featured REVIEW


Sankofa Still Means Something ObeseAmerica.com • 2005

When we first spinned this CD at the office, we were immediately thinking of whom his voice sounds like? Wulf heard Saafir with a cold, Englebert was thinking of a cousin of Celph Titled's who's more interested in reading books and watching movies instead of playing with guns, while I heard comparisons with Sage Francis after he spent a whole day waiting tables. Sankofa's raw, deep voice timbre is unique that's for sure, but there's more!

This born and raised Australian moved to Minnesota, then California, spent a year teaching in China and now resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana, which only feeds a man's view on the world and life in general. Sankofa's songs deal with anecdotes, experiences, and opinions wrapped in metaphors and subtle irony. His rhyming is playful and speedy; he runs with words, jumps over the drums, stumbles and gets himself up again. There's a constant interaction between the pace of the rhymes and the beats, which makes it interesting and challenging for the listener. Sankofa has a feeling for language; a good pick of words, alliteration, metaphors, irony or just plain humour. Hell! It even occurs that, right in the middle of a song, Sankofa suddenly switches over to some singin, or an occasional lullaby, like at the end of 'Dumptrucks and Dummers'. The audacity! But that's what makes Sankofa's style so unique; he does his thing. In 'Emily Plus 2' the chorus goes 'It’s Fangface with the kicks and hats, and ya man Sankofa with the gift of gab', lines that keep hangin in ya head and make you go mumbling it the next morning.

Fangface's beats are up-tempo and various, goin from Oriental ('Night At The Casba') to Country 'n Western influences (the bar fly anthem '99 Goggles' - 'My mouth only opens for beer and Pretzels') and even productions who would become party anthems if the world was perfect ('People Mover'). But life is far from perfect, like love is; 'Lovesick' is a relaxed track (in contrast with the other songs) dealing with the draftee emptiness that is left after a flirt gone by 'But I was wondering roaches have vaginas too, pardon the tongue hun, I didn’t mean it like that, la cucarachaaaa, the only Spanish I know'. One thing's sure: that girl wasn't the world's most famous heiress; 'Back in the days listening to Paris, when Hilton was the name of a hotel and not a hoor', Sankofa raps in 'A Handful Of Words', a song black like a berry plucked on a rainy day, partly because of the vicious piano loop used over the pounding drums.

And there you have it, 13 songs which pass by like a train. The CD lasts 45 minutes and the more you listen to it, the shorter it seems to be. Not really surprising considering the quirky pace of the beats and Sankofa's high tempo of dropping words, but when 13 songs seem short is that a bad sign? Me thinks not, that's merely a result of the music being good, music that entertains but needs your attention too, because after listening to it a few times you still discover words or rhymes that you didn't catch earlier on, so our advise is that you go buy this, word goes that you'll get a free goodie when you order it from his website. And now let me fetch myself a Dr Pepper while I put the CD-player on repeat...

POSTED ON 11|19|2005 by cpf

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