Wednesday, October 2, 2019

"The Minstrel Cycle" by Wanlov the Kubolor

Today I began the daunting the task of conducting research on trending Ghana songs.  And the reason I call it "daunting" is because information on such tunes and artists tends to be scant, as is the case below.


The Minstrel Cycle is a song by a ragga/rapper named Wanlov the Kubolor (i.e. vagabond) which is currently trending on Ghana's iTunes charts.  It appears on Wanlov's album which itself is entitled Red Card - The Minstrel Cycle.  This is a project that he has been teasing since 2015 but only came out with this year, thus marking his fifth-solo project.

The cover art to Wanlov the Kubolor's Red Card - The Minstrel Cycle (2019).  The implication is that he is 'killing' politicians via his music.  The lady on the bike may be the depiction of another artist by the name of Sister Deborah, who is actually Wanlov's younger sibling.
This album is reportedly based on the theme of the Kubolor being discontent with the powers that be.  That is to say "the minstrel cycle" is actually a sarcastic allusion to prominent government officials who rotate every four or so years.  And such is also apparently the theme of this song.  So for instance Wanlov seems to touch on the subject of police corruption, which is actually a big issue in Ghana.  He also appears to bring up the topic of men being falsely accused of sexual assault.  But ultimately, it's hard to really dig into the lyrics considering they don't seem to be posted online.


Myself not being deeply immersed in the Ghana music scene, I never actually heard of Wanlov the Kubolor until today.  And once again his internet presence is relatively-sparse, even on Genius.  But he has been a professional musician for over a decade and is perhaps better known as member of a group called the FOKN Bois.  In fact the publisher of Red Card was likely a label called FOKN Inc.

Wanlov the Kubolor
Wanlov himself is of Ghanaian and Romanian descent and actually kinda looks like a member of the Marley clan.  But whereas he may look like a Rasta, in actuality it doesn't seem like he's a religious person at all.  And in terms of his claim to fame, if you were to google his name right now most of the articles that popup are apparently about dude having a bunch of kids.  So it remains to be seen how long he'll be able to stay at the top of the charts.

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