I declare this officially the best rap song out of Africa in 2014 and although the year is still quite brand new, I think this will be the song to beat for the rest of the year as the bar was set high on this record. “Proverbs Manifest” is a play on words of both artists name; award winning South African artist, TV and radio presenter ProVerb and award winning Ghanaian rapper and songwriter M.anifest, which I think is just genius. The song is produced by bubbling South African beatsmith Mananz and is taken from ProVerbs’ fourth album FourthWrite… Get it? Again the play on words is just amazing.
I’m not sure how this album passed under my radar as it was released in 2012 and possesses one of my favorite songs from ProVerb, “Writers Club”. However, I’m glad ProVerb thought this particular track was worth resurrecting from his FourthWrite album even though I wonder why this was the case – maybe the two rappers have something in the works for 2014. Nevertheless, we adore the amazing new visuals for this song directed by Garth Von Glenn. The clean and sleek visuals see ProVerb and M.anifest feed off each other’s vibe and energy, just how you imagine it when you listen to the track.
By any account, ProVerb is one of the elder statesmen of African Hip-Hop with a career that has spanned fifteen solid years and a critically acclaimed discography of four albums and one mixtape released between 2005 and 2012. The veteran rapper is renowned for being one of the rare African rappers not using any vulgar language in his lyrics which he keeps personal, honest and truthful. His accolades including a Channel O Music Award, two South African Music Award nominations, being inducted into the SA Brandy Foundation Guild among other achievements.
M.anifest on the other hand, is entirely new to me as an artist but having worked with artists like Erykah Badu, Damon Albarn and Tony Allen, my lack of acknowledgment is a disservice to him. On “Proverbs Manifest”, M.anifest is buttery smooth and he matched ProVerbs lyrically; punch line for punch line, flow for flow, and presence for presence which I think is no small feat as I believe that ProVerb is one of the best rap artists out of Africa. With two albums and two EPs under his belt – his latest Apae: The Price of Free was released in December 2013 – M.anifest’s credentials firmly speak for themselves.
Enjoy “Proverbs Manifest” below.