Their banter is couched in such coded terms that it takes one with a keen sense of observation to make it out. Ideally there shouldn’t be a fuss about what each fella does but life being what it is offers many inexplicable situations.
For starters Blakk Rasta of Barack Obama fame is a radio presenter over many year’s standing in addition to his musical gifts so it was of little wonder that upon relocating to Accra from the Western Region his taxi driver show aired from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm is the benchmark for reggae shows indicative of his massive following, stance on certain subjects, choice of music and general showmanship.
But increasingly Rasta has made it a habit to reiterate his role in reviving the fortunes of reggae music in the country when others berated and denigrated the genre such that folks linked with the music form were tagged as riffraffs leading many to opt for other music forms.
It is common to also hear “if tune is not good, I won’t play it and no one can compel me to as I don’t charge anyone to play the reggae tunes on my show” from the man who calls himself the ‘kuchoko legend’.
One is also made aware of the decades he has been involved in the hosting of reggae shows right from Wa through his sojourn in Takoradi to Accra and that no one could topple him.
One complaint of Blakk Rasta is that other reggae presenters refuse to play his music even though they are solid and comparable to any played on their shows.
Another is that he does not play enough Ghanaian reggae tunes so in response he played only Ghanaian reggae tunes on a particular day.
Now the bemusing thing is that on at least one occasion I have head Rasta acknowledge that Fifi Selah helped on a couple of his love songs and gave him a shout-out perhaps in response to certain claims made by Selah.
Blakk Rasta can be a funny chap when he chooses to often one hears appellations he offers himself such as ‘reggae mu bansri’, nika mu brodzi, , reggae president and such terms as ‘oba yishi allo’, me badder-me rougher and me dreader than them among others.
Blakk Rasta is a solid presenter and his ability to play old and new reggae tunes at ease as well as offer his listeners tunes from Jamaica, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana and beyond shows he’s got industry networked people not to talk about his immensely popular ‘African History Class’ where Afro centric and often hidden truths get exposed to the great chagrin of the powers that be.
Being that Blakk Rasta virtually held listeners captive during the Drive Time at Goodnews FM in Takoradi his path must have crossed with one time TH4 Kwagges member Fifi Selah who was also based in Takoradi. For a while Fifi appeared on Blakk Rasta’s show as guest when Rasta took charge at Hitz 103.9 FM.
For a while Rasta seemed to have been a partner of Selah in advancing his music before Selah landed the Pluzz 89.9 FM job as host of the Reggae Embassy show which airs from 1 pm to 3pm on weekdays.
There are a couple of reggae shows in town but the Reggae Embassy diplomat appears to be the one often at the end of Blakk Rasta’s dig. What is beyond doubt is that whiles Blakk Rasta has endorsed good old reggae as the music of substance and personal favourite Fifi Selah has emerged as the apostle of dancehall music even though he is relatively new in the game.
Whiles Selah’s forte is not in history, he plays a good number of dancehall tunes and in the process offer underground dancehall artiste the chance to have their music heard.
For a while I doubted if Blakk and Selah were having a dig at each other till 7th April 2015 erased any doubt. Selah had played Blakk Rasta’s ‘dem pose’ tune and this followed: “even if they backbite we, we support them still.” It was veiled but the mistrust and hurt were there.
Before this, on one occasion a caller phoned into the show and expressed his fascination with dancehall music whereupon Selah noted: “ei you, make you no make some people hear you o, dem say dancehall be nothing o”.
Clearly something is not quite right between Fifi Selah and Blakk Rasta, no matter how the try to veil it. I urge both men to smoke the peace pipe and settle the difference. If it is a case of one being ungrateful or the other expecting to be given a reward or appreciated, I believe an amicable understanding can be reached for the sake of reggae/dancehall. Perhaps I am seeing things which are non-existent for which reason I shall be glad. May Jah guide our paths.