Gambia’s best to ever do it is back again. And with it he brings a banger.
Gee, arguably one of the greatest artist to come out of the Smiling Coast, had taken a sabbatical leave from music, even changing his Twitter bio to reflect that he was a rapper. When I first got the sad news of potentially never hearing a new Gee record, I went straight to YouTube to replay Bul Falleh Nyee, the single that endeared me to the Gambian MC on a first interaction. Music and by extension art, is a piece of one’s soul, that which they willingly share with us. Yet, we constantly take this for granted, more often than not, treating it as just but a by-product. Products are easily replaceable, music is not. That should explain why even covers can never replicate an original body of work. The artists breathed their soul into that piece of work, giving it the much needed life.
And it is music, which has the power to continue one’s legacy, long after they are gone.
Day’s and months would pass by. Longer and hotter days. Colder and shorter nights. Not a word from Gee. The King had hanged his gloves. It was a wrap. Or so it seemed.
The artist breathed his own soul into that piece of work, giving it the much needed life.
But I was constantly in touch with a member of his camp and one who has grown to be a close personal friend, Jakariah. He is the one who would grant me a glimpse into the Gambian music scene, introducing us to new acts who were making equally great music. But non was like Gee. Non can ever be like Gee. Because Gee is Gee. Not A, nor B, C, D, E, F. But Gee! The Gifted. His departure had left dark clouds seemingly looming over the Gambian music industry.
In the wake of this sudden turn of events, we disparately fought a denial, trying to convince ourselves that Gee would be back because he knows how much we love him. Ooh yes he would, how dare he leave a multitude of die-hard fans, just like that? Did we wrong him? Our loudmouths and uninvited opinions must have angered the human in him. You know how we can be carelessly criticizing? It gets really draining to deal with our insatiable demands, often. But Gee was strong, he always smiled through the bullshit. Our words couldn’t cut deep enough. Deep to make him quit. Gee was never a quitter. The trail of thoughts kept bouncing…. after all, there is hope in desperation.
Still, days passed, but no sign of a comeback.
Non can ever be like Gee. Because Gee is Gee. Not A, nor B, C, D, E, F. But Gee! The Gifted.
So we poured libation, spat and chanted our forefathers’ incantations. Pleaded with the gods to bring back Gee, even if just for a single song. Okay, one album only, we silently begged the gods. And when the gloom seemed futile, we turned to celebrations, hoping the screams and shouts would attract him back. We danced and drunk and made merry. Happy as Larry but we were in a fool’s paradise. We were down in the mouth. The sun had set. A son had left.
And so it came to pass that the African God still liveth among us and our ancestors’ words do reacheth His ears. After what felt like eternity, Jakariah confided in me that our prayers were seemingly getting answered. Gee was recording new material!! Pheeeew. I let out one loooooong sigh of relief! The kind that escapes your rib cage when the lady you never planned to settle down with confirms that indeed she was not pregnant, only testing to see if you loved her, after all. Never do us like this again Gee, you fucking amazing brother.
Music really sucks one right back in.
With that, we opened a new phase in the Gambian and African music story. Being the forwardly focused people we are, that past is behind and we herein present the present, into the future Gee.
The comeback of Gee.
Shortly after announcing his return, he deservedly acquired our forgiveness with the release of Straight Outta Gambia – the collaborative mixtape. He quickly followed up with a sold out concert that proved to be the most successful in the Gambia to date.
“The #comeback event was a sold out event.. response was it was one of the best organised shows ever in Gambian history.”
However, we were not going to forgive Gee that quick. Not that fast. He had to do more. His instincts must have read our thinking and thus, Roll came to life. To cement his come back, Gee crossed over the border to employ the contribution of Dip, a fast-rising Senegalese Rap sensation on this testament record accompanied with a very dope visuals.
We reached out to Gee for the first time since he made well his comeback promise, hoping to get a comment about the new developments.
“After my retirement, ShyBoy one of the producers that worked on both of my last 2 albums left Gambia. Over a year of not communicating and him also being upset about my retirement he reached out with the instrumental because he saw me recording whiles I said I retired.”
Talking about the new release, Gee states;
“The translation of what I say on the hook is ” Ain’t number 1 but Nyeepang suma ganaw teh malen lead.”
“Meaning, I’m not number 1 but everybody else is behind me and I’m leading 😊. I release a solo version on Soundcloud and the response was great. Senegal, which is our neighbouring country and we speak the same local language had this Rapper Dip Dounda Guiss who was rising too fast and gaining popularity in both countries. I reached out and Dude opened up and invited me over to his camp.”
Ain’t number 1 but Nyeepang suma ganaw teh malen lead
Aiming to get the thinking behind the new music, we implored him further to which he revealed;
“Roll basically explains how one can’t please everyone and even being the best at what you do they’re people that would always give a lot of time and effort to see you down or do stuff to drag you. Dip is going through the exact thing I’m going through in their industry so it was a topic we can both relate to.”
Asked about his growing relationship with Dip, Gee further says:
“Dip is one of the realest artists I’ve met and worked with, that’s why I decided to invite him to my come back show and he did justice to his performance. 2 days after my event I flew in to Senegal and he had a show he was solely headlining. He asked me to come watch him. I came through and sat at the VIP enjoying his performance, next minute his assistant passed me a mic and was like your song was up next. Not knowing it was being aired on live TV! Soon as I got off stage calls n msgs from Gambia started coming in.”
“He’s making Senegal easier for me,” Gee concludes.
“And the new music… If you think Roll is hot you haven’t heard ” Lendeym” .. It was playing in 2 radio stations a few hours after releasing it on sound cloud.”
Welcome back Gee, Africa missed your immense talent and creativity. Promise to never leave us again.