Today, I Review the BAR 3 Album by VGMA Artise of the year E.L as well as provide download link to the songs on the album.
You don’t Know E.L
Born Elom Adablah, rapper E.L is rather ironically notably known more for his Azonto tracks. His first Album – “Something Else” was released in 2012.
Before that, in 2010, E.L presaged the worldwide Azonto trend by producing “You go kill me” and “Dangeours” by Ghana’s top rapper, Sarkodie. He also had some very good Azonto singles later, including “Kaalu” and “Obuu Mo”. Fast forward to today, and E.L is the current Vodafone Ghana Music Awards’ Artiste of the year – An award which many did not see coming.
E.L’s BAR means “Best African Rapper”. I listened to the first ever BAR mixtape (14 tracks, Duration 0:47:58) in Kumasi somewhere in September 2014 and I was greatly impressed. He featured a lot of other rappers on the first BAR mixtape, including Ghana’s Best – Sarkodie, Edem, Dex Kwasi, Stargo and Joey B. “American Passport” from the Album, later won him the rapper of the year.
The BARs are a way for E.L to prove that he is really a rapper, and rap has always been his love. He accentuated that greatly, showing versatility on different instrumentals whiles delivering eminent rap in style and lyrics. It is on this mixtape that he branded himself as the “BAR Man”.
Following the success of the BAR mixtape, E.L released the BAR 2 mixtape, preceding it with singles like “All Black”, “State of the Nation” and “10 Rap Commandments”. He announced on BAR 2: “It’s not a mixtape, It’s a tradition”. Fans naturally began looking forward to BAR 3, but he released a studio album – “ELOM” and followed with the BAR 3 in 2016. BAR 2 till date, even after the release of BAR 3 remains my favorite BAR album / mixtape.
Review: BAR 3
BAR and BAR 2 were mixtapes but the BAR 3 is an Album, according to the rapper. In an interview with Pulse.com.gh he said “BAR 3 came about because people were pushing him into the Azonto Box, and I didn’t like that.” He explained that the BAR 3 is a collection of excellent Hip-hop heads on a single project. The BAR and BAR 2 mixtapes were strictly hip-hop mixtapes; BAR 3 is a predominantly hip-hop album.
The Bar 3 Album took 9 months to finish
It is against this that a lot of people feel BAR 3 did not raise the bar this time. The Bar 3 album emboldens dance, with tracks like “Portey Dey Be” and “It’s Your Life”. There is also a lot of melody to make the album more commercial, although it was available for free download.
There were more features (22) than tracks (16) on the album.
The features on the album are also laudable. BAR 3 included the usual boys from the BBnZ label Ko-Jo Cue and Shaker. Some International features were Nigerian music heavyweight M.I. Abaga and the legendary South African rap king Khuli Chana. Known BAR features Gemini, Dex Kwasi, Edem and Cabum were on the Album too. Other artistes on were Recognise Ali, Worlasi, C-Real, Ayat, Medikal, Teephlow, Illa Shaz, Adomaa, Stargo, KiddBlack, Joey B, Osei, M3dal and A.I.
E.L produced 5 of the songs on the Album
Songs to listen to on the Album:
- Lyrical Algebar (Prod. by D.N.A)
- Pelican Fly feat. Stargo & KiddBlack (Prod. by Sam1)
- A.R’s feat. Recognise Ali, C-Real, Ayat, Medikal, Teephlow & Illa Shaz (Prod. by E.L)
- Lalafalama (Prod. by Ghost)
- Drop feat. M.I & Khuli Chana (Prod. by Slimbo)
- It’s Your Life feat. Ko-Jo Cue & Worlasi (Prod. by DJ Julz)
It’s a good album, typical of E.L. He delivered Impressive Creativity and his punches on Lyrical Algebar, Shine, Change, Lomi and Can’t Let it Phase were good. -Collins Amedzo
The album has been met with mixed feelings on Social Media. Some feel it is a great production, while some die-hard fans have been disappointed by the BAR 3 Album. See Some of them below:
— ᴇʀɪᴄsᴛʀᴏғʏ (@Ericstrofy) September 11, 2016
Favs off Bar 3.
-You no go fit see me
-It's your life
-Portay dey be
— Senanu (@_senanu_) September 13, 2016
Bar 1 and Bar 2 far better than Bar 3.
— St. 🗿 (@OseiOfficial) September 11, 2016
oh yeah true, he should forget winning best rapper next year… Bar 3 no dey be like that 👍 https://t.co/AFzNDdLVW0
— ♔Maŋtsɛ Kobby♔ (@CallMeKobby) September 14, 2016
I relished the album and I would give it a rating of 8.8/10. E.L didn’t just prove why he is here to stay, he delivered real music, not just rap. Great lyrical content and good storytelling. If you haven’t listened to the album yet, try to get yourself a copy.
Listened to the album yet? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.