In this episode of The Hip-Hop in Africa Podcast, we interview Ghanaian Hip-Hop artist Keeny Ice, from the bordertown of Aflao in the Volta Region of Ghana. Keeny Ice, whose lyrics are fast-paced, and rhymes complex, mixes languages, but primarily raps in Ewe. The talented lyricist joins us for part of our special spring podcast series with Words Beats & Life.
The conversation opens up with Keeny Ice sharing his experience of growing up in Aflao, where there was a lack of jobs and opportunities for Keeny Ice. He chose the music route as it was better and offers him an opportunity to use the platform to uplift the voiceless.
The conversation flows into Keeny’s style of rap. Being a versatile rapper, Keeny shares with us the different languages he employs to spread his message. When asked about how he goes about picking the language he uses in his delivery Keeny exclaims, “Birds Speak Bird Language”, which translates to his “need to do music in his language, a language that he’s comfortable in,…in order to represent his people”. He primarily uses Ewe, but sometimes blends English into his music.
“Music is a global language”Keeny Ice
Students engage Keeny Ice directly with thoughtful questions, and Keeny Ice replied to students’ questions with authentic, honest answers. For example, when asked: “What part of the music does he enjoy?”, Keeny Ice says, “performance”. He takes his performances seriously. More than just a single-word response, Keeny Ice dives into how he envisions how his performance will appear, which in instances, aids him in the manner by which he constructs his rhymes.
Keeny Ice knows his craft, and opened up and shared with the audience about his life journey and how he overcame his doubts about pursuing his passion. He expresses his love for Hip-Hop and enjoyment of art in general. Additionally, more than just talking about music, Keeny Ice talks about the KICA Foundation; an NGO that he is involved with that encourages teaching and learning of creative arts in schools.
The intro song is “Living Dead” and the outro song is “Made in Aflao”
Keeny Ice is online at:
The episode was produced by Kilimanjaro Studios in Beltsville, MD