IN HONOUR OF THE REGGAE/RAGGA/DANCEHALL ELDERS AND DISCIPLES


samini2In any field, there is need for sacrifice so latter folks can find life more bearable. In the case of the sweet romance that dancehall is enjoying today, it is worthy to not that the journey has not been easy but the perseverance of the elders is now paying off.

To refuse to acknowledge tedious work put in by the pacesetters can prove disastrous rendering a pregnant and promising romance to be still born and in the process shattering hopes and faith for the dancehall project which has enabled hungry lions to feed themselves, their families and have the opportunity to discover other lands.

Samini brought shine to the genre when he released his debut album ‘Dankwansere’ in 2004 with hit tracks like linda and gyae shi gaining ground quickly.

The second album dubbed ‘Samini’ won him three major awards at the 2007 Ghana Music Awards and also won the Best African Artist award at the Hip Hop Awards in Nigeria in February 2008. ‘Dagaati’ the third album followed as did ‘CEO’ in 2010.

shatta wThen in 2014, a branded Bandana turned Shatta Wale had his wish to gain recognition for his gift and hard work came true when he won the Vodafone Ghana Music Artiste of the Year award. A huge feat by any standard indicating the gradual emergence of the dancehall genre as a lethal and potent force in Ghana.

stonebuoyThen dancehall artiste, Stonebwoy retained the Artiste of the Year award for the dancehall family in the subsequent event and further grabbed the BET Best International Act award in 2015 on the first attempt.

The goodwill that dancehall is enjoying was not always there compelling some of the early soldiers to retire or abscond for years only returning recently to gauge the market. It is in this context that Emmanuel Andrew Samini deserves special mention for his stamina and his ability to dig deep into his creative reserve and remain relevant with the times.

Folks might not have taken note but Samini then going by the Batman name made a declaration on his smash hit ‘linda’ which must have been prophetic. Right at the opening of that track he announces: “Ashanti International, Batman the dancehall stopper me a sey…….” In an era where hiplife was the fish taken with kenkey, for those who doubt the man’s dancehall credibility, this clearly shows Samini was at home in either the hiplife or dancehall bed and has since birthed numerous hits too many to enumerate here.

saminiFor a time in Ghana’s music history, Samini was the currency of the music industry and it was given that when you featured the Wa native on your music, you were certain to have a hit. In the process Samini helped guarantee hits for about 40 songs spanning K.K Fosu, Kokoveli, Shiloh, King David, Obour etc.

Never one to shy away from making clear his thoughts, Samini offered ‘egwee’ in 2005 dissing all the rag-life artistes of the time making the case that he was the king and they were inferior. Ronny Coaches, one half of Buk Bak was so incensed by that tune that he slapped Samini when he physically encountered him on the set of 4×4 at Adabraka leading to a scuffle.

The rag-lifer, rapper, song writer and actor has since gone on to be nominated for the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards – Best African Act and 2008 MTV Africa Music Awards – Best Live Performer. He won the 2006 MOBO Awards for Best African Act and 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Live Performer.

His wins at the Ghana Music Awards can fill a cabinet and for organizers to fall on him to co-host the event with Obour underlines his pedigree.

The man who responds to the title ‘African Dancehall King’ has over the years offered solid music including gyae shi, time bomb, my baby, movement, dadiekye, money biz, sweet mistake, scatter bad mind, party time, iskoki and numerous other hits.

What is beyond doubt is that when awards were eluding Ghanaian artiste at the global stage, it was the Dansoman lord who put in some solid piece of creative work to emerge Ghana’s music ambassador securing some awards for self and country very much as Sarkodie, Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy are doing now.

marcus genOther elders who did music with the reggae/ragga/ dancehall flavour include General Marcus whose  ‘sane ni agba’ a rendition of Buju Banton’s song in the 90’s was so touching that it opened many doors for him even leading to his sojourn in the United Kingdom. The song addressing life’s struggles, graduate unemployment and oppression of the poor by the rich remains a timeless piece. The UK-based Ghanaian reggae musician attempted a comeback in 2006 but plans fell through.

