Ghana’s Hip Hop Artists

In this post I will analyze two different Ghanaian hip hop artists. The first is rapper Edem who has released two albums in his career so far. In Edem’s song Heyba he slams all of his competition claiming he is the best. “Heyba” translates into English as “Not on my level” Although the music is not in English, I found a website that translates the lyrics into English here.

In class we discussed how rappers from other countries make references to American culture. In order to do so however, one must be familiar with pop culture references as well as language. In the song Heyba, Edem makes references to Italian wine and Irv Gotti. Meaning that Edem is familiar with American hip hop culture.

The music video was extremely appealing. The women in the video were dressed in traditional African dress and makeup. The video had a scary element to it. At one point face were coming out of the wall and there was even a bengal tiger in the video. All of these elements were combined to show the power that Edem has as a rapper.

The second video by hip hop artist Sarkodie called Take it Back has the same scary feel to it. Again showing the power Sarkodie has a rapper. Although parts of the song were in English it was still difficult to understand. The visual elements help viewers to accurately understand what the artist is trying to say exactly. At one point in the video there is a person with a gas mask on burning a sign that says “weak flow” possibly referring to his competitors. From the video and lyrics combined my understanding is that maybe someone dissed him in another rap song and this is his reply to that song.

The videography in both songs were strong and appealing. They allowed for great entertainment and were visually stimulating.


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