Growing up as a child, music was not only perceived as just a means of entertainment. The wisdom embedded in the message it carried shaped our lives in so many beautiful and mind blowing ways that could not be imagined. It had the right ingredients in their adequate proportions to transform the human, our consciousness and shape our morality.
I grew up admiring the “ingenuity” and “wizardry” of the likes of Kwadwo Antwi, Amekye Dede, Dr. Paa Bobo, Nana Acheampong, Ben Brako, Akosua Agyepong, Amandzeba Nat Brew, Akwasi Ampofo Adjei, Pat Thomas, Rambels, Papa Yankson, Ekow Micah, Obrafour and few other equally talented musicians across the globe. I believe that Salif Keita, Yousoundou, Wyclef Jean, and Angelique Kidjoe amongst others are names worth mentioning. If you are an ardent lover of good music, you would agree without any iota of doubt that, one thing that best defines these music legends is their ability to tease your intellect and challenge your intellectual capacity at the same time, entertaining and informing you with well researched edifying content. I personally learnt a lot of proverbs, historical facts, interesting folktales, life experience stories, motivational messages, maxims and inspirational quotes in these songs.
In today’s era of “EDUINFOTAINMENT” ,music should be perceived as food for the soul but the stance adopted by great music icons and ‘A’ list artistes, Sarkodie, Ebony and Shatta Wale in recent times make music seem like a mere ‘hustle’.
Just get a nice danceable beat, a few catchy hooks and a few words that resonate well with our ears and you are good to go. It is as simple as that. It is no surprise at all that self acclaimed dancehall King Shatta Wale would flood the media with a little over 90 tracks within a short span of a year. Some of the titles of his tracks for example “Kpuu kpaa”, “wo maame tw3”, “If I collect” “I laugh enter mall” just to mention a few, are just horrible enough to provoke a miscarriage in our expectant mothers. Of late,his songs are more like excuse me to say “Tugyimie” rice, it’s of a quantity than quality, sometimes tasteful but most often tasteless.
A few others like Sarkodie started well as a brilliant chap with very good songs but now what do we hear, he no longer pays attention to content probably because he knows his target audience is always ready to jump to the dance floor whenever he releases a new tune devoid of the content. Sarkodie instead being like an old wine getting better with time is rather depreciating in decent lyrical content.
Sarkodie said in his track entitled New Guy… “me speedi flow nu from kilos to tons”, maybe we should ask him if speed is measured in meters per second or in kilos and tons? and maybe, we should ask him whether ‘Fa sor ho’ is an insult or not. I thought he had learnt a great deal of a lesson from the verbal brutalities he had suffered at the hands of his audience for the blunder he committed on his Kanta track during the lyrical feud that ensued between him and M.anifest. Apparently, he did not. Personally, I was really shocked and at the same time , disappointed in him when he committed that unpardonable error about his use of the phrase ‘pro bono’
I thought it was mandatory for artistes to make good research about their choice of words before they incorporate them into their songs. What amazes me about Sarkodie is that, his in-law who doubles as his legal advisor is no ordinary person in our Ghanaian society. He goes by the name Lawyer Moses Foe Amoaning. I don’t think it would have been a sacrilege if he had reached out to him regarding the use of the phrase , considering the fact that, it is commonly used in the legal industry. This laxity towards good research portrayed by him best explains why he would surmount courage to pass such a derogatory comment about the KROBO TRIBE with no feeling of remorse and expect to get away with it. No history book in Ghana corroborates Sarkodie’s assertion which obviously seems to have caused a stir within the Kroboland.
As a professional musician, it is very important to avoid negative myth in your music especially, when it hangs on tribal, gender based , religious and racially sensitive issues.
I believe that, common sense alone should have awaken his conscience that ,the derogatory lyrics would incur the displeasure of the Krobo people; but the harm has already been done and the best thing to do right now is to apologize to the Krobos. Character, is indeed the way you behave and the utterances you make when no one is watching.
This is the time I expect “famous social commentator” Kwame A Plus, his friend Chris Vincent, industry players and personalities in the media space to express their displeasure at Sarkodie, for having passed such a disrespectful and distasteful comment about our fellow sisters from the Kroboland; but I bet they will keep their lips sealed and take a blind pass on this because apparently they have a selective affinity towards the discussion of issues regarding certain personalities who fall within a particular clique in our modern society. Had Comedian OB Amponsah or John Dumelo been the one who passed this spurious statement about the Krobo ladies, I know Chris Vincent who holds ‘PhD’ in sensationalism and insults would have been quick to crucify them on the social media and his website to attract traffic and make small cash. I am glad Kwame Dadzie is doing well with this very development, making his voice heard and advising Sarkodie to render unqualified apology to the Krobos. I was expecting to hear a thing or two from blunt and outspoken Lydia Forson but it seems I would be disappointed.
Sarkodie needs to apologize and stop giving that brittle alibi of his daughter being a Krobo therefore he could never insult the Krobos. In anyway, is Sarkodie telling Ghanaians that, because he has a Krobo daughter, his wife is also cursed with being nymphomaniac or a sex freak? Maybe, I should also ask if Sarkodie travels to perform abroad and asked to translate the lyrics, “Krobo nii baa Okomfo Anokye di adwaman abo ni dua”…. to English and explain, how is he going to put it? These are the questions we should be asking . As humans, we are fallible, he goofed with that line and need to just openly apologize to be forgiven, retract that music or edit and move on. To err is human to forgive is divine.
My dear readers, life is a mirror that reflects what we do and how we act. If we keep singing about profanity and choose to remain silent when the wrong is done, the future repercussions of our actions and inactions might be paid the hard way on our young generation, considering the fact that ,the youth constitute the moral framework of the nation and the future. A good friend of mine once said ” Sometimes, we look to the wrong places in our attempt to understand certain social ills… In other words, If we want to know why human immunodeficiency virus ( HIV ) / Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ( AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infection (STIs) are on the rise amongst the youth of today, we should not question parliament nor the Ministry of health. The answer we seek should be coming from MUSIGA”…
I believe he made this statement in view of the fact that, music has the power to change our thoughts and beliefs. It has a strong correlation with the way we act.
We need a robust army of musicians that can revolutionize our thoughts positively and tease our intellect. The aforementioned veteran musicians have fought a good fight and the current crop of musicians must carry on the legacy for a good cause. Let us detox our minds from these “Kpuu kpaa” syndrome and charge our artistes to release songs that can entertain and ‘edu-inform’ us positively. This does not apply to only Sarkodie and Shatta Wale but to all musicians in Ghana regardless of the genre you find yourself doing. If we keep accommodating profanity through the songs circulating in the media and yet choose to keep our mouth sealed because of the fear of suffering some unwarranted humiliation at the hands of the perpetrators, the future repercussions will be unpalatable.
We’ve come a long way with our music. Therefore,we need to build on what our predecessors did by providing rich, well researched content with good and decent lyrics to entertain and educate, not anything wishy-washy to pollute the current system which is likely to have a spillover effect on the next generation.