Although not active on the music market now, 2Ga served the family one time especially with his ‘my gal’ track featuring Black Prophet.

Black Prophet is a veteran in the field and his ‘mama’ tune remains a classic.

There is Natty Joe Amanfo with his unique style who remains popular for his ‘tribal war-4 bal war’ tune.

Buk Bak’s Ronny Coaches was a formidable force in the ragga/dancehall army and helped forge solid albums including ‘kum ke kena’ in 1999, ahwehwe in 2001, nkomshe in 2001, sika kokoo in 2002, gold coast in 2004 and other rich tunes like ‘kolom’ in recent years.

fifi2From the Western region, TH4Kwagees comprising Scooby Selah now Fifi Selah, Atsu Koliko and Olasty Bingo served tunes such as ‘nana esi, ‘I’m aware’, ‘mennum meho’ and others. Selah would move on and offer the world tunes from his solo project.

stone n rockyRocky Dawuni with his afro roots, reggae, highlife and afro beats continues to create music since his in Ghana’ days.

yoggie_musicianYoggi Doggi one of the trail blazers fed music lovers with ‘wokoo ye akye’, ‘asabone’, ‘fa wa kuma mame’ with Obour, ‘menko medo’ in addition to numerous other tunes before his sojourn to Britain.

Then there is Mad Fish, although easily fingered as a hiplife artiste he also showed his other love for dancehall with tunes like ‘so sweet in the eyes’, ‘wone me baby’ and ‘sexy’.

terry terry2 terry3 terry4Of course Terry Bonchaka’s lethal combination of stage craft and easy on the ears tunes with his deep vocal tone enabled tunes like ‘Ghana mma’, ‘pulele’, ‘zozey’, ‘Mr. Ode’ and ‘Ghana lady’ to fly. Little surprise then that the man with the afro hair and comb called himself the ‘Ragga Dada’. His collaborations with Nana Agyemang were queer as they were fruitful.

Another apostle of ragga, the forerunner of today’s dancehall was Borax. The man just like many others of the time, horned his skills during the Fun World youth talent shows at the National Theater and after featuring on Deeba’s hit track got linked to Daddy Lumba who helped produce his debut album, ‘aseeho’ which produced hits like ‘nanayaa’, ‘eye onua’, ‘me coat yi’. Another album ‘odo bewu diie’ boasted ‘onko na menko’, ‘meba’ and ‘enyi no sika’. The man who loves farming in recent years offered ‘tini wusa’.

There is Back Tyre who came through with ‘yen ntem ma yen pue’ and Root Eye whose comeback tune ‘heaviest rain’ underscored the fact that he still had the touch.

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Sonni Balli remains another soldier of the family deploying tunes like ‘cocky rasta, ‘bend my rules’ and ‘afrakumaa’ to appease the hungry fans.

Akesifuor’s ‘african gurl’ was well received as was Wutah’s ‘burning desire’ just as Shasha Marley’s ‘maata family’, ‘so nyame mu’ and ‘twin city mafia’ landed well.

trigRAS KUUKU - PROFILEKazuka’s ‘dirty dancing’ with Richie and ‘champion’ done with Trigmatic fell on fertile ears so did Ras Kuuku’s ‘ene yebeshi’, ‘adie bekye a’ and ‘father’ tunes.

kwame partanshatta rakoKwame Partan’s ‘onipa’ and ‘awurade neme nkwagye’ registered his name as did Shatta Rako’s ‘sete’, ‘animal farm’ and ‘killing the game’ remix.

4x4Abortion now Coded’s dancehall flavoring of the 4×4 group in tunes like ‘waist and power’ and ‘chaka zulu’ are noted as is his ‘oh no’ jingle.

Atumpan’s ‘the thing’, ‘we run the show’ and ‘regina’ earned him a spot as does Bredren B’s ‘adwoa fowaa’ and ‘life’ tunes.

