GHANAIAN MUSIC IS GOING NO WHERE FAST, AND ITS CONSUMERS ARE TO BLAME
(Somewhere in Accra…)
LYRICAL WARS: K Bo vs. Ankwanda
K BO: “…put the W in front of his name…call him Wakanda!”
(Crowd goes wild)
As I stood quietly watching the crowd reaction, I thought to myself, “the fuck is going on?”
Hip-hop heads (well…they said they were hip hop heads) who would sit for hours dissecting bars, arguing why Kendrick was the better lyricist over Drake or why Jay was better than Marshall (eternally debatable, and that’s the point)…and this is the reaction they give a blatant reach Superman couldn’t get to even if he tried?
First off, there are two “N”s in Ankwanda…what happened to the other one?
Second, we see what you’re trying to do sir, but then wouldn’t that have been a “WH” and not “Wakanda”? Which brings me to point three.
Black Panther hype train’s still going, doesn’t that bar elevate your opponent over…oh wait, that’s why you reached?
Full disclosure – that might not have been the bar word for word, but the punchline was “Wakanda”.
I left right after.
More less over the bar – I’d heard worse. It was the crowd reaction that did it to me. Then again, why did that reaction surprise me? Ghanaians have always revelled…nay, glorified mediocrity; and nowhere is this more evident in their music. Don’t believe me? Let’s recap a few lyrical gems:
“No matter how high I go, I’ll never fall Cos I’m the son of man..a kangaroo”
“I came and you showed me some love…I promise to build you a statue”
“Pii poo pii poo” Need a little help with that one? Here’s a hint. It involves staying in a single place. You know…one corner.
And we wonder why our music goes nowhere. No, a couple of shows overseas or plays on Spotify doesn’t mean you’re global. I’m talking international recognition. The type Drake gets. Sam Smith. Old Sean Paul. Hell, Wizkid. Acceptance by international superstars that you are indeed recognized as a global brand.
Name one Ghanaian artist (you can’t cheat with Mr. Eazi after you all said he was Nigerian and even he’s not there yet) who fits that mould.
Don’t worry. I’ll wait.
It’s not simply a matter of making music to pander to a global audience. I mean, hey! You can make any song you want, and say it’s great but if it really isn’t, how far does the rest of the world have to participate in your delusion? Jamaican music’s had its run, Latina music’s had its run. We didn’t understand half the things they were saying, but it was good!
So, is it because Ghanaian fans are…dumb? Not in the least. The same people that laughed at Paedae’s bars in “Yawa Girl” will now stomp out anybody that disrespects 1990.
So why do “bad” songs hit? Because, fans get hype over the song and hype it some more.
Why do they get hype over the song? Because they hear it over and over again.
Repeat a lie enough times and sometimes it becomes truth. Be honest. You kinda liked that one Soulja Boy jam, didn’t you? Didn’t even say a song, but that one song popped into your head didn’t it? Because everywhere you turned in 2007, they were playing “Soulja Boy tell ‘em”. So, it stuck.
But where we all agreed regardless of rotation that Soulja Boy was a cancer that needed to be removed, we rarely if ever, held/hold local artists who threw/throw money behind their mediocre offerings to that standard.
It gets worse.
We live on Planet Internet. Access to artist music has become easier, effectively removing radio stations and DJs as the gatekeepers of music. You would think this would mean fans flocking to support music they like, but the Ghanaian situation’s structure goes like so:
“See music. Hear music. Like music. Do fuck all about it.”
Fans forget that the reason artists become popular is because people push their hype. So why don’t they? That’s where the hypocrisy of the Ghanaian fan comes through. In as much as we love to “be different” and “stand out in the crowd” we all pussy ass bitches want some sort of social validation. Nobody wants to be the odd one out supporting something that hasn’t been “proven successful” for fear that if it fails, “Hahaha! Your preferences suck!”. So basically, that artist becomes, ‘that act you like but don’t say anything about because it’s not cool to support them yet’.
It has nothing to do with ability, just exposure – leaving artists who could actually compete on the international stage in the shadows because they lack the funds/exposure to generate the hype train which would gladly roll if the Ghanaian fan supported good music.
In these parts, before the general populace accepts you, you either have to spend a shitload of money on generating the illusion of success or get acceptance from an external (and valid) audience.
Either way, the average Ghanaian fan, spoilt for choice with the amount of musical talent available (but too “lazy” to do anything about it) has immensely contributed to the inability of exceptional local talent to flourish and compete on the world stage.
Will this change? I don’t know.
But till then, we continue to hold this L like a French chick.
Oh shit! That’s a bar!
No, it’s not. Don’t even.
-SHAE D. M.