Hiplife is a Ghanaian musical style that fuses Ghanaian culture and hip hop. Recorded predominantly in the Ghanaian Akan language, hiplife is rapidly gaining popularity throughout West Africa and abroad, especially in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Germany. Many artistes have successfully ventured into Hiplife and are doing great. Hiplife is highly appreciated in Africa in general but do you know the one who brought about hiplife, the pioneer? Well, meet him.
Reggie Rockstone, born Reginald Yaw Asante Ossei, described as “the Godfather of Hiplife” is a Ghanaian rapper . He was born in the United Kingdom but lived his early years in Ghana in Kumasi and Accra. He has been living in Ghana continuously since he pioneered the Hip-Life movement in 1994.
He pioneered the Hiplife art form and has played an important role in the development of this uniquely African genre in Ghana’s capital Accra. He raps in Akan Twi and English. In 2004, Rockstone won the Kora Award for the best African video and he performed in front of a 50,000-person crowd in Ghana, together with Shaggy. In 2006 he recorded a track with the Jamaican Dancehall singer Beenie Man called “Chukku Chakka” (in reference to Rockstone’s 1999 hit “Eye Mo De Anaa”, which sampled Fela Kuti).
Rockstone is the son of fashion designer Ricky “Ricci” Ossei (Saint Ossei). Reggie Rockstone attended Achimota School. Reggie joined Ghanaian hip hop group VVIP following the exit of Promzy in 2014. Born in the U.K. on April 11th, 1964, Rockstone attached himself to the Hip Hop movement in the early 80’s as a dancer. Travelling on a tri-continental basis (i.e. Accra, New York, London), he broadened his Hip Hop scope. A natural performer and trained actor, he grabbed the mic with no problem when his calling came in 1991. His first ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ came as a dancer in Accra, Ghana in the early 80’s.
His second chance of fame came in 1992-93 as member of one of the top rap groups from London, England. He belonged to PLZ (Parables, Linguistics and Zlang) with Fredi Funkstone, Jay (both from West Africa) & DJ Pogo of the U.K. Number one hits from PLZ included “If it Aint PLZ” and an EP entitled “Build a Wall Around Your Dreams” released on an independent label called “Go For the Juggler.” 1994 became the watershed or turning point in his entertainment career. The rap scene in London was not rewarding enough.
He returned to Accra to encounter a whole generation of people grooving to African-American rhythms, all heavily influenced by the same elements of Hip Hop that he knew all too well. Then, he had an idea! Use the hip hop beats with authentic phat production and lace it with true African dialect; The Akan language of Twi. It became the tool to make such butter classics as “Sweetie, Sweetie”, “Tsoo Boi”, “Nightlife in Accra” and “Agoo” from his debut album in 1997 entitled “Makaa! Maka!”.
He launched on an independent label called KASSA RECORDS that he partly owns, Reggie Rockstone has reached Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians across four continents. Reggie Rockstone is credited as the pioneer of hiplife or Kasahara music in Ghana and like some masters of the art of hip hop, he has proclaimed his retirement and out of retirement several times. Older music critics however give the rightful claim to Gyedu Blay Ambolley who released his official recording in 1973, aside from his amateur rapping years. If Reggie Rockstone made Twi Rap pupular, Ambolley is the originator. His specialty in Asante Twi and is incredibly well versed in English too. He is internationally acclaimed, with several performances throughout West Africa, the UK, France, USA and Switzerland.
In 2013 he was selected to be a judge of the maiden edition of the Glo X Factor Africa along with Onyeka Onwenu and M.I. He was also a judge for the fifth edition of the Malta Guinness Street Dance competition in 2012.
”Make It Normal To Stop Judging People’s Actions Based On Post” -Beyonce’s Publicist Replies Tiwa Savage
Award-winning actress, Tiwa Savage, recently beckoned on American celebrities such as Beyonce, and international brands not to keep mute over the ongoing agitation for an end to police brutality in Nigeria.
This call on Beyonce and her team using their platform to speak on the #EndSars protest, however didn’t sit right with Beyonce and her team as Yvette Noel-Schure, Beyonce’s publicist gave a reply to Tiwa Savage.
She said; “not all activists live on Social media. Not all Doers look for validation, nor your approval. Not all work is for a photo OP. Make it normal to stop judging people’s actions based on posts. Posts don’t make you an activist. Actions make you an activist. Whether in the background or out in these streets. We all choose a different path to get it done. Blessed are those who do not see yet they believe. Actions speak louder than posts! Stop Judging! S.T.O.P!!!”