EdemEdem sneaks into the pack with his ‘ghetto arise’ anthem and ‘wicked and bad’ package done with Coded.

iwan3Iwan the Lyrical Gunshot has seen better days with ‘thanks and praise’, ‘tell ‘em again’, ‘who’s bad’, ‘dreamer of dreams’ and ‘still love me’ tunes.

muggezMugeez for his ragga/dancehall offerings on ‘slow down’ and ‘killing me softly’ earns a call up.

blakk rasta joni blaze2 logicOther soldiers including Shoetan one time member of Buk Bak, Skrew Face, Felix Bell, Kojo Antwi, Blakk Rasta, Mr. Logic, Daddy Bosco, Black Santino, Knii Lantei and Johnny Blaze have all served the reggae/ragga/dancehall family. Not to forget all the musicians who did various Jesus tunes in the reggae/dancehall spirit but won’t just acknowledge it.

abrewa-nanaFor many moons, female representation was nonexistent till heavy lipped Dorcas Opoku Darkwa easily identified as Abrewa Nana stepped in and took charge delighting fans with tunes such as ‘odo filla’ and ‘asisi me so’. Nana’s wordplay and energetic stage work coupled with her over 3 albums certainly stands out.

shatta (3)The case of Bandana is a curious one. Here was a fella who gained national attention with his ‘moko ho’ tune then entered the musical wilderness only to reemerge years later as Shatta Wale. Having discovered himself during those lonely years, Shatta has managed to carve an impressive career on his return.

shattaaGoing by the tag ‘African King of Dancehall’ Shatta’s ‘dancehall king’, ‘anastasia’, ‘a Ghana me sey’, ‘everybody like my thing’, ‘real hustler’, ‘maserati’, ‘huggu flat’, ‘ice cream’ and ‘enter the net’ have all earned the Korle Gonno godfather hard core followers around the globe in addition to fame, fortune and awards.

It is incisive for current reggae/dancehall practitioners to know the work put in by the elders, respect their efforts and then build on ways of keeping the shine on dancehall. Just a few years back it was unthinkable that a dancehall artiste would win the biggest award at a Ghana Music Awards event but such is the story.

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Kaakie deserves special mention for contributing to the revival of female participation in dancehall music in the country with her ‘too much’, ‘DC turn up’, ‘ewoo’, ‘toffee pun tongue’ tunes.

MZVEE5Mzvee keeps the fire on with her,‘natural girl’, ‘bokor bokor’, ‘revolution’ and ‘dancehall queen’ tunes

ak songstreeWhile AK de Songtress, the Dancehall Empress keeps it in the rude gyal vein with ‘funky fresh’, ‘ghetto cry’ ft. Sizzla, ‘rude gyal bad gyal’, ‘machine man’ ft. Stonebwoy and ‘6 packs’ music.

stonebThere comes a time in a man’s life when everything falls in place. For Stonebwoy that year was 2014. With his in-demand tunes like ‘not again’, ‘climax’, ‘can’t cool’, ‘pull up’, ‘ghetto love’, ‘onumade’, ‘baafira’, ‘shikena’ and ‘susupon’, the Ashiaman don and leader of the Bhim nation is certainly enjoying the perks involving cash, global exposure, the damsels, awards and prominence.

Dancehall’s future looks bright with the youth swaying towards the genre and carving out something for themselves.

bastero23 jupiter rashid-metal-baafira-attackAlready soldiers such as Jupitar de General, Episode, Rashid Metal, Rudebwoy Ranking, Bastero, Ara B, Vbrant Faya and Stargyal Denora are staking a claim. Only time will tell how long the dancehall romance will last with the populace.

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WASN’T THE GABONESE EXPERIENCE NICE SHATTA WALE AND GURU?


shatt gabonIn interviews and songs, Ghanaian musicians have been heard saying that their grandest dream is to win a Grammy award. Even seasoned and highly decorated artistes have made such pronouncements.

For years I for my part have reckoned that our Ghanaian artistes need not worry their heads over earning a Grammy so as to be acknowledged in America and Europe rather focusing and making a conscious effort to ‘cultivate’ and ‘harvest’ loyal fans in at least 30 countries out of the 54 on the continent is the way to go.

