Edem, a rapper from Ghana’s Volta Region, has just released Mass Production, his second album and a major step in his effort to achieve national (and perhaps even international) success. Volta, a region in nation’s southeast, is comprised primarily of the Ewe people, and Edem was one of the first rappers to attain popular success by rapping in Ewe. That said, he is by no means confined by linguistic barriers. Over the course of Mass Production’s 13 tracks, he spits in English, Patois, and (obviously) in his native tongue.
The album also covers a similar breath of sonic ground, bringing a refreshing sense of stylistic diversity without abandoning a firm sense of pop smarts. It has the sweetness (and the Auto-tune vocals) so prevalent in modern Ghanian music, but it’s never cloying- instead the hooks are carried home over a set of consistently interesting beats, sticking in your head without forcing themselves in. At it’s very best, such as on the major hit Over Again, the album manages to reference the best of international pop (Dancehall, R’n’B, 4 on the floor dance) while retaining a sound that is distinctly its own. It’s no mean trick- and it makes Edem very much an artist to watch.
Listen to the album!