Ikedi Mekz reports that over the years artistes from Nigeria and Ghana have come together to make some of the best music from the African soundscape, with the latest being the R2Bees stellar 15-track afro-fusion album titled, ‘Back 2 Basics’
On a checkered Saturday night at the Purple Pub in Ghana’s capital Accra even the pandemic and an official shutdown of bars and clubs can’t stop the music.
In the bustling Osu district, early revelers laze on plastic chairs emptying local beers as speakers reeled to full volume drown out their voices. After midnight, the chairs empty, whether it is Sarkodie, Stonebwoy or R2Bees, the kings of Ghanaian Afrobeats soon have the whole street swinging.
In a music scene long ruled by giant neighbour Nigeria, Afrobeats from Ghana are now finding favour not only in Accra’s clubs but in a thriving international market beyond West Africa. Not only is Afrobeats hyper-popular in Ghana, it’s now gaining real recognition beyond the West African stage.
Although today’s new wave Afrobeats music scene has been strongly dominated by West African giant Nigeria – where in the 1970s it originated and become popular via icon Fela Kuti, neighbouring sister country Ghana has been steadily emerging.
And not just in Accra’s clubs but on a huge international market beyond the motherland’s borders. While it is possible that Nigerians are still sore that Ghana became an independent nation while the country was still under British rule, over the years artistes from both nations have come together to make some of the best music from the African soundscape.
Regardless, music has been the one thing both nations agree on just as much the thriving culture in Ghana and tumultuous Nigerian environment has paved the way for Nigerian artistes to make it home.
The result of such relationship is good collaboration made manifest among artistes from both countries.
Many may be unfamiliar with this little detail, the latest of the musical alliances is the Ghanaian iconic duo R2Bees features which has Nigerian superstar acts like Wizkid, Mr Eazi, Joeboy & King Promise in new stellar 15-track afro-fusion album titled “Back 2 Basics”.
Their fourth studio album, the Ghanaian hip hop and hiplife duo, Faisal Hakeem (Omah Sterling) and Rashid Mugeez (Mugeez) who are together known as R2Bees have been in the game for over a decade.
R2Bees offer an ambience of enchanting Afrobeats atmosphere. The numbers are mostly delivered in a signature layered native Twi and Pidgin-English language, blessing the album with an expansive range of appeal.
The duo kicked off the year with the set’s lead single “Fine Wine“, prior to this release, the group had achieved commercial success with their previous release titled “Yawa” featuring Sarkodie released in the month of October 2020. The group’s eminent readability was proclaimed with “Fine Wine” which surged up the charts within a few days of release.
Succeeding this accomplishment came “Eboso“, a precursor to “Back 2 Basics”, R2Bees’ fourth studio album. “Eboso” built anticipation towards the body of work, garnering traction online especially from the rave of comments from music enthusiasts and critics. A Ghanaian hip hop and hiplife duo from Tema, R2bees is made up of two cousins, Faisal Hakeem (Paedae da Pralem/Omar Sterling) and Rashid Mugeez (Mugeez). Interestingly, the album listening which was held on November 24, 2021, in Accra, hosted several celebrities including Efya, Efia Odo, Kelvin Bwoy King Promise, Mona4reall, Gyakie, Yaw Tog, MzVee, Kidi, Fameye, K O D, and many more.
Before the release of ‘Back 2 Basics’, the duo had released their 3rd album, ‘Site 15’ which was released in 2019, a few days to lock down all around the world. In what seemed like an auction during the album launch, an unidentified young man was the highest bidder as he settled on GHC60,000 cash to purchase the newly released album. He floored several individuals who offered a smaller amount to grab the first copy of the album.