Music producer and artist M3NSA Ansah (also ½ of the FOKN BOIS) and Hungarian DJ and producer Márton Élő (also of Irie Maffia) have released “Ghetto”, the debut single off their collaborative project, RED RED. M3NSA met Élő with his rap partner Wanlov the Kubolor somewhere in 2008 when the Hungarian producer visited Ghana with artist and wife, fellow Irie Mafia member, Sena Dagadu. Since that time, the two have created a musical bond that birthed the FOKN BOIS’ 2011 album FOKN DUNAQUEST IN BUDAPEST and now RED RED.
RED RED is a priceless commodity in Ghana. The beloved street and chop bar cho made of fresh gari, beans, red oil and ripe fried plantain is clearly an inspiration for the project.
Fans of M3NSA have been tracking his work since Lifeline Family days during the golden era of Hiplife (circa 1996 – 2004). In 1998, the group released the anthem, “Wo Sisi” (Twi for “You Got Waist Pains” produced by Kofi Anti aka UBeatz). The track became a hit across Ghana as it challenged older men who raptured young women with fancy things but at the end of the day, couldn’t fuck well well. M3NSA’s work has always contained a strong blend of rawness, humor, and harmony. Collabos with Reggie Rockstone, V.I.P., QD Lust, Wanlov and Sarkodie today demonstrate his impact on Hiplife music culture.
The road continues with “Ghetto”, a track remixed by Élő featuring M3NSA and tongue twisting MC, Sarkodie. Peep the music video below.
We chatted with M3NSA from his home base in Hungary about RED RED, how he began working with Elo and what it’s like in his “Ghetto”.
ADA: Tell us what the RED RED project’s all about.
M3NSA: Red Red is a creative collaboration betweenÉlő and I. We started off by exchanging ideas over the Internet last year, then I ended up flying over to Budapest where he’s based and well established as a DJ and producer, and we did a few weeks of intense recording sessions. We’re crafting a sound we call African Electronic Dance Music.
ADA: How did you meet Élő ?
M3NSA: I must’ve met him thru either Sena Dagadu ,who’s an amazing Ghanaian-Hungarian songstress, or through Reggie Rockstone. Or it could’ve been through Wanlov… Or all three of them at the same time :-). Élő has been frequenting Ghana since 2008 and we seem to hang around the same circle of friends or kebab stands…Élő is a spicy kebab addict.
ADA: What is the concept behind “Ghetto”?
M3NSA: “Ghetto” was originally a song MA (one of my favourite Ghanaian producers) and I were making for Sarkodie’s album but it didn’t quite happen. Élő took the vocals and switched it up totally. It’s really just a song about being positive and seeing the best in every ‘bad’ situation. We all know Sarkodie is a great writer and I just loved the honesty in his lyrics. The video was shot by Bubi Cooke for Infoboxdaily, who was introduced to us by our very own Mutombo da Poet. We tried to take the idea further by creating a dance competition of sorts to show the kind of joys people can create for themselves, no matter how shitty things are… And lord knows, we need a lot of that these days in Ghana.
ADA: What other artists feature on RED RED?
M3NSA: Obviously we’ve got Sarkodie on the first single “Ghetto”, then we’ve got Sena Dagadu on a duet for “Finder’s Keeper”. Of course my partner in criminal rhyme, Wanlov, does an incredible verse on a track called, “Menda -oh (Don’t Sleep)”. However, the music really lends itself to features.
ADA: When are you releasing the full project?
M3NSA: We’re going to keep releasing singles until later on in the year. The album is so well put together that we really want to share the individual songs as much as possible before we put the whole thing out. So chale, expect some more mind blowing ‘tins’.