The Ghanaian rap duo FOKN Bois released their first album Coz Ov Moni (“Because of money”) as a 45-minute film, which according to the subheading is the World’s 1st Pidgin Musical.
Set in Accra, the film shows a typical day in the life of two friends. All rapped or sung conversations are emphasised by a dynamic sequence of afro, reggae and dub beats, enhanced by many sequences with musical-like choreography and performances involving other actors. The story’s protagonists, FOKN Bois’ Wanlov and M3NSA, roam around the streets, collect debts, revere women, swim in the sea, eat Ghana’s national dish Fufu in a food stand — and reveal the daily life of the country’s youth. Full of self-mockery and humour, the film has little regard for conventions. While meeting many friends along the way, Wanlov and M3NSA also make several enemies, leading to a dramatic ending. Coz Ov Moni works on many levels: as a successful music album, as a fast-paced, funny film, but most of all as a piece that provides insights into Ghanaian society and youth culture. This image of Ghana, which the two artists present to an international audience via YouTube, is far more authentic than the one presented by most of their African rap colleagues, who follow North America’s lead in presenting their reality as a triptych of sexy women, fashionable clubs and expensive cars.