HIP-HOP @50: The Ghana Stars Who Raised The Bar

Source The Ghana Report

Joining hundreds of hip-hop artistes across the globe to mark the 50th anniversary of the emergence of the HIP-HOP music genre is not a mistake because ‘Hip-Hop’ is generally considered in the music industry as the mother of rap music, which might be your favourite.

Hip-hop and rap music are often used interchangeably, but the truth is that hip-hop is considered a broad cultural phenomenon while rap is just one important aspect of it.

In other words, rap is classified as hip-hop, but hip-hop is not only rap. Therefore, a musician who performs rap music is classified as a hip-hop artiste.

Hip-hop is like culture and is something you live, while rap is something you do.

This implies that hip-hop as a music genre is dynamic, learned, shared, adaptive and symbolic in every country.

Hip-hop music evolved in the year 1973.

The term hip-hop is often credited to musician Robert Keith Wiggins, popularly known as Keef Cowboy, a member of the legendary group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

According to a popular story, Wiggins was rhyming to a friend joining the army and used the phrasing “hip, hop, hip, hop” to mimic the sound of marching. Wiggins’s ‘hip-hop’ lyrics caught on with other musicians, and the phrase “hip-hop” became closely linked to the emerging culture.

Eventually, the association became so strong that the phrase started becoming the name of the phenomenon in the music industry.

Till now, hip-hop music is classified as a culture which includes MCing, DJing, breakdancing, and graffiti, among others, and again, rap music, which exploded in popularity in the 1980s and has continued to rise.

As the music industry celebrates the golden jubilee of hip-hop music, The Ghana Report focuses the lens on some Ghanaian hip-hop artistes doing rap music to place Ghana in the limelight.

  • Kwame Ametepee Tsikata (M.anifest)

Kwame Ametepee Tsikata, popularly known in the entertainment fraternity as M.anifest, is one of Ghana’s vibrant, talented hip-hop artists.

The 41-year-old musician has won several awards, including the Best Rapper and Hip-Hop Song of the Year at the 2017 Ghana Music Awards.

In 2015, M.anifest’s single ‘Someway bi’ earned him a third honour in the International Songwriters Competition(I.S.C.) and the Guardian, a British daily newspaper, named him as the foremost rapper on the continent in the same year.

M.anifest is the son of Ghana’s renowned lawyer and academician, Tsatsu Tsikata.

His mother is Reverend Dr. Priscilla Naana Nketia, a lawyer as well.

Ma.anifest’s grandfather, Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia, was a composer, professor and ethnomusicologist.

The ‘Debi Debi’ hitmaker has been recognised by Cognac brand Hennessy to be part of a global campaign dedicated to honouring Hip Hop’s legacy on its golden jubilee.

The honour bestowed on M.anifest is a success for the Ghana music industry and the African continent.

M.anifest has over fifty songs, which include, ‘Me Ne Woa’, ‘No Fear’, ‘Clean and Pure’, ‘No Long Talk’, ‘Forget Dem’, ‘Bob and Weave’, ‘Time No Dey’, ‘Cucaracha’, ‘E No Easy’, ‘Confusion’, and ‘B.E.A.R.’.

  • Michael Owusu Addo (Sarkodie)

Celebrated Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie, born Michael Owusu Addo, has made an enviable contribution to the Ghanaian music industry through his rap music.

Sarkodie is the first Ghanaian artiste to win B.E.T.’s Best International Flow Artist at the 2019 B.E.T. Hip Hop Awards.

In 2016, Sarkodie was adjudged the Best Entertainer during the E.M.Y. Awards. The renowned rapper has bagged over five awards since the inception of the Ghana Vodafone Music Awards, making him the ‘king’ of rap music.

His contributions to the Ghanaian music industry have earned him numerous accolades, including the Vodafone Ghana Music Award (V.G.M.A.) for Artiste of the Decade.

He is also considered one of the foremost proponents of the Azonto genre and dance and one of the most successful African rappers ever. Due to the variety of musical genres he can perform in, Sarkodie is referred to as a “multifaceted rapper” and frequently raps in his native language, Twi.

The ‘Country Side’ crooner has released several E.P.s and singles, all focusing on rap music which falls under hip-hop.

Sarkodie is known for rap music such as ‘U Go Kill Me’, ‘Can’t Let You Go’, ‘Black Love’, ‘Try Me’, ‘Original., and ‘Adonai’.

