Flowking Stone has been consistently rated one of Ghana’s best rappers, heir to a lineage of deep twi speakers. Expertise in twi, the Akan lingua franca of Ghana, is often related to a speaker’s level of fluency with the countless proverbs that define the cultural intricacies of its people.
Today, rappers twist this heritage by adding in punchlines and adapting proverbs to match the changing realities of modern day Ghanaians. In this context, Flowking Stone expertly combines the dexterity of Akan rhythms, the depth of the twi language, and the bravado of hip hop, making him a crowned favorite in the Ghanaian rap game.
Stone is an artist for whom connecting to Ghana’s deep musical roots is key, be it via his mastery of twi, but also via the music on which he raps: “I like to fuse tradition and culture. So even on a westernized hip hop beat, you will hear traditional patterns in my rap.”
Flowking has been known to experiment with his beats: Ghanaian hip hop heads regard his 2016 song Rapping Drums as an epic showcase of twi rap at its best. On Gifted II, he returns with a very wide range of rap experiments, finding a clever balance between hip hop and Ghanaian culture old and new: on the album you will hear traditional Ashanti rhythms such as adowa or kete, pure highlife, and you will definitely hear a good dose of the defining African genre of our time, afrobeats.
“The Ghanaian hip hop scene is so vibrant now, many new cats are rising. I’m among the top five rappers, but there’s more to be done. I feel I’m different, I put more of where I’m from in my music. Afrobeats is doing better than hip hop, so we tend to gravitate towards it, but I still do hip hop to keep the name alive.”
Today Flowking is aiming for the world. “My punchlines can’t be understood by non-native twi speakers, but I don’t only spit deep words, I add rhythm and style so I catch the attention of those who don’t understand my language. And I always sprinkle in some English and pidgin.”
Gifted II defines Flowking Stone’s world today. The high caliber features on the album highlight his versatility and the bridges he has established: former Kumasi resident and king of afrobeats Mr Eazi, Akwaboah’s silkly highlife crooner voice, Kwesi Arthur’s youthful swag, Samini’s unchallengeable dancehall antics, along with other great talents such as Adina, Nana Yaa, Yaa Pono or Medikal.
“I am gifted with many flows and rhythms, I am gifted with the ability to make good music. I also feel every human being is gifted: this album is meant to help people look into themselves to find their gift. As we all do so, we can be one in love and peace.”
- Ghana Rap