Imagine Sarkodie, Samini, Shatta Wale, VVIP, Obour, Stonebwoy, 4×4, Efya, Mzvee, Mzbel, AK de Songstress, Kaakie, Amakye Dede, Lumba, Kojo Antwi, Rex Omar, Kwesi Oteng, Grace Ashy, Obaapa Christie, No Tribe and countless others being household names in say Sierra Leone, Gambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Congo, Togo and Somalia.

For so called managers of the Ghanaian artistes, the critical job is to make inroads in other countries such that the artistes’ music is played regularly on radio and television such that event organizers make contact to have those artistes headline shows far away from Ghana. By so doing the artistes stay relevant and make money at home and on the continent. With that Europe has no choice but to invite the artiste for shows and feature them on the charts.

This proposal might have been ignored but the recent Gabon experience might encourage managers to heed the plan. It appears Gabonese event organizers have found love for the Ghanaian acts.

In January, Kaakie was invited to perform in Gabon  thanks to AFJ Productions and Airtel Gabon for the ‘Tous Derrière Les Pantheres’ (All Behind the Panthers) show. That show went well and then in September Shatta Wale and Guru as well as Ruff n Smooth had their invitation. It must be said that the love shown to our Ghanaian entertainers was massive indicating that when the right work is put in place language ought not be a barrier.

To say that Wale received perhaps the warmest reception in his career would be saying the gospel thanks to the huge crowd which welcomed and sustained him through his performance. Ras Deportee, a close ally of Shatta and Wale himself have opined that the Gabonese experience was fulfilling as they made good money and were shown some amazing love.

Sample Shatta’s performance here:

https://www.facebook.com/lawrence.n.hanson/videos/10204831320415512/

gabon guru gabon guru2On 12th September 2015, Guru rocked Gabon’s Le Grand Concert with an electrifying performance which saw thousands sing his tunes back to back.

Enjoy the display by Guru in Gabon:

https://youtu.be/FMPmcanybxc

BRING BACK OUR OBOUR


OBOUR downMost musicians and especially those of the hiplife fraternity tend to be brash and daring in their first singles and even on the whole album.

In a cluttered market, they must make noise to be heard and it perhaps explains why they throw challenges. For some, their first commercial music remains priceless and secures them occupancy in the music realm.

Obrafuor’s ‘Pae Mu Ka’, and Tinny’s ‘Makola Kwakwei’ can be mentioned so can Obour’s ‘Atentenben’ album and track bearing the same be cited.

obour truck 2Using allegory, poetry, simile, metaphor and personification, Obour was as explosive as he was captivating. Here him in ‘Atentenben’:

//Light a spliff y’all

Should a road obstacle be present, shall traverse it with speed

Should it be a nut, would pound it ‘pim pim’

Should it be fufuo, shall swallow it ‘tim tim’

When cold, better sleep before the cold overbears you

Chorus: I am fearsome, Obour I am fearsome

Able to roll a stretch of road like mat

Vocal delivery breaks down buildings, if in doubt you can bear witness

Hurry and witness my deeds as if they were on a mirror

Even when shot at, shall bend the bullet

Can use the teeth to chew glass

Can even dance ‘Adowa’ using bare bottoms

Never snores lest sleep dominates me

When Lucifer is engaged for a game of ‘dami’, overwhelms him just as I overpower him in a game of ‘ludo’

Whiles others have difficulties being porters of heavy load, I use one hand to lift loads

I run on slippery slopes

Beverage which dazes many, I drink and stand strong

Spliffs which make folks to flounder, I smoke 16 rolls with ease

Not short yet not tall

Not a noise maker yet not an introvert

Rivers serve as my mirror

Taken on hundreds of men yet haven’t tasted defeat

Without wings yet flies as a hawk

Chorus: upon hearing my deeds, you must be petrified

Surprised? I chew iron roads with my teeth

Can grind you into flour

Have laid so a truck loaded with cement can pass over me without being killed or torn

What folks can’t do in the day, I perform at the break of dawn//

obour ground obour truck obour wildObour was so spectacular in his audio delivery and flawless in the video that it became a matter of debate as to if indeed Bice Osei Kufuor could chew glass, cart away a fully loaded truck with his bare hands or indeed sprout from the earth as the video suggested. Little wonder then that ‘Atentenben‘ won three awards for Soul Records at the Ghana Music Awards in 2002 including Video of the year.

