Music Review: M.anifest pays homage to 50 years of hip-hop with freestyle

Ghana’s very own rap maestro, M.anifest, has once again proven why he’s a force to be reckoned with in the world of hip-hop.

In his latest freestyle, titled ’50 Years,’ M.anifest takes listeners on a lyrical journey, celebrating half a century of hip-hop culture. And boy, he did deliver!

The song is not just a testament to M.anifest’s lyrical prowess but also a heartfelt tribute to hip-hop’s rich history. From the streets of the Bronx to the vibrant lanes of Accra, hip-hop has been a voice for the voiceless, a form of expression, and a global movement.

M.anifest’s freestyle captures this essence, blending international hip-hop references with nods to our local Ghanaian sound. As one fan aptly put it, he’s a “true son of the land.”

YouTube comments on the video are a testament to the impact of this song. Fans are in awe of how M.anifest seamlessly infused album titles, iconic hip-hop lines, and local references into a coherent, hard-hitting track.

One fan commented, “Man just made a whole song from album titles and still went hard.” Another added, “There are numerous lines and a rich history embedded in this track, which I had to listen to multiple times to fully grasp.”

What’s even more commendable is M.anifest’s ability to bridge the gap between international hip-hop and our cherished local sounds. He didn’t just stop at mentioning global hip-hop icons; he also paid homage to Ghanaian pioneers with lines like “Pae mu ka.” This duality in his lyrics resonates with many Ghanaians, as it showcases a deep respect for both global and local musical influences.

The freestyle video also garnered praise for its inclusion of subtitles, allowing fans to follow along and catch every reference. This thoughtful addition ensures that the rich tapestry of references M.anifest weaves isn’t lost on anyone.

In conclusion, M.anifest’s “50 Years” freestyle is more than just a song; it’s a celebration of hip-hop’s enduring legacy. It’s a nod to the pioneers, a shout-out to contemporary artists, and a beacon for the future of the genre. As we jam to this masterpiece, we’re reminded of the power of hip-hop and the magic M.anifest brings to the table. Here’s to 50 years of hip-hop and many more to come!

References from M.anifest’s 50 YEARS Freestyle

1. “Picture me rolling with a resurrected 2pac”

Tupac Shakur is often hailed as one of the greatest rappers ever. His profound lyrics, which often touched on social issues and personal struggles, combined with his charismatic persona, made him an icon of hip-hop and popular culture.

2. “world of refugees”

The Fugees were known for blending hip-hop with elements of soul, reggae, and R&B. Their album “The Score” is a landmark in 90s hip-hop, featuring hits like “Killing Me Softly” and “Ready or Not.”

3. “Dead presidents for food clothes and shelter”

Dead Presidents is a series of song by Jay-Z. is not only one of the best-selling music artists of all time but also a successful entrepreneur.

Dead Presidents is also a slang for “money” since some of the dollar bills have photos of past presidents on them.

4. “black thoughts on white paper”

○ Black Thought, the lead MC of The Roots, is renowned for his complex lyricism and live performances. The Roots are unique for being one of the few hip-hop acts with a full band.

5. “Michael Jeffrey Jordan flow”

Michael Jordan is considered the greatest basketball player of all time. His competitive spirit and success have made him a frequent reference in hip-hop lyrics, symbolizing excellence.

6. “bring to the pain a method to this madness”

Method Man is a key member of the Wu-Tang Clan and has a distinctive raspy voice. His charisma and collaborations, both within and outside of Wu-Tang, have solidified his place in hip-hop history.

7. “1520 Sedgwick ave”

Recognized as the birthplace of hip-hop, this location in the Bronx is where DJ Kool Herc held some of the first hip-hop parties, laying the foundation for the genre.

8. “Naija dey talk Oshe… like a rapper actor”

Ice Cube, whose real name is O’Shea Jackson, was a member of the groundbreaking group N.W.A. He’s known for his aggressive lyrics, social commentary, and subsequent successful film career.

9. “do or die”

Do or Die is a rap trio from Chicago known for their harmonizing, fast-paced lyrics. Their style influenced the evolution of Chicago’s hip-hop scene.

10. “cash money”

Cash Money Records has been a dominant force in hip-hop and R&B since the 90s. Founded by Birdman and Slim, the label introduced artists like Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and Drake.

11. “bluest eye”

Toni Morrison’s novel “The Bluest Eye” is a poignant exploration of race and beauty standards. Morrison’s works have influenced many artists across various genres.

12. “Karl Kani”

Karl Kani is a fashion designer often dubbed the “Godfather of Urban Fashion.” His brand was popularized by hip-hop artists in the 90s.

13. “LL in a gap ad wearing Fubu”

LL Cool J is a pioneering rapper known for hits across three decades. His subtle promotion of FUBU, an iconic hip-hop clothing brand, in a GAP ad is legendary in marketing circles.

14. “In 96 I settled the score”

They year 1996 saw the release of Nas’ “It Was Written,” which showcased his intricate lyricism and storytelling, solidifying his reputation as one of hip-hop’s greatest MCs.

15. “Trevor took over the airwaves”

Trevor George Smith Jr., known professionally as Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor. Busta Rhymes solo debut album The Coming, was released in March 1996. A month before the album was released, he broke out with a hit single, “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check”.

Trevor Nelson is a British DJ who played a pivotal role in popularizing R&B and hip-hop in the UK through his radio shows.

16. “Miseducation”

Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is a seminal work that blends hip-hop, soul, and reggae. Hill’s introspective lyrics and vocal prowess earned her numerous accolades.

17. “Foxy, Kim, Misdemeanor, Nonchalant, Bahamadia”

These female rappers—Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim, Missy Elliott, Nonchalant, and Bahamadia—each brought unique styles and perspectives to hip-hop, challenging gender norms and paving the way for future female MCs.

18. “Rza, Gza, Wu-Tang forever 5 percenter fever”

The Wu-Tang Clan, with members like RZA and GZA, is known for its gritty lyrics and kung-fu references. The Five-Percent Nation has influenced many hip-hop artists with its teachings.

19. “Get at me dawg I’m slipping I’m falling”

These are lyrics from DMX’s songs. DMX’s raw energy, emotional delivery, and tales of street life made him a standout artist in the late 90s and early 2000s.

20. “big boy now my currency”

Big Boi is one-half of the influential duo OutKast, known for their eclectic style and hits like “Hey Ya!” Curren$y is a rapper known for his laid-back style and prolific output.

21. “3 stacks”

Andre 3000 is the other half of OutKast. His unique style, both in fashion and lyricism, has made him one of the most revered figures in hip-hop.

22. “black on both sides”

This is an album by Mos Def, now known as Yasiin Bey. He’s celebrated for his conscious lyrics, activism, and blending of hip-hop with other genres.

23. “food and liquor”

This is an album by Lupe Fiasco. Lupe is known for his intricate lyrics, social commentary, and blending of hip-hop with rock and electronic elements.

24. “Broken language”

This is a song by Smoothe Da Hustler, known for its rapid-fire delivery and intricate rhymes.

25. “Pae mu ka makaa maka Philomena kpitingɛ”

“Pae Mu Ka” is an album by Obrafour, a pioneering figure in the Ghanaian hip-hop scene. “Makaa Maka” is both an album by Reggie Rockstone, the “Godfather of Hiplife,” and a song by M.anifest. ‘Philomena kpitingɛ’ is a song by Tic Tac, a key figure in the Hiplife genre.

26. “Native Funk Lords”

This is a nod to Native Funk Lords, the legendary Ghanaian Rap Group that started off in Kokomlemle, a suburb of Accra. NFL was the first act to rap in pidgin music starting in 1993.

27. “Talking Drums”

Talking Drums were the first Hip-Hop duo to actively put out music post military rule in Ghana. Rappers Kwaku Tutu and Abeiku Riberio amongst other artists kick started what became HipLife music.

28. “A chronic writer Dr’s orders do it doggystyle”

References to Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic” and Snoop Dogg’s “Doggystyle.” Both albums were pivotal in popularizing the West Coast G-funk sound in the 90s.

29. “Blueprint not in print but we all use it”

“The Blueprint” is an album by Jay-Z. It’s celebrated for its soulful samples and Jay-Z’s introspective lyrics.

30. “The Jermaine Cole’s the Kendrick Lamar’s”

J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar are two of the most prominent rappers of their generation, known for their storytelling, social commentary, and technical prowess.

31. “The Stogie T’s the Wretch 32’s”

Stogie T is a prominent South African rapper known for his intricate lyricism. Wretch 32 is a British rapper celebrated for his wordplay and emotional depth.

32. “The A-Reece the Black Sherif’s”

A-Reece is a South African rapper known for his storytelling. Black Sherif is a Ghanaian artist blending hip-hop with traditional sounds.

33. “The Sampa the Great’s the Lil Simz”

Sampa the Great is a Zambian-born rapper known for blending African rhythms with hip-hop. Little Simz is a British rapper celebrated for her introspective lyrics and rapid flow.

34. “Kool Herc”

DJ Kool Herc is often credited as the founding father of hip-hop, known for his innovative “breakbeat” DJing technique.

35. “U.N.I.T.Y”

This is a song by Queen Latifah. Beyond her music, she’s been a trailblazer in promoting women’s rights and addressing issues of gender and sexuality in hip-hop.

36. “Hip-Hop (Hooray)”

“Hip Hop Hooray” is a song by American hip hop group, Naughty by Nature, released in December 1992 as the first single from their third album, 19 Naughty III (1993)

37. “Soul food”

This is an album by Goodie Mob. The group, part of the Dungeon Family collective, is known for their Southern hip-hop sound and socially conscious lyrics.

38. “Reasonable doubt”

This is Jay-Z’s debut album. It showcased his mafioso rap style and set the stage for his illustrious career.

39. “College dropout”

This is Kanye West’s debut album. West is known for his innovative production, blending of genres, and polarizing personality.

40. “One day it’ll all make sense”

This is an album by Common. Common’s poetic lyricism and activism have made him a respected figure in hip-hop and beyond.

41. “Knowledge reigns supreme”

KRS-One is a foundational figure in hip-hop, known for his socially conscious lyrics and advocacy for the genre as a teaching tool.

42. “Mood Muzik”

This is a series of mixtapes and albums by Joe Budden. Budden’s introspective lyrics and emotional vulnerability have earned him a dedicated fanbase.

Listen to the song below:


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