Rivalries make good stories, but sometimes, better music. The greatest diss song ever, “Ether,” spawned from a feud between two of the best lyricists to ever string words together.
Most rivalries are entrenched when artists placing greater importance on the outcome of competition against specific contemporaries. Musical rivalries go beyond just individual artists: groups of musicians, recording labels, and sometimes entire countries vie for musical supremacy—cue Ghana and Nigeria.
What sparks the rivalry?
Sarkodie, M.anifest, M.I. Abaga, and Omar Sterling may be contemporaries, but Sarkodie and M.anifest are rivals. Any other permutation doesn’t meet the yardstick for rivalry, and here’s why:
Rivalry brews when two competitive musicians, with similar relative characteristics and in close proximity, have a history of interaction. So, M.I. Abaga may call Vector his rival because they are both skilled rappers, spend some of their time in Nigeria, and have probably had physical run-ins in the past.
L’asakaa and the Gang
Asakaa and La Même Gang are two of the biggest musical ensembles Ghana has ever witnessed. If you disagree, leave a comment to prove you don’t.
Both camps have released incredible bangers, sold out multiple shows, and built separate fan bases, slowly morphing into cultural juggernauts.
rain. asked three anonymous music people one question: Asakaa and La Même Gang, which musical ensemble has been more influential and more impactful?
Insider Insights: Three Voices, One Question
Rapper: I think Asakaa wins this on both counts. The Grammy just announced a new drill category – thanks to Asakaa. Younger Ghanaian rappers are “drilling,” and they sound just like the Asakaa Boys. Each year, those boys drop between 2 – 5 albums, and multiple singles. Plus, they are always recruiting new members. La Même Gang may have a strong hold in Accra and its suburbs, but I doubt they can shut down Swedru. Asakaa can!
Music Executive: Asakaa did something that has never been done in Ghana’s music scene, and they blew. Breaking in a new sound when Afrobeat is popping is next to impossible. Asakaa did just that. Asakaa is mainstream; they just wrapped up their European tour, which was a success. Asakaa wins on impact. On influence, i think La Même Gang wins. It’s no secret that RJZ has influenced Black Sherif, heavily. Blacko may draw inspiration from elsewhere, but looking at what he has achieved, within this period, in and out of the music scene—that is enough influence for one generation. So Asakaa wins on impact and La Même takes it for influence.
Music Lover: Quantity matters. La Même has its niche, but Asakaa’s reach is unmatched. I don’t think I know that many La Même Gang songs. I probably may not recognize one immediately if I hear one now. I have heard a number of songs from Asakaa played over the radio and had a few recommendations by the algorithm on Spotify. I am not a die-hard Asakaa fan, but I’m a fan, nonetheless. I don’t know if I can say same for La Même. Asakaa has my vote on influence and impact. Apologies to the gang.
A Deeper Dive: The Industry Impact
Beyond the sonic showdown, these rivalries reflect the dynamic nature of Ghana’s music industry. They spark innovation, push boundaries, and create new genres. If harnessed properly, the energy from these rivalries can generate buzz which will propel artists to greater heights
Balance is important. Rivalries when left unchecked risks breeding toxicity, and eclipses the art itself.
Beyond Ghana musical scenes, rivalries have ignited transformation in sound. The East Coast vs. West Coast hip-hop scene in the U.S and the K-Pop rivalries in South Korea have witness enormous transformation in sound mainly because of rivalries.
To wrap things up, the Asakaa Vs La Même Gang rivalry is more than entertainment — it’s a great piece of the Ghana’s musical mosaic, a healthy display of sportsmanship and a propellant for growth, creativity and global recognition.
La Même Gang just started a riot. Listen to them here: