“We didn’t invest in making hiplife attractive to younger acts” – Okyeame Kwame 

“We didn’t invest in making hiplife attractive to younger acts” – Okyeame Kwame 

Celebrated Ghanaian rapper and songwriter, Okyeame Kwame has bemoaned the seeming neglect of the hiplife tag by the current crop of rappers. 

According to Okyeame, a lot of young rappers in Ghana would rather want to associate with hip hop or Asakaa (Ghanaian drill) now than call themselves hiplife artistes because it is difficult to find the genre name on digital music stores. 

He made these comments while interacting with Joy FM’s entertainment journalist Kwame Dadzie on X.

Dadzie who expressed worry about the lull in the hiplife field wrote: “I admire @Okyeamekwame ‘s love for hiplife and his annual hiplife concert but what is the end-goal? Your people say hiplife is dead. Even these young rappers would rather want to identify with hip hop or Asakaa than hiplife?”

Responding to the post, Okyeame explained why the younger generation of rappers may have abandoned the name hiplife. 

He said although they may not use the name, technically they still do hiplife. 

“A younger generation will give up on tradition when it fails them. Reference “killing the game” if they call their music hiplife, how will it fit on Spotify and other streaming sites ? People choose their business hero’s based on financial and social impact, how many heroes did hiplife create? Nuances,” he intimated. 

Okyeame Kwame was then asked what was not done right. In his answer he wrote: “We didn’t build a digital platform to sell our art . We didn’t collectively turn our gifts into a multi billion business. We didn’t create a culture that was inviting enough to attract the young artiste. We didn’t invest much younger acts . We didn’t invest in research and development. We left these to chance.”

Asked if he meant hiplife had failed, he answered in the affirmative.

“Yes please! We failed to find a spot on the streaming sites. The sites do not have hiplife as a genre but has Hiphop and afro beats so why would a young person who wishes to publish his music globally call it hiplife?” he indicated. 

He therefore negated the supposition that concerts meant to celebrate hiplife (like his annual hiplife concerts ) may not be necessary in recent times.

“The goal is to evoke nostalgia and also maintain the heritage of Ghana’s music genre #HIPLIFE and make sure it is not forgotten in the annals of history. 

The beautiful #asakaa music is #hiplife (Hiphop + Highlife). The term hiplife has just not been used for it,” he explained.

On why the Recording Academy of the Grammy Awards chose to mention Ghanaian drill instead of its parent genre hiplife, Okyeame Kwame noted that the awards scheme operate on business basis. 

“The Grammy award is not consequential here . It is an American award , they choose what will benefit their agenda financially . Do you think they involve some Ghanaian genres because they love Ghana or because they want to be relevant in Ghana ? It is business not charity,” he stated.

Another iconic hiplife artiste, TiC, shared his thought on the matter.

“Hip Life is dead.” There’s no need to start the convo this way…. Is Hip Hop dead? No, but the real hip hop is not flowing like it used to. Again it has gone through different transformations, to the extent that the real hip hop lovers will say it doesn’t sound like before, yet hip hop is still alive. Why can’t we do the same here, accept that the original versions of HipLife is not flowing but we still got it in the new vibe rather than saying it is dead. Life goes on not backwards i guess,” he posted.

Affectionately known as the Rap Doctar, Okyeame Kwame will be hosting some hiplife greats at the 5th edition of his annual Hiplife Party at the +233 Jazz Bar and Grill on December 25, 2023. 

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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