Popular opinion has it that Sarkodie is the best rapper in the Ghanaian music industry. But opinion is cheap, everyone owns one.
To hell with it, I even used to think that Wanlov should win musician of the year every year at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards, but he never wins and that was my opinion and it cost me nothing. See?
But it would seem popular opinion in the Ghana music industry would need to be called on as the ultimate judge in the war that might follow after, M.anifest opened a can of worms with his latest single, godMC. With godMC’s literal attack on [almost] everyone in the music industry, I can sense a beef brewing.
I reckon almost all the rappers M.anifest mentioned in the song (both directly and indirectly) would want to reply to him, but it is Sarkodie’s reply that I am looking forward to.
It is Sarkodie’s reply that might create the beef I expect. After all, majority of the song is full of punchlines that are direct jabs at the self-acclaimed King Sark. And a Sarkodie-M.anifest beef may be all that the Ghanaian music industry needs right now.
Where is the Ghanaian fan’s equal share of the Twitter rants, diss tracks and banter that accompanies a musical beef?
To steal a paragraph from my colleague, Joey Akan at Ringier’s “Monday Musings”, “Beef in itself is good for the art. Although in the Western cultures, it tends to spill blood and result in loss of life, in Africa, our artistes and all their representatives lack that amount of conviction mixed with hatred to pull off a killing because of beef. No one has that guts, We are too conscious of our status to compromise our careers on it.”
Sarkodie as rapper has become nothing less than an egomaniac, his latest songs are basically full of praise for himself and indirect jabs at anyone.
And for a while, he has gone almost unopposed with this just as he has gone unopposed in his claim to the title of “King of Ghana rap”.
I have seen beefs in music all over the world. I have paid special and close attention to G.O.O.D Music vs. YMCMB (essentially Common vs. Drake), Tinie Tempah vs. Chip, Drake vs. Meek Mill and a countless lot. Heck even Don Jazzy and Olamide has a good run at a good beef in Nigeria just like Cassper Nyovest and AKA did in South Africa. So where are the Ghanaian beefs? Where is the Ghanaian fan’s equal share of the Twitter rants, diss tracks and banter that accompanies a musical beef?
Our artistes really don’t love themselves. Most of them are a bunch of haters unto themselves. They see another’s gains as a personal chance lost for them. They carry out ingenious plans to steal each other’s beats and choruses, and when that fails, they copy it and try to improve on it so as to take the shine off the other guy, thereby killing off his song. [Telemo and Ye Wo Krom on my mind here]
Honestly, ignore all the high-fives, selfies, bonding on Instagram, birthday shout-outs, supportive tweets and co-ordinated interviews. Deep down, and in muted conversations, when the cameras are gone, and the lights are off, there’s anger, bad blood and bile. That’s when the real story is turned on, and the intrigue that scratches the underbelly of what we call celebrity lifestyle come to the fore.
Once in a while, this escapes into the open, and it becomes a good reason to follow the news. But almost all of it gets swept under the carpet due to compromise, bullying and media cowardice.
There have been light versions of what have looked like beefs, I have seen Kaakie and co fighting for the title of Dancehall Queen, Shatta Wale also fighting for Dancehall King etc but all of these have seemed like one-sided fistfights with the other party. There are no responses. And this is because the average Ghanaian artiste with his/her success (or little success) is just a character that exists in a careful state, they are afraid of upsetting their status quo; they are scared for their careers and secretly feel inadequate to start a fight or return a punch when one is thrown at them.
I am expecting the ensuing beef to mainly do three things;
- Give Sarkodie a chance to “wow” his fans again : Sarkodie is a great rapper. No two ways about that, but for the past two years, it had begun to feel like he is just a rapper who knows how to use rhythm to his favor. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing. But to actually claim the title of being the “King of Ghana rap” Sarkodie would have to also show that he is a good lyricist. King Sark’s lyric are very much lacking in the dexterity and true wordplay that most people would expect from a true MC and this beef with M.anifest might be the one opportunity he gets to redeem himself.
Who wins Ghana Music Awards ‘Unsung Category’
This year’s Vodafone Ghana Music Awards Unsung Category promises to be the most exciting edition yet, as Closeup toothpaste, the iconic youth brand, partners Charterhouse to provide a more rewarding and exciting experience for underground acts seeking to break into mainstream music.
This great news was first revealed at the nominees’ announcement party, where the six finalists of the unsung category were unveiled. According to the Unilever Closeup Brand Team, “for years, Closeup has been giving people the confidence to get closer.
This year, the brand is giving young and upcoming artistes the chance to break barriers that hold them back and get closer to their dreams of making it big in showbiz. The Unsung category of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is a natural platform for us to achieve this. So with this partnership, Closeup is essentially giving young people a chance to break the barrier into main stream music.
According to Charterhouse, this partnership is greatly desired as it will enable a richer experience for participants. The Unsung acts will have the unique opportunity to put up their best acts before a 10,000+ audience at the Nominees Jam, to win public votes. This will show live on TV3, Ghana Music Awards facebook page, and the Closeup facebook page.
The winner will have a performance slot at music’s biggest night, the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards night, showing live on TV3 in Ghana, across Africa on DSTV, and across the world on social media live. For the first time ever in the history of the award, the Unsung category will receive a special Awards Plaque sponsored by Closeup, and a performance slot on Closeup music activation platforms.
It is no surprise that the Unsung Category of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards is catching the eye of corporate Ghana. The success stories of past winners is a testimonial to the program’s relevance, and its ability to help underground acts break the barrier into main stream music.
MzVee won the 1st edition with an exceptional performance; Dark Suburb won the 2nd edition by selling their uniqueness; Adomaa won the 3rd edition fighting equally talented artistes; and Kuami Eugene won the 4th edition with dexterity. Clearly these names have broken the barrier into main stream music, and soon, a new act will join the Unsung hall of fame.
So who amongst the six talented and ambitious nominees will win the number 1 spot? Will it be Kelvin Boy with his dancehall stamp? Dope Nation with their urban rap swag? Dhat Gyal with her Afro Pop appeal? Royal Chris with his anointed gospel tunes? Real MC with his locally blended hip-hop swag? Or O’Bkay with his contemporary rap feel? These nominees are literally one step away from breaking the barrier into main stream, and come Friday the 23rd of March at the Jubliee Park in Cape Coast, each artiste will have the unique opportunity to demonstrate to Ghanaians why he/she deserves a spot on Ghana’s most coveted music platform. Till then, the one question worthy of asking, is who will be number 1?
As always, the public has a say in pushing the right talent through. The public is thus encouraged to have their say by voting for the best Unsung Act by visiting their social media pages, Charterhouse media pages, and Ghana Music Awards social media pages for instructions. The public is also notified about live event shows on Closeup, Charterhouse, and Ghana Music Awards social media pages.
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