEOPLE” is an Anthem for anyone supporting E.L’s movement. Slimbo did too well with the beat on this one.
“WASH AWAY” saw E.L hinting signs of paranoia. (“The jealousy and the hate give me a clearer view, the virtues, that words do, when they hurt you. I mean I appreciate sunshine, but I appreciate it when it rains sometimes”) Peweezel did well with the production.
On “SAA NA ETI3”, E.L looks back on his trajectory as a rapper- from his early beginnings to his current sate of success. The hook sort of comforts E.L, transliterating as “That’s life! Nothing good comes easy”.
In all, B.A.R I was a great tape. It was also a strategic title. All who had doubt in E.L the rapper definitely listened to find flaws or confirm his claim- that he indeed is the Best African Rapper.