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Sarkodie Takes A Victory Lap On His Championship EP

The Ghanaian rapper, Africa’s most successful rapper, returns with a supreme sense of confidence on a project that sounds like a victory lap, rapping effortlessly over proper Ghanaian hip-hop beats.

It is safe to say Africa’s rap scene has been heavily lifted by Sarkodie. With 200 awards to his name, it’s borderline impossible to mention rap in Africa without his name surfacing. For over a decade, Micheal Owusu has accomplished a rare form of success, sticking to his elements and maturing with time, adapting to the rap’s ways too, from the days of Kasahari to Asakaa, the rapper has held his own as one of the most original rappers of his time. 

The Championship may not be the main event (it’s a mixtape), but it is one hell of a bout, a type that sees only Sarkodie in the ring, talking his shit on triumphant horns, melodic piano, and thick bass as he reflects on a well-crafted career. CONFETTI is the perfect intro, he declares himself a winner even before the bell pops off. Still feeding off his chemistry with Fortune Dane (Original), Sarkodie tags the song’s theme with boastful raps, ill beats, and impeccable flows. The tuneful intricacies of Fortune Dane are shown again on the controversial lead single BRAG, the song is self-explanatory. In every angle to view the song, one thing is certified, he has rightfully earned the right to brag. The song sparked debates on social media and had rappers from Ghana and Nigeria putting their pens to work, trading friendly shots at each other, all because rap’s Landlord opened his mouth, a testament to the attributes of the BET award winner.

The project starts more as a “traditional” Sarkodie album with pure hip-hop beats but with a batch of fresh ideas in tow. Sarkodie hops on another territory, a familiar one; Joey B’s camp. Hip-hop is an essential part of Altra Nova’s sound, and while he has always been versatile with his production, “X” pops with colourful energy, it reanimates the duo here. Joey’s hook sets the tone for the song,  arriving with lyrics that only comes from being summoned by industry veterans, paying homage to Sarkodie with lyrics, “Too many Houses but only One landlord”, whiles Sarkodie’s verse matches the song’s energy. There is lots of honesty and vulnerability on TRAUMA, Xlimkid’s flair and hook deepen his connection to the game while transforming pain, insecurities, and hustle into a full embrace of life, allowing Sarkodie to be a towering figure for the next generation.

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LOYALTY is tailor-made for hip-hop purists, with more gloss and bounce, buoyed by Sarkodie’s ever-flowing technical skill. Familiar with MOG Beatz, who handles the last 3 songs off the tape, Sarkodie feeds off MOG’s all sheen and sneer, channelling his mafioso street-wise ways and giving new rappers “game” on how to stay above it all. The outro, Amen, has a more surprising feature, Asakaa’s Beeztrap KOTM, he pairs an airy melody with lyrics about blessings and being grateful. Sarkodie’s delivery is conversational and evocative as he checks off the perks of success and keeping faith, another honest song leaning towards.

For long stretches of its runtime, The Championship cruises around like a victory lap, slowly paced enough to allow the legendary emcee to blister over sampled hip-hop loops and patches of Ghana’s new sounds, working with producer and artistes that turn up to the max and make him more vocal to all.

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The iMullar is the voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.