These Are The Inspiration Behind Every Track On ‘Madina to The Universe’ Album

Ever wondered what the thought process of your favourite artist is like and what inspired that favourite track of yours?

Well, Ghanaian rap artist M.anifest let us into his world as he shared the inspiration behind every single track on the newly released album Madina to The Universe.

Released on Thursday, November 18, 2021 (two days ahead of his birthday), the 15-track album with features from Adekunle Gold, Vic Mensa, M3nsa, Patoranking, Ladipoee, Moliy and Tiggs Da Author is M.anifest’s 5th full studio album.

Oya, let’s head to the inspiration behind every single track and don’t forget to stream Madina To The Universe from below. Perhaps, these will shape your listening.

1. MTTU

Prod. MikeMillzOn’Em

The album title was birthed from a lyric on this song; “Madina to the universe on every verse.” It’s about being a dreamer from Madina facing the realization of being on the precipice of something monumental. It’s a statement of ambition that sets the tone for the project.

2. Confusion

Prod. Juls

This one is a portrait of chaos cast over a beautiful and borderline happy highlife-influenced production from my long-time comrade Juls. I love contrast. And this song needed to be just that to hammer home the idea of a dystopian place where the shadows came to dance.

3. Scorpio Flow

Prod. Drvmroll (Co-Prod Rvdical the Kid)

The energy on this one is the fierce and relentless rapper me. My whole career has been me standing firm and unapologetic about being in the tradition of uncompromising lyricists. This song personifies that. Choose your path and aim for the peak with a scorpio’s zeal.

4. Bob and Weave ft. M3nsa

Prod. Rvdical the Kid

Aside from that incredible hook from the homie M3nsa, the most compelling lyric on this song for me is “6-year-old chaperoning 3-year-old sibling.” It’s a constant sight you see in these Ghana streets; to the point it’s not even jarring anymore. Not because parents of these kids taking on adult responsibilities don’t care, but because they’re likely bobbing and weaving thru every day demands of life. It’s the way of the free market; competitive and filled with ducking blows every round.

5. Best For You ft. LADIPOE

Prod. Rvdical the Kid

This is a letter to my mom. There isn’t a person on earth who has prayed for my well being and success more than she has. Beyond love and appreciation for her, this song is my promise to always do “my best for you.” LADIPOE understood the assignment and penned a moving letter to his mom as well in a complimentary vein.

6. No Fear ft. Vic Mensa & Moliy

Prod. MikeMillzOn’Em & Rvdical the Kid

If you ever go sky diving or you take on a challenge everyone considers you nuts for, play this song. It’s a soundtrack for fearlessness. Vic has been a favourite since I stumbled on Innanetape. Our rapport is beyond music since we connected. He blessed this with high-level lyricism and Moliy came through with the melodic cherry on top.

7. Weeping Clouds

Prod. Rvdical the Kid

I wrote this from a sore place in a vulnerable time of my life. It is a reflection on depression and mourning… hence “weeping clouds.” The subject is heavy but I felt a strong urge to make it celebratory. The horns channel the energy of jama music, often used by sports fans in Ghana to project a fighting spirit. I imagined taking to the streets of Accra with a brass band, providing needed release to everyone burdened with life’s traumas.

8. Game Over ft. Adekunle Gold 

Prod. Yung D3mz

This one right here is magical. I sent the beat over to AG as soon as I heard it with one of those I-know-for-sure texts; “I have the perfect record for us bro!”  They say “what is understood doesn’t need to be spoken;” he responded in less than half an hour with a sketch of his vocals. Unapologetic love was easy to write about;  it’s a life philosophy. I’ll probably be performing this at a couple of weddings in the future.

9. Unicorn Flow 

Prod. MikeMillzOn’Em & Rvdical the Kid

I’m a unicorn in my world. It’s the reason I move the way I do daily. The idea came from a temporary feeling of losing my GPS. Fortunately, I often lay low and reflect and get back on my path. You can call this one a note to self. I asked my mother to send me a voice note about how I was as a kid and she absolutely did the Lord’s work. I hope her soul smiles when she hears this record for the first time.

10. La Vida

Prod. Øbed

Top-down in a vintage car running wild with a lover is the vibes on this one. The bounce on this is so smooth and wavey. It came to me on one of those after midnight listening sessions alone on my front porch.

11. Clean and Pure ft. Patoranking

Prod. Willo Pack

I’ve loved how authentic rastas speak since I was a child. Their philosophies are simple but so fire. Clean and pure is me channelling a down to earth rasta philosophy. Move clean and pure and you will be undisturbed about opinions of road-blockers. Patoranking has been killing it on this type of vibe since time. He owned this so effortlessly. It was a powerful first collaboration between us.

12. E No Easy ft. Tiggs Da Author

Prod. Drvmroll

E no easy is a tale of conversations with two hitchhikers I randomly pick up whilst driving around town. I’m a big fan of Tiggs. He’s absolutely one of those gifted versatile artists that will jump on your record and bring a one-of-one feel to it. This song was born from our first studio link up, just chopping it up and playing each other unreleased music. The outcome was “e no easy,” a human story of feeling the world falling on you when you have very little means.

13. 1000 Ways

Prod. MikeMillzOn’Em

First time I heard Jorja Smith’s blue lights I had it on repeat. There was something visceral about it I connected with. About the fifth listen I found myself murmuring some thoughts. I forgot about it till deep into the lockdown when I was sessioning with MikeMilllzOn’Em (producer) at home. Something provoked my memories of the murmurings, I recorded it to a click and we began building the music around it. There are so many vulnerable memories of love in my soul, and this was one that had to be let out. An ode to an “I got your back love” and a 1000 ways to reciprocate it.

14. Scars

Prod. Yung D3mz

I remember vividly stories of most of my physical scars; from okada exhaust pipe burns to unremarkable marks on my face from being a mischievous adventurous child. All of these physical scars pale in comparison to the ones I got from life experiences. I wanted to write about scars cause they’re not ugly; they’re simply beautiful reminders of lessons learned along the way that make us who we are.

15. Blessings

Prod. Rvdical the Kid

The drums on this record were originally Hip-Hop. I had to finesse my very talented and opinionated producer homie, Rvdical the Kid, to switch it up to a more familiar afro riddim after I laid down the hook. I spoke into existence blessings falling down on me. It’s the kind of hopefulness I felt compelled to express to close out this album’s journey, as life’s journey continues.

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