Obour1Obour was gingerly as he was fit and his lean frame aided his jumping and running. But in life except all other things being equal we don’t always have our way and so it is that a once fit ‘broda’ is today mocked for his plump frame especially his belly.

ObourWhen one is tasked with a busy life style, health can suffer and in the MUSIGA president’s case, a charitable match in Kumasi pushed forward the need to engage in a series of action to regain fitness especially when the jersey could barely contain the bulge Obour had. Stunned observers and acrimonious ones took the chance to impugn wastefulness of the MUSIGA purse.

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Thankfully, the ‘Dekyemenso’ native heeded wise counsel and has begun a program to shed some weight and already about 10 kg have been burnt although more work lies ahead.

Obour2While food surely can lead to increase and decrease of weight when not consumed in a balanced way, late night eating is the true culprit as the body has little time to work on the ingested particles before sleep leading to bloated tummies of which the president of the Musicians Union of Ghana got exposed by so wickedly.

Certain folks can be plump yet catching a glimpse of them is not displeasing to the eye. Such folks including Hammer and Zap Mallet although are fleshy have the advantage of height so counter the unpleasant sight of being fat and short. Obour lacks a few inches in height and explains why although there are other potbellied media folks like Henry Harding aka Papa Nii and Psalm Adjeteyfio he was fingered for special lambasting.

Thankfully Ben Asare, a fitness instructor whom Obour is working with seems keen to ensure the musician is delivered of his load in the midsection. Weighing 113kg some months before the media onslaught, the ‘Mesu Daiye’ hitmaker strives to reach the 70 kilos mark thanks to much exercise, good sleep, healthy eating involving soups, oatmeal, fruits and vegetables.

“I made a firm decision to do it for those who care about me, as a leader, I needed to do it. I had started snoring and could not play football as I used to do in the past so I realized I needed to do something about my weight,’’ he said.

Months into the lifestyle change Obour conceded: “ I can now fit comfortably in my clothes and the feeling is just great. No more tight fitting attires. And my tummy has gone down too.”

Seeking a second term for any president is never easy and such is the fate which faces the MUSIGA president who wants the music family to elect him again to complete his projects but who faces stiff competition from good old Gyedu-Blay Ambolley whom he beat last time around but has continuously heaped hot coal on the ‘Kokontiba’ musician.

For Ambolley, Akosua Adjapong and likeminded folks, Obour’s divide and rule tactics cannot be countenanced and must be booted out but the University of Ghana alumnus is not one to be cowered.

His sheer victory bringing him to power astonished many who wrote him off considering the opposition he faced (Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Nana Tuffour, Willie Roy) and it appears the ‘Stone’ remains resolute in the face of adversity.

obour campaignOn why he deserves a second term as a MUSIGA president, the social campaigner states that he has brought goodwill to the MUSIGA brand, put in structures to address disputes and internal affairs, sought the financial welfare of members, organized the MUSIGA ball, given young musicians the chance to shine at administrative work while tapping into the wisdom and experience of the elderly.

obour.comThe Adwinfi and Family Tree Entertainment label boss is not averse to adversity but one who embraces it and forges on. On December28, 2003 a near death accident for Obour which claimed the life of his then girlfriend at Lartebiokoshie could have ended his thriving career but Obour rose to the challenge shooting a record breaking video ‘Men Wu Biom’ estimated to have cost 32m cedis in 2004 chronicling his victory over death.

obour dance obour performance obour skyAnd in similar fashion, Bice Osei Kufour; Ghana’s music export, the poet and inventor of heart pumping stage performances must not be allowed to waste in ‘Obeseland’, he ought to be encouraged by all music lovers to continue to write music and perform them to keep the body in action whether he wins the MUSIGA bid for the second time or not.

His albums include Atentenben, Akademua, Dondo and Atumpan. The first recipient of the World Bank Music for Development Award has churned out classics including Palm Wine, Konkontiba, Atentenben, Me Su Dayie, Nana Obour and sounds done with highlife icon A.B Crentsil.

obour awardThe 34 year old has in his career won the hiplife artiste of the year, hiplife sound of the year, hiplife album and most popular song awards.