In a very emotional and enthusiastic video Tiwa released on her Instagram page, the Koroba crooner said, “I have so much to tell you and so many emotions are going through me. Nigerians are special people but the country is bad. Because we are strong, we don’t realise how bad our country is. We are not protesting for basic needs because we are not used to having it in the first place. A lot of privileged people feel that these happenings do not concern them because they have alternatives but what if there is an unforeseen incident and your money or affluence cannot save you?
All we are asking for is to stay alive and they still want to stop that? There is corruption everywhere in the world but when you take, give back. We all lent our support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement using our social media platforms, even if we were not physically present. We also need support from the world. I was so proud to be involved in Beyonce’s Black is King: The Gift album. Do not quote me out of context but I want to use my platform to call on Beyoncé and the whole team that reached out to all of us to use their voice and platform for us too. The country that birthed these celebrated afrobeat talents is on fire. You cannot ignore us or be quiet at this time
Tiwa Savage emphasized that she knows she may be criticised for speaking out and blacklisted for making these videos “I know that I may be blacklisted by these outpourings but we know what the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti stood for and we have to stand for the same things too. For everyone that has given us a platform, I am grateful but I call on them to also use their platforms for Nigerians. What is happening now is deeper than police brutality. I don’t want the government to frustrate us. The government will not win this time, we would win.”
Beyonce Knowles’s Mum Talks About #ENDSARS Movement While Hinting That Tiwa Savage Should Have Reached Out To Beyonce’s Team
It is no news that the #ENDSARS protest has now gained international recognition. Days back, Tiwa Savage made a video beckoning on Beyonce and other international brands to lend their voices, as Nigerian youths take on the streets. Tina Lawson has openly come out to say how displeased she is about Tiwa’s move, and Tiwa Savage could have reached out to Beyonce personally as opposed to taking it to her Instagram to call her daughter out.
Tina Lawson revealed that since the release of The gift album, and Beyonce’s movie; “black is King”, a lot of people have had something to say, which in most cases, are not so pleasant, some suggesting Beyonce could have used the whole of African creatives instead of a selected few.
She also expresses her displeasure about the injustice that have been going on in Nigeria and more particularly in Lagos last night, stressing that she and her family just like everyone else, have real issues, and she had recently just heard about SARS, and all that they represent just last week, and it’s very unlike her not to have said anything about it, but for her infrequent use of social media.
“I am deeply saddened by the events that happened last night in Lagos! When people lost their lives and were beaten and abused. I understand the injustices that have been going on in Nigeria, it sickens me. SARS came to my attention last week and immediately I posted about it! I had not heard of it before as I have not been following closely Instagram as much as I usually do due to some serious personal family challengesI As a result I have been mostly posting funny things to try to make people smile.
After researching on line I understood that SARS (a special task force supposedly to stop crime) were abusing their power and harassing young people. Very much like what we have been protesting for , here in America. Everyday we are disproportionatly stoped harassed jailed and sometimes killed ! These senseless killings of our black men and women! The brutal treatment of our people by law enforcement ! No knock warrants etc.
Of course I guess much of the public does not think we have personal problems in our family . We are supposed to be super human and not have loss, or health issues or personal problems because our sole purpose is supposed to be of service and humility and take as much abuse from the haters as they choose to put on us. No matter what my daughter does she is scrutinized and torn apart! She Makes a record and uses all African artist, producers, writers.
She is criticized because She didn’t get artist from every country in Africa there are 52 countries! Then she makes a film that by the way she doesn’t profit a penny off of, because she spent every penny in the budget on making something that celebrates our heritage! What profiting off of you did she do? She made art!! She is an artist! That is what artist do. She is not your political leader and not your whipping board. They saw a 30 second trailer and critics and couch activist attacked! !!! yes I said it and I meant it! They came out and did their usual thing about her being a culture vulture and saying some of the most ugly and vile things about her that were totally not true and insults galore
Someone that was on the last project who BTW is in constant contact with her team decided that instead of contacting her team and asking her to post to assist in spreading the word . I am appalled that They would get on social media and do it !! Why not ask the people you are dealing with all the time????? On her team!! I don’t understand that !!! I am sure at the time she was not thinking straight because of the trauma that the country was facing but come on!!!!!! I have had enough of the hating and am personally tired of the attacks.
