Mohammed Ismail Sherif Kweku Frimpong (a.k.a Black Sherif, a.k.a Blacko) is a twenty-year-old Ghanaian rapper and trap star whose music is making waves in Ghana, Nigeria and the world. He’s the first Ghanaian to top the Apple Music charts in Nigeria.
His recent hit, Kwaku The Traveller, is currently topping the charts in Nigeria and Ghana and has been Shazamed more than five hundred thousand times, making it one of the biggest songs out of Africa right now.
We know you’ve heard the famous line: “Of course, I fucked up, who never fuck up? Hands in the air. No hands?” It’s had TikTok in a chokehold since it dropped.
Black Sherif’s Second Sermon (remix) featuring Burna Boy was the first time a lot of us heard him. I, for one, didn’t know who he was then. I would always search “second coming” on Youtube Music when I wanted to listen.
From the intro to the beat, it’s an earworm. It doesn’t matter whether or not you understand Twi, the language he sang most of the song in.
OG fans of Black Sherif enjoy reminding us that they’ve been listening to and enjoying his music before First Sermon was released, and although we don’t know if they want a cookie for that information, we’re very glad to have finally caught up to the Black Sherif hype.
Why’s Kwaku the Traveler travelling?
It’s in the title. Kwaku is a traveller and that’s what the song has done. Its relatability has carried it across borders. Kwaku knows he’s fucked up and admits it and goes on to ask if no one has ever fucked up before. It’s an honest question: if you’ve never fucked up, raise your hands.
Why’s Kwaku The Traveller such an important song?
1. It’s good for self-reflection
“Of course, I fucked up. Who never fuck up? Hands in the air, no hands? Still I can’t believe, you know what I mean. I was young what you expect from me? It is what it is”. Although the above lyrics read like someone who avoids responsibility, Kwaku is actually admitting guilt and letting us know what led him to this point. Those lines can also be used when you find yourself in situations that are beyond your control and you have some explaining to do.
2. It reminds you that your pace and your race are determined by you (and only you)
“I go dey run my race. I’m gonna keep my pace. ‘Cause I really have no one to blame”. “They say, when it’s on then it’s on (it’s on). You can’t stop ’til it’s done (then it’s on).” At the end of the day, your life’s journey is in your hands and it’s entirely up to you to decide what you want to do with your life.
3. It reminds you that it’s ok to fail and try again
“But I keep going on (oh, oh, oh). More like a rolling stone (ooh, oh).’Cause I have no stopping time. Can’t nobody stop a man.” Black Sheriff says it’s ok to fail and continue aspiring to perspire.
If you’ve not gotten on to Black Sherif by now, you still have time. Get listenin’.