Best New Music: R2Bees & Gyakie Are Delightfully Melodious On “Need Your Love”
Best New Music: R2Bees & Gyakie Are Delightfully Melodious On “Need Your Love”

Best New Music: R2Bees & Gyakie Are Delightfully Melodious On “Need Your Love”

A standout off the duo's last album

The Ghanaian soundscape is unarguably influenced by Hiplife, a pristine combination of Hip-Hop’s technical awareness with the coastal splendour of Highlife. Since the late nineties till present, some of its most remarkable stars have created music which stirs at that intersection. Some others have introduced more varied sensibilities into their art, and by so doing carved a novel path.

Since the release of their 2009 debut album—aptly titled ‘Da Revolution’—R2Bees have consistently sung their way into discussions of Afropop greats. The Tema duo consists cousins Faisal Hakeem and Rashid Mugeez, known respectively as Omar Sterling and Mugeez. Their strengths are very distinct: where Mugeez is a Reggae-influenced act who usually provides the melodies and choruses, Omar is a rapper possessed by a sweet tongue, easily able to find the spot between accessibility and every rapper’s natural instinct to show off his ability.


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Last year, their fourth studio album ‘Back To Basics’ was released, a highly-anticipated project which realigned their sound within the soft-patter R&B sound they’ve done a lot to champion in contemporary Ghanaian music. Off its fifteen songs, they have pinpointed “Need Your Love”, a breezy collaboration with Gyakie, as the one deserving of a solo push and over the weekend, they proceeded in this direction.

“Need Your Love” draws from the immersive collaboration style R2Bees have perfected over the years. If you strip away the vocals of guest Gyakie, the record would still work, but it wouldn’t possess the gravitas of the actual song. As gleaned from the title, it’s a song about one’s desire for another person, relaying the tension of the chase and the cathartic quality that comes with having reached a favourable compromise. “You bring out the best in me, best believe/You got the recipe, rest in peace my feelings to my ex,” raps Omar in his verse, a brief-but-evocative showing which infuses some verbal strength to the warm vocalisations of Gyakie and his R2Bees partner.

Love has been a favoured theme of R2Bees ever since breaking out. It’s not to be considered a constant rehashing as much as an artistic vision. The duo of Slow Down and Kiss Your Hand are important records in this regard, and not just because of the exciting features of Wizkid and Wande Coal. More importantly, those records were perfectly embodying their brand’s unique appeal: cool uncle swag, a Ghanaian heritage in broader conversation with other African sounds, and stateside potential burnished by their mastery of R&B and rap. 

In the Nimi Hendrix-directed visuals of “Need Your Love”, those qualities remain fresh as ever. A skyscraper apartment plays the setting for Mugeez’s pop star-esque tryst with a lover, while Sterling prefers outdoors, the camera panning to take as much architectural detail as it can. In tune with her warm presence, Gyakie’s parts are spent under orange lights or pink flowers, in all presenting a stunning visual treatment, as befitting the lush brilliance of this record.

Watch the video for “Need Your Love” here.