Even though the Corona virus pandemic distorted many aspects of our lives, one aspect that remained untouched in 2020 was the rivalry among rappers. Since the early hours of the year 2020, the intensity in the talk of who is the best among the giants of African rap was heightened. This development followed the appearance of Sierra Leone’s very own rapper, Kao Denero on the international stage. Kao Denero, born Amara Dennis Turay shook up the tables with a diss song that was targeted at the likes of Sarkodie, MI Abaga and other African heavyweights of rap. The song which was entitled ‘Kenyatta’ and was released in January 2020, sparked the talk of who deserves to be crowned the best rapper on the Africa continent. Since the release of the diss song by the Sierra Leonean, many fans of African rap have called on Africa’s most decorated rapper Sarkodie to respond musically. It is so intense now that social media posts of Sarkodie get flooded with comments of fans appealing to the ‘Highest’ to respond to ‘The king of Africa’ in order to put the matter to bed.
Sarkodie, born Michael Owusu Addo does not seem to be responding to the diss song anytime soon regardless of the pressure from fans. I have therefore taken it upon myself to take a critical look at the music that both artistes churn out and deliver a well analyzed judgement on who is the best among the two.
A good rap as may be understood by many music and poetry enthusiasts must have certain core elements and these elements are the things that make up the criteria for judging raps. Content, Flow and Delivery, Rhyme, Bars, Punchlines, Openers and closing, Metaphors and Control are the primary elements of rap and constitute the criteria for judging rap.
Firstly, it is irrefutably true that Kao Danero’s musical content is better packed as compared to Sarkodie’s content. Even though Sarkodie is very good when rapping about love and the struggles of life, Kao’s content cuts across all aspects of life. Kao therefore wins the content criterion. The second criterion we must consider is their delivery and flow. There can be absolutely no argument over this. Sarkodie does not only have the best flow and delivery in Africa, he also stands tall in this criterion on the world stage. With his fast flowing flow and tongue twisting delivery, Sarkodie has stamped his name as the rapper with the best flow and delivery in this era.
I must say it was difficult to judge the criterion of rhyme simply because most of Sarkodie’s lyrics are in twi, his native tongue. However, we can all agree that even those who do not understand the twi language still hear the multiple rhymes that complement Sarkodie’s excellent delivery. Kao Denero is good with rhymes but he definitely has a lot to do to beat Sarkodie in this criterion.
What about Bars? Who delivers the heaviest bars? Definitely Kao Denero. There are no two ways about that. But who has the hardest punchlines among the two? This is a difficult one but I will give the punchline criterion to Sarkodie and give the Metaphors criterion to Kao Denero.
The next criterion is Openers and Closing and I must admit this is very difficult considering the number of songs I had to listen to in order to reach this decision. Kao Denero delivered some very beautiful Openers and Closings in some of his songs yet Sarkodie takes this criterion because he has been more consistent in relation to Kao Denero. The final criterion that we must take a look at is Control. This criterion no doubt goes to Sarkodie who constantly displays absolute control over any beat given regardless of how challenging the beat in question may be. Sarkodie whose career was mostly shaped by the tough rap battles he faced on Dr. Duncan’s Kasahare Freestyle show, has rapped to different and more challenging beats with absolute control over the beats as compared to Kao Danero. This therefore makes Ghana’s Sarkodie the winner of this criterion.
In conclusion, Kao Denero may be the best with his content, bars and metaphors but Sarkodie is the best with his delivery and flow, rhyme, openers and closing, punchlines and control. Sarkodie is therefore the best of the two rappers with five (5) of the eight (8) criteria.
Do you agree with the writer share your thoughts on the judgement with us in the comments section.
Content created and supplied by: TsaliG (via Opera News )