Although “Tonga” (which you can buy/download from iTunes, Spotify, and Amazon) has been kicking around for a few months now, the song has yet to receive the love it deserves outside Ghana. However, within West Africa it definitely blew up, creating a bit of stir among the controversy-seeking media. Joey B is a newcomer to the Ghana music scene, first breaking through last year with “Strawberry Ginger.” In a short period, he’s gotten the backing of some of the country’s biggest stars–D Black and E.L., who appeared on “Strawberry Ginger,” and now the BET award winner, Sarkodie.
The production of “Tonga” from DJ Breezy is uncomplicated and the rapping calmly matter-of-fact, but the song nevertheless pops with an undeniable pulse. Most of the rapping is slang-filled pidgin English stocked with local references, but the song does enter familiar territory with a Sir Mix-A-Lot quote ( you can probably guess which one we mean).
The video for “Tonga” features some next-level azonto/alkayida dance moves, moving into the red zone of daggering territory. The word tonga itself is considered a bit risqué in some circles, though Joey B insists it simply means “the only nice girl around.” As some pundits decried the song’s supposed vulgarity, rumors swirled that the song would be banned from Ghana’s airwaves, though they proved to be unfounded.
Depending on your workplace’s stance on rather intimate dance moves (obviously not a problem at Afropop), this video may not be kosher. Either way, “Tonga” is a hit for a reason. Check it out below: