From my first encounter with his hit song “Ali Ndomo” while I was at the remand wing of the Mile Two central prisons, to my later deeper acquaintance with the lyrics of his songs primed by another hit “Mandinka Warrior”, ST has never ceased to amaze me with his lyrics.
Moreover, I have always felt so connected with his music that most of the time I feel that he is actually singing for me. And I have to thank his friend (my mentee) Modou Lamin Sultan Jammeh who introduced me to the world of ST.
He has been silent for the greater part of this year, 2020, leading to some snide comments from his critics and detractors that he might have lost his mojo in the rap game but a mere release of three pictures (earlier this month) signaling the shooting of a music video sent Gambian social media into a frenzy.
I did a shot poem on one of those pictures that I found highly inspiring. Here’s the poem:
Signs of our times
Rising defiant chimes
Journey to the skies
Tearing clouds of lies
Primed by Kangkurang strikes
Scaring the witches away like flies
Flashing the way to higher heights
Leading to youthful spikes
Shunning the Facebook likes
Tearing through like lightening strikes
Adorning the dark night skies
Raining the truth despite the fights
Crowning the crew of genuine knights
To run this show without frights
As the public awaited the release of the song/video connected with those pictures, ST did the element of surprise by releasing a hot new song (unrelated to the shared photos) and video titled “Jatoo” (meaning, Lion, in Mandingka).
From the lyrics, to the beat, to the audio-visuals, this song is definitely a potential classic.
A song for his first son, Demba, you may call it. But it is also a song about the rapper himself as he chants in the chorus addressing his son in Mandingka “your father is a lion, a lion!”
ST goes on to praise his own lineage, the Singhateh’s that are traditionally known to be traders, in contrast to his own chosen field of endeavour, music. He tells his son, Demba, that if he wills he can also cross the traditional isle and become a singer but only that he must never be a lame, ordinary one. Whatever the young boy wants to become, he must be the best of it, his father advises him.
What a lesson!
But how can I end this commentary without highlighting the opening scene of his music video depicting this song, Jatoo?
In this era of grief and anger about the alarming rate of maternal mortality in this country, the opening scene of the music video is pregnant with the sounds of a crying newborn baby amidst the hazy scene of a childbirth scenario.
Again, what a lesson!
The Gambia’s Pen