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Sarkodie – Lay Away | Greatest Ghanaian Verse Ever ?

The king, Sarkodie, has the best flow in the game, as he’s done proving himself on countless verses, and even winning the best flow at the BET 2019 Hip-hop Awards. For us here at Hunukane News, the King’s flow that stands out of the lot is his 2009 Sway collab, Lay-away produced by Jayso of which Sway crowns him the Twista of Ghana, in reference to one of the fastest rappers in the world Twista

Why does this verse stand tall among his many verses and why do we think it’s one of the greatest verses of all time?

Fast rewind 2008, the tongue-twisting Sarkodie and a hungry rapper from Tema, conferred to be the fastest Rapper in Ghana and even in Africa, delivers this verse at a crucial point in his career, where he was cosigned at the time, by “Lonely” Hit Maker and Konvict music boss Akon, and needed to prove himself as a bonafide International appealing artist.

Now let’s get into it, Let’s just concentrate on the first verse of the song and even that from the 9th line to the end of the verse.

Apart from the fact that Sarkodie at the time sounded very fast on every song he was on, his Lay-away verse delivery was exceptional because of how he made internal rhymes with almost all the 12 words on every 4 bars by pushing his voice to make even the unrhymable words rhymes

“Me na ma ba na ma yɛ no chaka chaka basa basa
me nim anka me nam a na me kuta me kum adada
mo a mo pɛsɛ mo rappi tesɛ obidi nigga
Agye sɛ me de mo kɔ kyrɛ awuradee kɛse no ankasa
susu dwene me ho na obidi me yɛ obi doba
Wo’npo deɛ anka mɛ yɛ wo less, kɔ na kɔ da
hwɛ na w’ambɛ pre wo ho na me mɛ yɛ wo yawa yawa
Mo suro me chale make I pause”

What’s crazy is the illusion Sarkodie creates on every 4 bars, almost making it seem like there are more words, even though there are only 12 words on a line, which is the average number of words on most rappers’ 4 bars.

Some of the world’s fastest rappers like Eminem and Busta Rhymes are able to put 16 words on 4 bars on a verse, as Em’ did on “Rap God”, and Busta’s on his collab with Chris Brown “ Look at me now”.

Also, out of the 12 words on the 9th line of Sark’s first verse, the first 8 words all have one syllable and the remaining 4 words have 2 syllables, which comes across as the easiest way to piece out rhyming schemes.

Sark makes a whole lot of two-syllable rhymes and repeats them, making them sound faster, thereby still creating an illusion of speed, like the words “chaka chaka” “basa basa” and finally “yawa yawa” on the 15th line which goes back to rhyme with words “chaka chaka” and “basa basa” on the 9th line.

He also creates multi-syllable rhymes like “kum adada” “obi doba” & “kɔna kɔda” which are all complex internal rhymes.

It’s very clever how most of the ending words don’t even rhyme but Sarkodie makes them do, like “adada” “nigga” “ankasa” on the 10th to the 12 lines.

After all these years it was shocking to hear Sarkodie rap this verse in his recent interview on Hits fm with Andy Dosty, as he has now reverted to a more conventional style of rapping.

It is clear Sarkodie has grown out of rapping this fast but we’d hope to hear him push his limit one more time to give us a verse as iconic as this before he finally drops the mic.

© 2022 Hunukane

Sarkodie – Lay Away | Greatest Ghanaian Verse Ever ?

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