Finally the wait is over. After a long long hiatus, the awaited ‘Highest’, Sarkodie’s new project, is finally out. Before the release, he stated that this piece depicts his current frame of thoughts and to him it is the highest.
Naturally, such proclamations ignites interest. An opportunity to glimpse into the mind of GH’s hip hop royalty is seldom presented. And rightly so, we are interested. The album boast of features from africa’s finest and the UK as well. Notably, Worlasi and Jayso of Ghana, Flavour, Koredo Bello, Yung L and Jesse Jagz of Nigeria, Victoria Kimani of Kenya, Bobii Lewis and Suli Breaks of UK.
The album is a collaborative work between the Sarkcess Boss and the head ‘hauncho’ of Skillions Records Jayso Skillions, as stated before the release saying, Jayso is the music that understands and really knows and can relates to him. It was a fun and thrilling working again with his long time friend and producer. They actually took two (2) years to finalize the album and also make sure it was ready for the market.
HIGHEST Album Cover Art & Tracklist
After listening to the album, I’d say it’s well put together. From the start is ‘Silence’ which, begins with an accolade served by the U.K. based Ghanaian poet Suli Breaks, acclaiming Sarkodie. As his commentary wears on, in the midst begins a seductive drum pattern with percussion and bass blending beautifully to create an enchanting rhythm. In comes, Sarkodie riding the beat as expected in usual fashion. Sounding warning to his peers, reaffirming his stature. Delivery was on point and lyrics full of self praise.
‘Overdose’, the second track, has a theme similar to ‘Silence’ but rendered over an afrobeat rhythm. Coming from a previous year of mockery, being a victim of a diss track, it is expected that the situation would be addressed. And the answer is ‘We No Dey Fear’. On this track, Sark vent on the debacle of the diss track ‘God MC’, pitting his achievements to that of his antagonist. The irony though is, lyrically, it comes off as a dog barking at a challenge and yet it’s not prepared for it.
On ‘Certified’, Sarkodie and Jayso called up the gifted Worlasi to create a truly certified hit. The trio really delivered on this joint and honestly I can’t help but to keep it on repeat. Sonically, the album is solid, weaving it’s way seamlessly from hip hop sounds to afrobeats and back. The production is top notch, utilising a variety of instruments and balancing them perfectly.
Lyrically, it’s interesting to listen. The entire album evolves essentially around three themes: making money, love, and reaffirmation of his hip hop stature in Ghana and the entire African continent. Upon a careful listening, it becomes obvious that Sarkodie is fencing – building a wall around him, trying to keep a close knit circle. Titi and Tracy, daughter and baby mama respectively, are of prime importance in this circle.
On ‘Baby Mama’, a track dedicated to his longtime girlfriend Tracy, Sarkodie reveals his admiration for his woman and doesn’t hesitate in expressing his adulation for her. It, however, didn’t come without some questionable lyrics. Judging from the lyrics I didn’t expect anything that explicit, but Sarkodie still remains being raw and unrepentant.
Nigerian vocalist, Praiz did an excellent job on ‘All I Want Is You’ with a tantalizing chorus as he guarantee the. Another song on the album which is centred on love. The instrumentation was originally put together by Gaffaci but was later amended by CedSolo. A very good job was done by dynamizing the instrumental to create a unique and rare sound in this part of our world. Sarkodie’s delivery as usual, solid.
On ‘Far away‘ , A commercial afrobeat sound which features Nigerian singer, Korede Bello. The Marvin Records signee delivers one of the jamming melodies on the album. Sarkodie and Korede Bello give words of assurance to their loved ones to sustain their relationships with them. The duo promise not to break the hearts of their special ones on the TSpize soothing sound. You can’t relate if you aren’t in love.
An album record without an inspiring song isn’t complete. Glory the 18th song on the record is the most inspirational tune on the album. Sarkodie recruited the young underated Nigerian artiste, Yung L, who handled the hook of the song passionately full of emotions. On Glory, Sarkodie gives praises to God for not letting him face this cold world full of fake friends, discourages and facing his fears alone.
He further went on to advice his fans and listeners to never give up on their dreams no matter the obstacles and just. The Song was produced by Jayso Skillions. He did really great with the production, coming up with the perfect instrumental that suits the record, with the saxophone touch that made the tune complete.
Now my Rating on the Ablum:
The lyrical content, showed elements of matured state of Sarkodie, not much transition from the preceding albums enough in my opinion. However, prior to the release of this album, Sarkodie informed us that the album is primarily about his current state of mind. And that is what he expresses on the album.
He stays within the defined scope of the concept to deliver his current state of mind- about himself. He shares his philosophy about rap and his success story. I consider it as an album intended to consolidate his achievements in the industry.
‘Highest’ is an all-in-one album with Hip Hop and Afro pop tunes. The Compilation of the album the was strategically structured to suit the taste of the listeners. The is no way one is going to skip tracks to have a feel of their favorite songs. From hip-hop to Afropop to Hiplife- rap making the record very interesting.
Jayso Skillions did a really awesome work with the instrumentation making the record one solid one that will last for a lifetime. Listening to the beats alone will make you spit you heart out. There is never a dull moment with Jayso behind the sounds production, he brings out the beast in you. With the blends of kicks, saxophones, keyboard and bass to make a soothing sound. Kudos to the Jayso for the awesome work on the ‘Highest’. The other producers were great on the record doing their best to make a success.
Overall, the album is well structured and the production quality is very good. Vocal quality is on point and the songs are well performed. The commercial potential of this album is high if marketed well. Congratulations to ‘The King’ this project.