Review of “Thought Journey” by Delasi

My initial thought when I saw the tracklist was what!? Twenty five tracks? Who got the time? Clearly I do since I listened to the whole project anyways. Not only do I have time, I also appreciate different sounds. Like I told you on my very first blog this year, I wanna listen to as much music as I possibly can.

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When I finally got to meet Delasi at What’s Good Live’s Up 2 Skratch, after I watched his performance and listened to his freestyle, I got curious about the Ghanaian artist. Or should I say more curious? I’d seen him on a couple of posters for different events here in Kenya and had watched his video Commot For Der (which I hardly understood) prior to our meeting. The performance was just a plus.

for bandcamp (1)
Commot For Der, which I’m made to understand is “Get The F*** Outta Here” is track nine on his album. Could have been a subliminal message after track eight (Nairobi Police Skit) cuz in the chorus he sings, “You don’t know me, yet you act like you do, commot for der…”

Delasi’s “Thought Journey” took him a while to complete. About three years if my memory serves me accurately but rather than write all about my conversation with him, I’ll share that audio interview with you soon.

Twenty five tracks are too many to review one by one so I’ll highlight some of the tracks I loved and those that I didn’t really like. First of all I’ve gotta that the instrumentation throughout this entire tape is quite amazing and I dare say, “very African” if you know what I mean. I love it! However, some (tracks) were quite “noisy”… it’s like there was a competition between Delasi’s vocals and the instruments which says production could have been better on these particular records. Delasi tried to pair up singing with rapping and quite honestly I prefer him as a rapper. Thought Journey is a heavy album in that, the message in some of his songs highlight the vices in society, race and discrimination, being a dreamer and believing in those dreams etc.

The Intro to the rest of the album welcomes you to what you should expect on the album. Soothing and with a clear message, it’s hard to listen to the intro and not listen to the next track and then the next till the end of it. You’re assured that Delasi raps in English more so you don’t have to worry about the language being a problem. Yeah, he uses his mother tongue a little too. He’s African. You should expect that.

Track 3. Destination Greatness starts off all slow and mellow but then comes in Delasi’s vocals. The message in the song is great; do you, keep working one day you will make it but for me Delasi rapping and singing at the same time was a little too much. I could tell that he can sing but him rapping and singing sounded a little noisy and all over the place. This one was a pass.

One line into Dreamer and I immediately knew that I’d like it. Delasi just wants you to “Close your eyes, visualize where you want to be, let your dreams take you…” As a firm believer of thoughts become reality, I loved it!

In Adabraka Gals Delasi goes HAM on chics who sleep with their lecturers for good grades, chics who have the YOLO mentality, chics who are sex workers. Great! All these vices need to be addressed but aren’t there guys who do this as well? Unless I missed it somewhere in the song. Or maybe the chics from this town are notorious for these things? I’m not sure. I love this track though.

Nairobi Police Skit had to feature because he told me that this is the one thing he disliked about Nairobi. The cops arrested him because, he said, he was foreign. The audio isn’t  clear but you can hear Delasi mention Ukoo Flani Mau Mau, which was one of the greatest Hip Hop groups in Kenya in a bid to liken his art to theirs in terms of speaking about societal issues like police brutality. He also expresses his fear  as he says in he clip that he isn’t sure what the officers would do to him because instead of protecting him they’d try to rob him. Poor image of the police force here and of Kenya as a whole but I’m sad to say that I understand him.

Delasi chooses to address the “Can’t we all just get along?” topic in Pigment Matter, mentioning tracks like One Love by Bob Marley and Different Colors by Lucky Dube as references. He also speaks on skin lightening creams as if to ask is being black really that bad?

I don’t know what Afemankpor means or what he’s singing about but the track made me curious. I’d wanna know what he’s saying. I think this is the first track on Thought Journey that has no English in it. (My Ghanaian readers. PLEASE help with the translation 🙂 )

Amedeke Menyao had me dancing a little. Just like Afemankpor, I don’t know what he means in most of the song but I think I heard “Nobody knows what tomorrow brings” and “Nobody knows what problems I see and I overcame”… so maybe he’s speaking on this. His struggles.

They want to make Christianity illegal in Ghana in Ghost Spell Skit because “one of the biggest problems in Ghana is religion”. I don’t agree with most of what was said in this skit at all. Tried to make it look like the problems they (Ghanaians) have is because of Christianity? I wanna get into it but this needs a full story for itself. If you wanna attack religion and more specifically Christianity, at least have some concrete points besides “poor people go to church everyday” and “they pray in the loudest voices”. I’m just saying…

If Enyonam comes on while I’m turning up guess who will own the dance floor? Yep. Me! Unlike most of the “serious” tracks on this album, this one is definitely for the club. Refreshing break from all the seriousness on the album. At least now we know that Delasi can have some fun too.

Akwaaba featuring Kenya’s ID37 stablemates, Shukid and Kevin Grands is the last track on “Thought Journey”. Shukid starts off rapping in a little Swahili (which is more than I’ve ever heard on any other record so congratulations to Shukid, I guess?). Delasi then drops some bars in the next verse showing his knowledge of common Swahili words and food like ugali. I guess a little Kenya rubbed off on him. Kevin Grands’ verse is last. It’s like they (Shukid and Grands) purposed to have all the Swahili they possibly can in each of their verses so they never have to rap in Swa again lol. Sounds good to me though. They probably need to do more of that in future projects. Akwaaba was a KE-GH connect and it sounds really good. I love the merge of talents.

Those are just some of the records I chose to highlight. You can listen to the entire project here:

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