In this interview M.anifest talks about his return to Ghana and his experiences in both the US and Ghana. As an artist whose music reflects Ghanaian, African, and Diaspora experiences and cultures, M.anifest brings an important level of intellectual complexity to hip hop culture. When I point these things out in the interview, M.anifest says that he does not want to “be an alternative to the mainstream, but to be an alternative in the mainstream”.
In the interview M.anifest talks about how his return (& his experiences in both the US and Ghana) has been reflected in his music. He discusses the music industries & creative scenes in the US and in Ghana, African MCs in the US hip hop scene, his impact on the hip hop & music scene in Ghana, and his collaborations with other artists, including the late South African hip hop artist, Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP).
In this episode we begin with a look back, musically, at Manifest’s career. We begin with the song “Africa Represent” from his 2007 album Manifestations, then “Motion Picture” from the 2011 album Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America, and his 2016 single “God MC”. We will end the show with the song “Hand Dey Go, Hand Dey Come” from his 2016 album Nowhere Cool.
Crowned King of Ghana Hip-Hop in 2017, M.anifest is nothing to play with. He is known for being a triple threat in the music business, as he is a rapper, singer, and songwriter. In most of his crafts he incorporates both his native tongue and English. An example of this is from one of his new songs, his single, Me No Woa (You and I) feat. King Promise. From the looks of it, this song is speaking about his grind interfering with his relationship. Apparently, he’s been gone for some time, focusing on his music career, living the life of a popular musician and neglection is surfacing… Continue reading “M.anifest Touches the Heart with New Single ‘Me Ne Woa’”
Kwame Ametepee Tsikata aka M.anifest is one of the most influential Ghana hip hop artist. He was named “the foremost rapper on the continent”, because of his great contributions to the African Hip hip movement. Continue reading “Ghana’s Social and Political influence”
In M.anifest’s song “Coming to America”, which is apart of his bigger project “Immigrant Chronicles”, he talks about the both forceful and willing migration of his people to America. This can be shown in the beginning of the song when he says,
“Ever since they came in the name of King James, my people been crippled and maimed.” Continue reading “Coming to America”
Hip Hop was and is still a way for black people to express themselves and the obstacles that they face. M.anifest, originally known as Kwame Tsikata, is a well-known rapper from Accra, Ghana, who often intertwines African hip hop and western influenced hip hop. Continue reading “The M.anifestation of Ghanaian Hip Hop”
I chose Ghana and the artist that I found is M.anifest. His vibe is very interesting the way he connects hip-hip into his own everyday culture. In a lot of his older videos he kept the feel of video very relatable, he was in the everyday scenery but his flow was not completely understandable. Continue reading “Hip-Hop in Ghana”
Diaspora is the dispersion of any people from their original homeland.
When coming to America, and being treated as an outsider it is to want to assimilate to America culture. So many people and artist are willing to sacrifice their culture to ensure they “make it” in the music industry. It takes a very strong artist and a very proud artist to remain true to him/her self through the adversity. M.anifest is one of those rappers! He came to America to get an education and was faced with much adversity, from the way he spoke to the way he dress. M.anifest stayed trued to himself and respected his homeland through his entire career and time at the university. His music stays true to his heritage, while at the same time describes his experiences with American culture yet relates it back to his home culture.
In his song, “Coming to America”, Manifest uses his lyrics to paint a picture of his hometown in a way that makes you feels like you are there. He talks about the way his mother used to cook and smile at him. The customs in his community and the ideals he is used. M.anifest even describes the way he grew up and how happy, human, and free he felt in Ghana.
Next, his song “Cupid Crooked”, describes the Ghana ideals and perspective on social issues. In order to honor his homeland and his origins, he dresses traditionally in all of his music videos. Secondly, he stays true to culture with his dances and innuendos. No matter what song you are listening to, you can feel and see that he is a Ghana man to the core.
M.anifest shows the next generation of Ghana rappers to be proud of where they come from. He teaches Americans that there is so much more to Africa than the disparity posted on our screen. Most importantly he teaches everyone that you can remain to true to yourself and still prosper.