JOEY B AND PAPPY KOJO CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE MY USED CLOTHES-SARKODIE


sarkkAward winning rapper and musician Michael Kwesi Owusu Addo easily availed himself for interviews prior to the launch of his 4th album at the West Hills Mall and while on Hitz FM being hosted by new recruit Dr. Pounds, the leader of  the Sark nation made a startling revelation albeit made in the humorous vein.

pappy-kojo-realer-no-joey-b-mvpappy n joey“What Joey wants to do which can hurt is…you see after dropping a used clothing…he is a good keeper so every Saturday after doing the laundry, he comes to possess some of my clothing… the torn trousers… Now Pappy Kojo has joined. After my body has tasted clothing it goes to this 2.”

Sarkodie1The illuminati hitmaker made this known while Joey had been brought on the line and while it seemed to be good humour, the ‘tonga’ hitmaker shifted gear entreating folks to attend the mall event and show Sark some love. It remains to be seen if fashion observers can track certain clothes put on by Sark which might have found their way on the bodies of Joey and Pappy.

pounds2Still on Sark’s visit to Hitz FM, Mr. Addo explained to host Dr. Pounds that “the media plays a critical role in the work of an artist but an artist also holds opinion. I have never been a mean person rather I am a calm person but am growing more confident. As I advance my career I am constrained by my brand and can’t do certain things but that is not arrogance” he opined.

Dr DuncanThe discovery story of Sarkodie cannot be told without the contribution of ex Adom FM and X FM presenter Dr. Duncan being mentioned and so when the initiator of the ‘oh joe’ phrase was brought on line, Sarkodie paid homage and thanked the fleshy man for his love and care while Duncan for his part blessed his prodigy for keeping the shine on and making all proud’.

strongman‘Obidi’ mentioned Strongman and Teephlow as being the young cats he currently enjoys as he loves their style.

Asked in what way he loved to give back to Adom FM, being the station on whose platform the ‘Kasahare’ show exposed him to the world, the ‘Bounce’ musician stated should Adom FM offer a platform to host music lovers for free, he is willing to perform his songs for free till everyone is exhausted.

REGGIE ROCKSTONE AND THE HIPLIFE GRAND DEBATE


hiplifeThe history of Hiplife cannot be written without noting some names. For the most part, Reggie Rockstone has been mentioned as the grand papa of Hiplife but some names deserve credit and mentionHiplife is a fusion of hiphop and highlife; Ghana’s premier indigenous dance music. For a hiplife track to hold its own it needs two elements:

  1. A sample from highlife which must ride a solid thumping beat.
  2. It needs a rap or rhyme delivered over the sample in Twi, Ga, Ewe, Hausa or in Pidgin English and the rhyme must be fluid and full of clever metaphors.

Now in 1993 there was a group managed by Panji Anoff named ‘talking drums’ made up of Kweku T and partner Abeiku Ribeiro, they released their very first hiplife track in 93, a twi rap song titled ‘Aden’ but by then the term HIPLIFE had not been coined.

regIt wasn’t until 3 years later in 1996 that Reggie Rockstone and then co-starter of Vibe FM Michael Cook coined the term Hiplife with Reggie polishing and dropping a twi rap track called ‘Tsoo Boi’, it caught on like wild fire.

Obrafour pae obrafuo ok okyeame-quophiemzbelino1But after Kweku T, Abeiku, Reggie and Nananom as well as Akyeame blazed the trail, the hiplife phenomenon really caught on with soldiers Obrafuor entering in 98, TicTac in 99 and Lord Kenya, NFL, Buk Bak, Nkasei, VIP, TH4kwagges and the 1st lady of hiplife Mzbel propagating it’s message and ideals resulting in it being a chief source of employment for many youth.

The reckoning that Reggie often seeks glorification to the neglect of other pioneers is at the heart of the recent hiplife storm. For years Reggie in interviews paints the picture of coining the hiplife term without referencing even Mike Cook with whom the name was birthed. Another let down is the non-mention of the input Kweku T and Abeiku offered in the early days to what is now hailed as hiplife.

