Ata Kak: Obaa Sima
The seven tracks on Obaa Sima traverse a pop music landscape that encapsulates international modes--rap, techno, saccharine melodies—while reflecting contemporary Ghanaian music via highlife-style refrains, aggressive rapping and use of Twi language. Inspired by a Grand Master Flash & The Furious Five performance of “New York New York” he saw on television, Atta wanted to rap on his new project. (Melle Mel's look on a 1983 German TV performance of the song bares an uncanny resemblance to Atta's image on his cassette cover.) He was not aware of the hiplife—localized rap—movement in Ghana, in its very infancy by 1994 when Obaa Sima was released. Rapping in English didn't feel comfortable and he began writing and practicing rhyming in Twi, the most widely-spoken language in Ghana. The distinctive rapping on Obaa Sima became one of the earliest and most intrepid examples of Twi rap in a period when young rappers in Accra and Kumasi were still mimicking Tupac and Shaggy.