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    M.anifest agrees that ‘hiplife is lifeless’

    by Nii Atakora Mensah,Ghana Music.com
    posted Saturday, 13 November 2010 18:08| 1 Comments

    The talent and rap skill that M.anifest possesses right now will rightfully earn him a spot amongst the greatest MCs in hip-hop very soon, and that is NOT up for debate.

    This spring, M.anifest will finally release ‘Coming to America: Immigrant Chronicles’, his long overdue follow-up to M .anifestations. Watch Coming To America by M.anifest

    The background for this interview was that the CEO of Ghana Music.com has been a huge fan of M.anifest and is down with all his songs and videos.

    And most importantly he wanted an interview conducted with M.anifest since he was in Ghana again for this year's High Vibes Festival, a documentary with Professor Nketia, his big concert on 19th November, promote himself and get ready for his fresh album.

    As we went on M.anifest agrees that ‘hiplife is lifeless’. “The exact quote, which is from a verse of mine, was: “I dey here wondering why hiplife is lifeless/ forget the politeness they might not like this/ but I remember a time when it wasn’t all like this.” Too many one-way songs that won’t stand the test of time”.

    Below is the M.anifest interview conducted by Ghana Music.com. It’s a short one, so if you find yourself at work and you need something to read and relax your brains, this should do you right.

    Ghana Music.com: What’s goin’ on M.anifest? Welcome to Ghana Music.com and how are you?
    M.anifest: I’m alive and grateful. Life is good chale.

    Ghana Music.com: What are you doing in Ghana again?
    M.anifest: I’m here primarily for a documentary called “We Rock Long Distance.” This section of the documentary documents me and my grandfather, Prof. Nketia who is a widely revered, an accomplished composer and ethnomusicologist. See the trailer on www.manifestmc.com or www.werocklongdisance.com.

    Ghana Music.com: Are you going to be excited in spring 2011?
    M.anifest: Definitely. It will be the release of my long awaited sophomore album: “Coming to America: Immigrant Chronicles.”

    Ghana Music.com: What subjects do you touch on when rapping?  Do you touch on love, sex, politics, survival, what exactly.  Is there any subject that you, as an artist, will not cover—that’s taboo to you?
    M.anifest: I touch on ideas that come to me from inspiration and experience. So definitely struggles in life, relationships, love, our history, the political landscape, etc, all within the context of African narratives. I don’t think any subject is taboo for me. Artistes are not politicians. More than anything, people expect the bare truth from us; cloaked in artistic charm of course.

    Ghana Music.com: What is important to you to "convey" now as an artist in terms of subject matter?
    M.anifest: I want to be able to tell stories that are not often told; stories from the margins. Tell those stories with music so beautiful that the stories reach the hearts and minds of all its listeners. I want to be able to challenge minds aesthetically with art and lyrics. There’s no use in me making the same kind of music the majority is making. I don’t see a purpose to that.

    Ghana Music.com: There seems to be a rumble constantly within the industry that rap music is "dead." What’s your thought on it?
    M.anifest: Music doesn’t die and will not die. It’s a spiritual force we can’t control. It’s the establishment, the industry, the money-making infrastructure that can topple and die. Music is part of our very existence as humans. Hip-hop in particular is far from passé. Name another art-form that is as global and grips the lives of its listeners like hip-hop does: fashion, visual art, the mode of talking and thinking. It’s still a very alive and almost terrifyingly influential music form.

    Ghana Music.com: I’m interested to know how your writing process has changed over the years.
    M.anifest: I’m more mature in life so that definitely means the depth and breadth of information and experience that informs my music has deepened and widened. This means I have much more to share. On a purely technical level, I’m much more skilled after writing 100’s of songs and 1000’s of verses. This means I have studied practiced, and I’m armed with many more ways to say the things I want to share.

    Ghana Music.com: Has the last years been frustrating for you?
    M.anifest: Being a fulltime musician, frustrations come and go all the time. The last couple of years have actually been more rewarding and inspiring music-wise for me. I’ve ironically had more challenges in my personal life than in my music-life.

    Ghana Music.com: Is there any truth to the reports that Mos Def is featured on your upcoming album?
    M.anifest: I wish. But who knows.

    Ghana Music.com: Is your identity wearing Batakari
    M.anifest: No. I wear the clothes; they don’t wear me or define me. I might be wearing an agbada or a v-neck white tee in the summer. Who knows? I do have a weakness for the glamour of our traditional clothing though.

    Ghana Music.com: When are you bringing your group, African Rebel Movement (A.R.M) to Africa, especially Ghana first?
    M.anifest: Chale, soon as one of these rich phone companies in Ghana pays us to come do a big show here it’s a wrap! I’ll bring A.R.M and my manager Ashanti even.

    Ghana Music.com: You like linking yourself to the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah? What’s the connection?
    M.anifest: I don’t think that’s accurate. I don’t link myself. I pay respect to his ideas, vision, and the incredible legacy he left to us that modern politicians keep on squandering and maligning. He was way ahead of his time. As a Ghanaian I couldn’t be a credible artist talking about our history without multiple references to Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. My grandfather did compose some things for Nkrumah though and he told me Osagyefo made art a political priority.

    Ghana Music.com: Why do you think hiplife is lifeless?   
    M.anifest: Haha. I see you have been reading my tweets. The exact quote, which is from a verse of mine, was: “I dey here wondering why hiplife is lifeless/ forget the politeness they might not like this/ but I remember a time when it wasn’t all like this.” Too many one-way songs that won’t stand the test of time. They don’t challenge any status-quo or ideas. They just want to end up on radio. Lifeless. Or would you disagree?

    Ghana Music.com: When are you leaving back to the states and what will you leaving behind?
    M.anifest: I’m leaving on Nov 23rd. I’ll be doing a big concert at Citizen Kofi Friday November 19th (doors open at 9:00pm) in conjunction with DJ Black’s ToonToom, MiPrime Entertainment and advertising support from YFM. So I’ll definitely be sharing musical goodness with the masses. This is my home so my heart still lives here. I’ll leave behind the gift of music and the love that comes with it till the next time I’m here next year. I’ll be coming for a month for another project.

    Ghana Music.com: Lastly, what do you know about Ghana Music.com?
    Manifest: A place to support and promote music from Ghana and also to share exciting news about Ghanaian music. A good place to find Ghanaian music essentially.




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