Ghana Main Stream

In class we discussed Ghana style hip-hop. In Ghana, in order to get radio airplay the music has to be socially conscious. Secondly, hip-hop is used as an education tool to help the youth, which is majority of the population, to become more away their political and social issues. As I searched to put a real life example to the class discussion and reading, I had to first find an artist. In order to find this artist I went to “The Fader” which is a magazine catering to urban culture. The Fader showed me the 15 Ghanaian artist that should I be on the watch for, and I chose R2bees.

R2Bees is a rap group and is an acronym meaning Refuse To be Broke. The song I selected was Makoma, which was not in English. However, from the class discussion we learned that the people of Ghana speak multiple languages, with the most common being French. Therefore, I had to find a lyric translation and that translation brought so much more meaning to the video.

Makoma means love. In the video there is a couple and we get to watch them grow from the beginning stages of falling in love, to being in love, and then to hardships that come with love. The singers are performing at what looks like a wedding reception tent, which adds another element to the video. The artist are there to remind them of their love and their union, as if to remind the couple of what they had before it falls apart. The story is a tragedy, we watch as the woman abruptly falls out of love with the man and as he does everything in his power to keep her. We watch as the woman walks away and the man falls apart. We listen to the artist describe how one day she loved him with a certain trust and obedience, and then the next day she changed, until one day she was just gone.

From the class and the reading I thought that the music would have a political or social conscious outlook. Then the more I read the lyrics and the more I watched the video I realized the music and the images were open to interpretation. The woman could be the elected official who listened to the people and loved the people as the people loved him, until one day things abruptly changed and the elected official turned his back on those who loved him the most. The song and the video definitely had lots of room for interpretation. Yet and still the video was amazing and matched the lyrics with elegance and accuracy, which is hard to come by.

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