  • Ruth Eno Adjoa Amankwah Nyame Adom (Eno Barony)

Ghanaian popular female rapper Ruth Eno Adjoa Amankwah Nyame Adom, known as Eno Barony, is another artiste who has shown the world that women can also do rap music in just a simple manner.

Her passion and enthusiasm for hip-hop music are unquestionable as she educates listening through her lyrics.

After her breakthrough in the early 20s, the ‘Do Something’ hitmaker has left no stone unturned as she dives through the challenges confronting the music industry.

Eno Barony, like other artistes, has reasons for venturing into the music industry, specifically the hip-hop genre.

“In the beginning, I was just like the fun of it, and later, I wanted to prove a point to myself. I always felt like there were some things that I could not do because people were like, ‘Oh, She’s an Ashaiman girl’, ‘Kumasi Girl,’ or ‘She’s too fat’. It was bringing me down at a point, so I had to prove to myself that I could do this”.

Eno Barony has become a household name and gained recognition globally.

She is known for songs like ‘The Best’, ‘God Is A Woman’, ‘Yentie Obiaa’, ‘Ay3 Ka’, ‘Mommy’, ‘The Finish Line’, ‘Fear No Man’, ‘Mind Your’, ‘Business’, ‘Warning’, ‘King Of Queens’, and ‘Obaabi Twem’.

  • Michael Elliot Kwabena Okyere Darko(Obrafour)

Michael Elliot Kwabena Okyere Darko, popularly known as Obrafour, Rap Executioner, or Rap Sofo, is a legendary hip-hop artistes in the Ghana music industry.

Obrafour uses the local Twi dialect to tell stories in his rap music.

His popular hit debut album ‘Pae mu ka’, won three awards during the 2000 edition of the Ghana Music Awards and was noted as one of the best-selling albums in Ghana.

Obrafour is recognised as one of the most iconic figures in the Ghana Music Industry.

  • Kwame Nsiah-Apau (Okyeame Kwame)

Kwame Nsiah-Apau, known in showbiz as Okyeame Kwame, is another great hip-hop artiste in the Ghana music industry. His ability to also rap in the local ‘Twi’ dialect made him famous, with many calling him the ‘Rap Doctor’.

Okyeame Kwame has won several awards through rap music, including the Artiste of the Year in 2009 at the Ghana Music Awards.

He is known for songs such as ‘Woara’, ‘Small Small’, ‘Yeeko’ and others.

  • Abraham Philip Akpor Kojo Kenya (Lord Kenya)


Lord Kenya, born Abraham Philip Akpor Kojo Kenya, was one of the hip-hop artistes who placed Ghana’s music industry on another level.

Lord Kenya, now an evangelist, produced many hiplife songs fused with rap music during his heydays.

Lord Kenya released his debut album’ Sika Card’ in 1998, instantly becoming one of the nation’s hits. He has seven albums to his credit; these are: Sika Card, Sika Baa, Yeesom Sika, Sika Mpo Fane Ho, Akasieni, Born Again and God Dey.

  • Elom Adablah (E.L.)

Elom Adablah, known in the entertainment industry as E.L., is a rapper and an afrobeats singer. His passion for hip-hop music compelled him to fuse rap in most of his afrobeats songs.

The 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Award(V.G.M.A.) Artiste of the Year has chalked many successes in the entertainment industry using rap music.

The ‘Mi Na Bo Po’ hitmaker uses rap music to tell stories about happenings in Ghanaian societies.

  • Dorcas Opoku Dakwa (Abrewa Nana)

Dorcas Opoku Dakwa, known in the entertainment industry as Abrewa Nana, is another hip-hop crooner and dancer who made headlines with her unique voice.

In 2000, she collaborated with Sass Squad Tuma to record her first album ‘Sagoa’.

The following year, Abrewa Nana was nominated for three awards at the Ghana Music Awards and won the Hiplife Song of the Year and Best Female Vocalist in 2002.

You cannot celebrate Ghanaian female hip-hop artistes without crediting Abrewa Nana because she is one of the idols in the Ghana music industry who blazed the trail for women.

Other musicians like Paedae, Kofi Mole,  Joey B,  Asaaka Boys, Yaw Tog, Jayso, Amerado,  Strongman, Quamina MP, and Kwesi Arthur are all doing their best in the Ghana music industry to sustain the relevance of hip-hop music through rap.


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