http://www.okayafrica.com/stories/interview-m-anifest-returns-to-ghana/ (Copy and paste in search bar to view Article)
After reading the article, posted by Craig Duncan, I was extremely impressed with the success and progress of Ghanaian artist M.anifest. This year, M.anifest decided that he would move back to his hometown Ghana. This past spring M.anifest returned to visit his second home Minnesota. During his visit to Minnesota M.anifest performed and helped organize cultural readings and discussions, one titled Routes to Roots. M.anifest has become more than just an MC; he has become an idol to his people and an inspiration to other MC’s by speaking the truth through his lyrics and making contributions to the community.
A documentary film, We Rock Long Distance, based on M.anifest’s trip to Accra in 2010 explained the musical and cultural roots of international hip-hop artist that are based in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The film also shows M.anifest working with his grandfather musicologist and composer J.H. Kwabena Nketia. His grandfather is also well known for his classical and religious compositions, fundamental texts of modern ethamusicology, and lastly is recognized for his academic authority on African music and aesthetics. All of his grandfather’s accomplishments and involvement in African music had a lot to do with the reason M.anifest waited to become involved in hip-hop. M.anifest wanted to make sure his grandfather would approve as well as everyone else.
M.anifest loved hip-hop since he was a teenager. However, he waited until he moved to Minneapolis on a scholarship to get into the industry. During this time two of his childhood friends (Blitz the Ambassador and M3NSA) had already begun their musical careers. M.anifest was able to get feel for the musical culture in Minneapolis, which ranged from Terry Lewis to Prince. The artist loved the music culture so much that he began to develop his own crew of musical collaborators. Budo was the first to join. Budo brought art-orientated music, like jazz trumpeter and multi-instruments. However, Budo had a deep love for hip-hop and a passion for beats so he primarily stuck to that. Later G. Mo and Katah-Quey joined and as a team they all set a goal to change American and African hip-hop.
When M.anifest’s first album dropped critics were surprised that a Ghanaian artist was able to produce an album filled with powerful lyrics and good quality music. Manifestations (2007), was the album that showed what extreme talent M.anifest had as an artist. When the next album released, Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America (2011), M.anifest really showed what he could do in a combination of lyrics, fame, and experience. The album has gained nationwide attention and M.anifest claims that he would have never accomplished this without a team effort and knowing what he wants his music to like.
Currently M.anifest is residing in Ghana where he recently worked on a project to celebrate Ghana’s 55th Independence Day. M.anifest broadcasted a “mini-hiphopera” for Africa on a wide TV station, Channel 0. His project was a success and he continues to encourage other Ghanaian artist to use their fame to be “linguistic”. Meaning to be able to take a complex issue and explain it in a simple way.