We wanted to highlight a recent article by Ghanaian scholar Dr. Nii Kotei Nikoi titled Hiplife Music in Ghana: Postcolonial Performances of the Good Life,
Reggie Rockstone is one of the pioneers of hiplife in Ghana. In this conversation, he discusses how as a Pan Africanist, his perspective influenced his participation in hip hop culture in Ghana. He talks about the importance of popularizing the use of African languages through music, and how he helped to popularize the use of Twi in Ghanaian hiplife and hip hop. He discusses the importance of African languages in reaffirming pride, breaking colonial mentalities, and bridging class divides. Reggie Rockstone also talks about his own Pan Africanist upbringing, and the impact of his Diaspora experiences, as well as those of his father and African American mother.
The episode begins with Reggie Rockstone’s song “Proactive” and ends with his song “Woso”, both on his 2010 album Reggiestration, which is available on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/reggiestration/412457159.
Abena Rockstar is a Ghanaian hip hop artist who is known for writing hard hitting, raw hip hop lyrics. She performs mostly in Twi, and is among a small group of female artists in Ghana who’s style focuses on strong hip hop lyricism. Many female artists in Ghana choose to enter into other genres, whether it be Hiplife or gospel music. The idea that women are not supposed to be hardcore hip hop lyricists is a perspective we see throughout hip hop globally.
In this interview, we sat down at a local restaurant near Abena’s home in Tema, outside of Accra and talked about a lot of different topics. Abena Rockstar discusses the visibility of women in Ghanaian hip hop, the pressure to sing instead of rap, ideas of how women should behave, and her views on the category of “female rapper”. She also talks about her views on Hiplife, her participation in the “Gh Female Rappers Cypher” project, and the music industry in Ghana.
In 2014, Abena Rockstar released the EP “Only Few Can Relate” and in 2017 she released the EP “MAFIA”. The songs featured in this podcast include the singles “I’m Ready”, “Abena”, and “Broke Nyass Brodas” is a commentary on male and female relationships. We have included links to her music, website, and social media profiles.
Abena Rockstar was among several artists featured in the “Gh Female Rappers Cypher”. Other artists featured on the project were Eno, Esbee, Porsche, EyiRap, Xcot, Mila, and Scrach. The track can be heard at http://youtu.be/ztRX0qbOU4I
Abena Rockstar’s website: http://abenarockstar.com
3:30 Episode intro
10:35 “Broke Nyass Brodas”
13:25 “I’m Ready”
16:17 Interview with Abena Rockstar
47:22 “Now u Know”
*This episode was produced and mixed by Howard University student @Yashua7Rashad
Ghana is known for being a pioneer of African Independence. Kwame Nkrumah lead a crusade to reclaim Africa for Africans and invited the whole
This episode is a conversation with Ghanaian hip hop, hiplife, and reggae artist Edem. Edem is one of the first hip hop artists to rap in Ewe. Many other Ghanaian hip hop artists perform in Twi or Pidgin English. In this conversation, we discuss hip hop and hiplife in Ghana. When it comes to hiop hop, Ghana follows its own rules. The relationship between hip hop and Hiplife in Ghana is an ongoing debate. This conversation with Edem covers that, as he explains how he uses different sounds and different languages in his music. Edem, like many artists in Ghana, has moved between genres, sometimes mixing genres in the same song. As one of the few artists to rap in Ewe, Edem also discusses the importance of language and culture in his music. As an artist, his music reflects his African, Ghanaian, and Ewe identities, something that Edem feels has been important in establishing himself as an artist.
“The Legacy” (7:20)
“Angels and Demons” (11:20)
Outro with “Gbevu” (50:52)
You can find Edem online on several platforms: Edem’s music can bought on iTunes | on Facebook | on Twitter @iamedem
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