And it is disgusting how people sit behind a computer and talk crap all day and many of them do absolutely nothing else ! It is so easy to post ! Don’t get me wrong posting is very important that’s why I do it every day about social issues. It spreads the word and that is important But everybody has a right to activate in their own way. If we do us , and focus on what WE can do and not expect Beyonce to do exactly what she is told when you tell her to do it! Then we would get it done better.
When I made my post it was not about any group of people and certainly not the Nigerian People ! Only the attackers and haters that no matter what she does you feel entitled to bully someone and take credit for bullying her into making a by a statement !! By the way many people are just posting today because it has gone to the next level after last nights tragic events.
Are you critics attacking them? Sorry if I offended anyone just trying to make a statement for change and asking for help ! I was not talking to you ! Those comments were for the rude attackers that rudely ,constantly come for us in a vile and abusive way ! Trying to bully and shame us into submission just like the oppressors. We not your whipping board . I am not here for it! You do not run me and bully me I will fight back. You don’t take credit for bullying her to post ! I pray everyday for Nigeria and all countries that are being abused and murdered for the color of our skin!!! I would do anything to help but stop with the abuse and stop trying to make her your spokesperson and shaming people for doing things in their own way!!!!” She said.
I Know What It Means To Be In Pain And To Lose A Loved One – D’banj
Nigerian Afrobeats star D’banj says he can relate to one being in pain, and when one loses a loved one, hence, he can relate to what Nigerians are going through at the moment in his words, “I know what it means to be in pain, , to lose a child and a loved one,so I know the pain my brothers and sisters are going through and my heart is heavy
“I pray God grants us the healing and restoration we so deeply need in our country and that our lights can once again shine
As a Nigerian youth,I try my best to never give up especially when it seems the hardest, so I urge you to do the same”
Dbanj who is very much instrumental to boosting the popularity of the Nigerian music industry globally says he stands with the Nigerian youth and for the cause which they are fighting for. Considering joining the protest, Dbanj asks for the location of the protest in Abuja.
“I stand in solidarity with the Nigerian youth. I stand for restructuring of the Nation system
On that note,we move, we never give up,till we get to the top of the world!
ABUJA ;pls where is the location for the ?? #ReformtheNation #EndSars”
Mon June 25, 2018 Dbanj lost his only son in a drowning incident, according to local media. His late sonDaniel Oyebanjo III, who had only just turned one in May of that year- 2018, reportedly died in a swimming pool at the singer’s Lagos home.
It’s evident that Dbanj still feels the loss of his son, because till now D’banj has not made a single comment addressing the death directly, he only posted a black background on his Instagram page with the caption: “Trying times but my God is Always and Forever Faithful.”
D’banj, who was 38 years old then, was not in the country when the incident occurred. He was in Los Angeles for the BET Awards, but had to hurriedly fly back to Nigeria to be with his wife, Lineo Kilgrow.
Two months after the incident, the artiste dedicated a song to his wife.
In August, 2019 during an interview in London , D’banj said that he never thought he would ever lose a child and that the sad incident really broke him. During this same interview, the Nigerian superstar singer thanked everyone that supported him and his wife throughout the trying time.
He said, “First, I want to thank everyone out there who has supported us, but the truth is in everything we do we need to give thanks to God and more importantly, I believe there is God that granted me the grace and mercy over my family and my wife to be able to be here today. It’s not something you wish for your worst enemy. To lose a child is not something you think about, and I have never thought about it before.”
He also revealed that he only attended therapy once with his wife but stopped going after it “brought up a lot. “If I told you I thought about it, unlike other things you asked me and I told you I am focused and I go in, this was one that broke me. It was just that it just took the grace of God and a bit of therapy. I think I went for therapy once and I said this no be my style because it was bringing out so many things.”
It was then D’banj announced that he was expecting another son, when asked about how he coped with the difficulty of losing a child. “I am going to be a father in a few months after praying for restoration after the sad incident. And we are expecting a boy,” the singer had revealed.
In September 19, 2019, Lineo Didi Kilgrow gave birth to a bouncing baby boy in United States of America. News of the birth triggered excitement on social media as report of the baby’s arrival filtered online.
The singer, whose real name is Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, was one of the frontrunners of the new wave of Nigeria’s popular music style, Afrobeats, and had a global hit in 2012 with his infectious hit “Oliver Twist.”
The award-winning video featured a cameo from Kanye West and has been viewed 53 million times on YouTube.
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