M3NSA is a creative genius and remains one of the most politically observant artists of our time. On singles like “How Far” and “Gidigidi” and full length projects – either singularly or jointly (with fellow RedRed act, DJ Elo) or his friend and collaborator, Wanlov (one-half of FOKN Bois, a group M3NSA belongs), the two have frequently touched on social and political happenings, its nuances in Ghana and Africa. Across albums like “FOKN Wit Ewe” and “FOKN Ode To Ghana”, such themes are very prominent.
So, it’s unsurprising to hear him revisit the subject of politics and activism on “Eyes But No Eyes”. M3NSA sheds light on the disparaging attitude of politicians and people in power and how a sense of aloofness on the part of the citizenry hands them the right to treat us with contempt.
“Eyes But No Eyes” is a live recorded song. It features M3NSA on his drum machine punching away the to produce percussion sounds to coincide with his lyrics. On his side is guitarist and backing vocalist, Andras Weil.
“How come say we all dey matter inside, we all dey suffer”, M3NSA sings on the opening line of the song. He draws a picture of how the cyclical nature of our problems – everyone is affected directly or indirectly – demands a united effort at solving it. But, the selfishness and greed of some end up derailing such purpose: “you go turn around and sell out just because of dollar”, he emphasizes.
The attitude of politicians to conveniently ignore the plight of the masses who voted them into power is referenced on “Eyes But No Eyes”. “‘He catch too high to see the suffering below/ he’s too far away”, he points out.
For those who have seen M3NSA live in concert, such performance won’t be a surprise to them. He has often performed live with this kind of simple set up, often with Wanlov as his wingman. The live rendition of “Eyes But No Eyes” carries the same feel as his BBC Radio performance of “Anaa?”, off his classic ” No.1 Mango Street” album.
“Them get eyes but them no dey see/ Them get heart but them no get feel / Some too get mind but them no dey think”, the rapper/singer intones on the song’s chorus before capping it off with: “that be why we all dey inside this boat wey we dey sink”.
M3NSA remind us that, those we’ve put in power are humans whose selfish interest overrides that of the nation. And those who are in bed with them- either as supporters or keep mute over their wrongdoings – are contributing to the sinking of this country.
“Eyes But No Eyes” is M3NSA tasking us to eschew the ‘leave it to God’ (Fa ma Nyame) syndrome and rather be vigilant, assertive and hold those in power accountable.