ZAPP 1obrafuor hammerImmense recognition has to also be accorded Panji Anoff for producing perhaps the first true hiplife tune in ‘Aden’ as much as love shown Zapp Mallet, Hammer and Jay Q for their efforts.

It is appropriate to also mention record houses Kassa Records, Black Label, Home Base, Kays Frequency, Super Kass, Noize Management, Slip Music, Abib Records, Soul Records, Precise Music, Goodies Music, Agiecoat Music, Frimprince and Lisarf.

ohene dOm Studious, Hush Hush, Phamous, Stip, Em Klan deserve praise for offering solid visuals which lifted and continue to lift the hiplife tunes.

manifest edem (5)It is worthy to note that in all of the argument, the one true bar of hiplife by which all other hiplifers continue to be measured is the Executioner also known as Obrafuor. It is little wonder that current heavyweights Edem, Manifest and Sarkodie point to Mike Kwabena Elliot Darko as the one who so intrigued them to pursue music.

obuorThe verdict is also out there as to whom the larger public associates with hiplife. When hiplife started taking root and corporate groups sought ambassadors to represent their brands one could recall the Obrafuor-Tic Tac Ashfoamer campagin which fetched both guys 10 million cedis each in 2001, BukBak was used for the u-touch mobile promo, Obour did promo work for Pepsi. Abrewanana and Obrafuor did work for the Kasapeko brand, Reggie did endorsement for Guinness stout whiles Nescafe enrolled VIP, KK Fosu, Tinny and Batman for the Nescafe crème ad as did Samini for the MTN ambassadorial deal.

Reggie-RockstoneAlthough not the most prolific and one who has made the most money from the game, 49 year old Reginald Osei has chalked some successes such as recording with Beanie Man on the The King meets the King track.

Again Reggie is perhaps the one who got his videos shown on Channel O the earliest before other Ghanaian acts followed. There were also the World Music Network deal, varied international music festival appearances as well as making appearances on billboard magazine.

Rockstone however has not sold close to BukBak’s Sika Kokoo album even when he released his first 3 albums plus his Plan Ben single.

It is worthy to note that the Specefon Legend of 2003 did not release any album from 1999 to 2003 and often had long spells where he was musically inactive. This might also explain why other cats have more albums than he does.

Reggie Rockstone certainly cannot lay claim to inventing rap that is a battle for Gyedu Blay Ambulley and his peers to wage. What Reggie can co-lay claim to, is coining the term hiplife for a music which involves using rap either in indigenous languages or English to communicate over a highlife inspired or sampled beat.

kweku tToday Kweku Tutu earns his bread on a South African radio station whiles other pioneers have passed on or veered into other fields. Thankfully we still have Obrafuor, Barima Sydney, Obour, Okyeame Kwame and Reggie himself still supplying us our music doses.

‘AMAZING CHILD REALITY SHOW’ WINS BIG AT TELEVISION AWARDS, NEW SEASON BECKONS IN SEPTEMBER


amazin-childTV Africa’s ‘Amazing Child’ reality show emerged victorious from the Accra International Conference Center after shrugging off stiff challenge from competitors to scoop multiple awards at the second edition of the Television Awards Ghana 2015.

television-awards-ghanaThe Accra International Conference Center served as the attraction point for media operatives, government functionaries, industry captains and entertainment barons as the show designed to reward hardworking TV personnel took flight on 14th August 2015.

The awards ceremony was co- hosted by humour merchant Derrick Kobina Bonney simply identified as DKB and the irrepressible Afia Schwarzenegger.

2015-tv AwardsYesterday’s Prime Time Awards follows the Industry Awards held last week. ‘Amazing Child’ secured awards in all the children’s show categories winning the:

Outstanding Children Show – Amazing Child (TV Africa)

Most Popular Children Show – Amazing Child (TV Africa)

While shrugging off competition from ‘Talented Kids’ of TV3 and Multi TV’s ‘Kids Paradise’.

