Hardly do debut singles posses the ambition that “Balafon” has. Indeed, from its catchy chorus and afropolitan theme, D.A. Sets the tone for what to expect. Nevertheless, D.A. isn’t the only one who is ambitious in the song– the beat, produced by PROZ, is equally ambitious. In fact, the beat is aggressive, eclectic and Kanyesque (in a way), full of drums, synths of traditional instruments, and samples held together by an overall sound which is pop-ish and experimental. D.A. raps in English, French and Limbum, with the languages confidently flowing into each other as he highlights love and afropolitanism.
Back to the song’s ambition. Its excessive ambition poses a slight problem. In the course of listening to the song, I had the impression that the beat and the rap were both competing for my attention; at times I was carried away by D.A.’s experimental style, and the next minute, PROZ’s beat takes center stage (as earlier noted, the beat is highly aggressive, experimental and original). The song’s hook is one of its best moments because there is a beautiful harmony between the singing and the beat, making the hook memorable.
“Balafon” is a unique debut which arrives at a time when the Cameroonian hiphop scene is beginning to look inward for inspiration, eschewing the outward look which characterized past years.