There’s two types of people in this world: those who conform to the rules set by society and those who rebel against it. In their collaborative hp hop song “Gentleman”, rappers M.anifest and Wanlov the Kubolor come together to tell you that they’re the ladder and not ashamed of where they’ve come from. For today’s blog, we will look at the African diaspora and how this common African experience has translated over to the music of these two artists. Just to give you a bit of a background on each, M.anifest is a Ghanian rapper who is known to many as the king of Ghana hip hop. He migrated to Saint Paul, Minnesota back in 2001 to attend college. He even resides in Minnesota as well as Ghana currently.
Wanlov the Kubolor is a Ghanaian-Romanian musician who moved to the US for college back in 2000. Both of these artist are very proud of their Ghanian roots and let their experiences as immigrants influence their sound.
In their collaborative song Gentleman, both rappers immediately start the song off saying the chorus immediately saying “I won’t be gentleman at all, I’ll be African man original. I wont be gentleman, won’t be gentleman at all”. They immediately set the tone for the song with their straight forward acclamation to stick to their roots despite living in a country that has a different culture. Within the song they mention a number of aspects that are associated with the men of western culture and then rejects them with their own versions that they’ve grown to live with in Ghana. Both M.anifest and Wanlov the Kubolor have experienced first hand what it feels like to migrate to not just a different country but an entirely different continent like many Africans for the sake of their futures. the African immigrant population between the year 2000 and 2010 increased from 800,000 to 1.6 million and of those people these artist were part of that. There’s such a big population of African Immigrants that can relate to this song and are able to not feel alone in their fight to not keep who they are while surrounded by Americans. Gentleman is a great song that compares the two cultures and also speaks to what they mean to the Ghanian rappers. It’s fun, it’s unique, and it will always be African.
M.anifest’s song “Coming to America” tells us a lot about the African Diaspora. The song mentions many things that Africans struggle with and it also mentions some of the things that African immigrants in America face. The reading “Payback is a Motherland” says that many African immigrants see hip hop as a way to connect with their home countries. In this class we have studied many African artists who are now in America and use their music to connect with home. M.anifest mentions things about the immigrant experience like missing home and family, trying to find a good job, and sending money home to support his family. He also mentions having to do things like constantly put money on phone cards so he can call home. He also mentioned the pressure from family and parents to get a degree and be successful. From other songs , we learned that the immigrant experience can be lonely and depressing at times. In “Payback is a Motherland”, M.anifest states that he did not know that there was a such thing as African rap at first. Once he discovered this, he began to incorporate his mother tongue into his music more often. This connected him to his home country and it also makes his music more relatable and likable amongst Ghanaians. His song makes many immigrants able to relate to him because it tells a true story and gives a realistic perspective of what immigrants go through. Many immigrants have a hard time adjusting to a new country and a new culture but songs like “Coming to America” let them know that they are not alone and that their experience is shared by others. The songs is very enlightening and inspiring. It makes people more aware of what people who are not native to a country go through and also how hard they work to get what they have.
The artist I selected to represent their country and the African diaspora was M. Anifest. He made a video titled Coming to America which one can find to do a pretty effective of representing not only M. Anifest’s country, but also the diaspora. Now the song Coming to America is very catchy and lyricle. The artist Anifest is able to use the song to paint a picture for what an individual has to go through when travelling outside of the country has to go through. M. Anifest is viewed and labeled as the King of Ghana Hip-Hop in 2017, also winning best Hip Hop and rapper song of the year for Ghanaian music. M. Anifest music is so popular, it did a great job of helping Ghana become a more popular country. His popular music bring respect to the country. Anifest music also does a great job of bringing tourist to the country. His music is played in America, so individuals now want travel to the country to see what of music or even events the country has offer. M. Anifest did a great job showing what an individual goes through when traveling to America. Things such as not being able to contact your loved ones back in Ghana or not being understood because of your accent all relates to the African diaspora. These are the experiences that individuals undergo when leaving their country such as Ghana and traveling to America or a foreign place. M. Anifest constantly expresses this idea of not knowing, meaning what is coming. To one he seems to be referring to opportunities that may or may not occur. America has painted to this picture that there will be more opportunities for individuals if they leave their current country. So, M. Anifest really emphasizes how he does not know what opportunity is coming next. Overall, his music helps brings great recognition to the country he is from which is Ghana and also displays experiences that individuals face with the African diaspora.