Tv-AfricaThe Most Outstanding Individual Performance in the television children’s show category was also won by Ama Nhiraba of ‘Amazing Child’ indicative that the ‘Amazing Child Reality Show’ is touching base with the hearts and minds of Ghanaians.

The industry and prime time awards were determined by a faculty which consists of representatives of all the TV stations. Additionally a public voting system was aggregated to choose winners for certain categories such as the Most Popular Children’s Show which attracted a 100% public voting from fans.

Aside ‘Amazing Child’ winning big, TV Africa’s ‘Egya Pa’ won the Most Outstanding Television Talk Show of the year beating the Delay Show, A Different View with Gina West and the La Gata discussion programme to win the award.

Meanwhile the new season of the ‘Amazing Child Show’ is set to make a return in September 2015.

AFIA SCHWARZENEGGER AND HER ‘ABEN WOHA SHOW’


Afia-SchwarzeneggerBy now even hard core haters of Valentina Nana Agyeiwaa also known as Afia Schwarzenegger can testify that the mother, wife, radio and TV host is a creative force who cannot easily be tamed.

To think that just 7 years ago, this in-demand lady was an unknown quantity baffles many but such is the red hot form the former star of the Afia Schwarzenegger Show is in that already she has provided her set of skills for Hitz FM, Happy FM, eTV, UTV and now Kasapa FM.

afia shwaaThere is nothing out of the blue on her new show code named the ‘Aben Woha Show’ which airs from 10 am to 12 noon on week days but already Valentina is drawing in the numbers.

Often, the show opens with old time gospel tunes from the 90’s from stars such as Abawa Cornie, Mama Esther, Tagoe Sisters and others from that stellar squad with Afia singing along.

Other genres such as highlife and urban music also have representation as does Afia’s comical LPM’s coupled with doses of proverbial sayings and historical tit bits.

Afia’s formula which is being part abrasive, part endearing and part comical seems to be working the magic as the number of WhatsApp messages and phone-ins suggest assisted by Benduka the producer.

For a station which is less that 3 months old and a programme even younger, the striking thing about the ‘Aben Woha’ mid morning show is the sheer volume of adverts the show commands easily translated to revenue.

One cannot tell if the jingles are rolled over from mother station Starr FM or are as a result of Kasapa’s sale and marketing team but already Ghacem, Star Assurance, End-Point Homeopathy Clinic, Winzol Dewormer, Herb Afrik and Mandigo Bitters handlers have all fallen on the Adabraka based station to help them reach targeted audiences to boost sales figures and beat the competition.

The greatest bane of Choice 102.3 FM from whom EIB Network acquired the frequency was that adverts were not flowing in to enable management adequately remunerate staff, pay utility bills and innovate.

In 2010 when I worked at the station as a news guy and sales officer, the trauma I underwent was with difficulties in persuading potential clients to do business with the station, as they maintained to advertise on Choice with no result, they would rather advertise on Peace FM and Joy FM for 4 times the rate knowing they would reach their targeted audiences.

Not even attempts by my immediate boss then, PNC’s Youth Organizer Abu Ramadan who was the sales head to offer barter terms could assuage their skepticism. It is tragic that a station which groomed the likes of Jon Germain, Yaw Ampofo Ankrah, Kafui Dey and had Tommy Annan Forson fell from such grace while peers Joy FM and Radio Gold continue to thrive.

So to see the immediate transformation on that same frequency delights and at times intrigues me indicating that programming, positioning and prudent management makes a critical difference in the life of a radio station.

Afia incorporates Facebook comments from fans into her show endearing herself even more to them as they can’t have enough of her. She proves she is a cunning fellow who continues to give fellow presenters a run for their money. On one occasion Afia asked listeners to offer the English name for local delicacy ‘kulikuli’ and the volume of resultant response was disarming. Her lovers without a doubt show their affection in tonnes.

As with most gifted folks, Valentina Agyeiwaa’s weakness is use of abrasive and risqué language which can be tasteless, if only she could contain some of her urges, the future promises to be even brighter for the radio/ TV host, actress and humour merchant.

It is increasingly becoming clear that it isn’t for nothing that Kasapa 102.3 FM maintains that its presence ‘adzi bebia.’