Music Review: On Flowking Stone’s Igwe

FlowKing Stone

I have keenly monitored the progress of Igwe since Flowking Stone released it on June 24, 2016. I have carefully taken interest in the response of listeners and what they think about the song. The observation has been similar to how the rapper was trolled for his‘on the rise (rice) like stew’ catchphrase in his ‘Fire Bon Dem Remix‘. People just didn’t understand the creativity and literature usage on this song too.

You wonder why Igwe isn’t yet a street anthem? It probably is because it does not talk about girls with big butts, or self-glorification or drugs or doesn’t surround itself with one form of controversy or another. Though not as popular as I would have loved it to be, the song is one of the rarest artistic records. It is not a regular piece that toes the line of several others.

The theme takes seed from the Flowking Stone trademark. Known in real life as Kwaku Nsiah Boamah, the rapper who is one-half of the Bradez duo enthroned himself as the king of the rap genre. An upgrade of his nomenclature sealed this when he changed the name, Stone to Flowking Stone.

His career as a one-man band, whiles holding the fort awaiting full recovery of Kunta Kinte has been as impressive as a basketball dunk from the free-throw line.

Literally sitting in a palanquin or on a throne and clothed in royal regalia, he addresses his subjects on a myriad issues. This is what is happening in the song ‘Igwe’.

Helele baba oo, Igwe
Helele baba oo, Igwe

FlowkingStone Igwe

Jaynim together with Denswag who is popularly known as Tubhani make this effective by creating an atmosphere of royalty in the song. The exclamations are heard repeatedly from the voice of a lad to make an appellation. It is what the producer uses as the hook. Trumpet sounds accompany the catchy phrase to add life and as well announces the presence of his majesty.

This King is a wordsmith. Puns mean nothing to him. Rhymes and metaphors are as common to him as pillows on beds.

This without doubt is one, if not the most creative wordplay ever done. Stone has always been a rap heavyweight. He’s marveled us from “One Gallon” to “Go Low”. And just like a stream of water only needs a slope to flow effortlessly, so does he hit on words, strainlessly.

From beginning of JANUARY,
I dey rep love like the month of FEBRUARY,
March into MARCH as a visionary,
But dey wanna see the boy in obituary,
Even when APRIL fools,
Never MAY I fall down like the rains in JUNE
Prepare for my birthday, JULY, you lie,
If you think say Flow go die, Goodbye.

The song is a “Calendar Flow” as is so called. It is a recount of happenings in the months past and predictions for the ones yet to come in 2016. He makes a forward progression from the beginning months to the end. He then makes a turnaround and begins a reverse recount in an anti-clockwise manner.

Notable developments in focus include the inauguration of the year in January, the expression of love in February, our independence in March, the torrential rain floods In June/July, the rapper’s birthday in July, his anticipated Gifted album release in August, the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States by Osama bin Laden and Ghana’s elections in December.

His ability to employ the personification device for the months of the year is a thing much to be taken notice of. When an inanimate thing is personified it is given the qualities of a person. Here is an example of three samples in series:

I dey rep love like the month of FEBRUARY
March into MARCH as a visionary…
Even when APRIL fools, never MAY I fall down like the rains in JUNE

Here, FEBRUARY, MARCH and APRIL are made to perform human activities such as loving,marching, and fooling respectively in this context.

Other literature devices that make their way into this song include Pun [JULY – JUNE MAY (may) rain (reign)]. There are similes such as ‘Never MAY I fall down like the rains in JUNE’.

It is worth noting the very salient topics raised in the song metaphorically. The wordplay on DECEMBER as an election period reveals that regardless of the outcome of the upcoming voting, our lives would not get any better if we relent on our efforts. What he meant was that elections don’t improve quality of life. We progress by our own efforts.

Furthermore, the statement, “Ɛnnyɛ Augustina biara na yɛwo no AUGUST” is a philosophical saying that one does not need to be conclusive about the situations of others.

Flowking takes the opportunity to announce the future of the now defunct Bradez group, and promises a revamped, electrifying career in the future. Using an onomatopoeia with the sound of a thunder, an emphasis of their impact is made.

Me din no bɛgyegye babiaa te sɛ thunder – gigigigi

Deɛ mɛ dropi biara bɛyɛ banger
Here’s the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. In a confirmatory means of insisting on his kingship, Stone concludes the address with the punchline translated as “This is why every year I lead you like the month of JANUARY”. He then demands additional complements: “Ma me fans, charlie

To the kinsmen of the Flow Kingdom, these are the lyrics from DECEMBER to JANUARY.

Patrick Fynn
Follow the writer on Twitter: @PatrickFynn