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    From ghetto to grace - VIP

    by Nii Atakora Mensah, Ghana Music.com
    posted Tuesday, 08 May 2012 20:07| 2 Comments

    Riding high off the success of their album, “7/11”, Promzy, Prodigal and Lazzy who sum up to make the group VIP.

    The young MCs are focused on taking over the hiplife rap game in the coming year.

    Nii Atakora Mensah of Ghana Music.com had the opportunity to sit down with the buzzing Nima 'hiplifers' which consists of Promzy, Prodigal and Lazzy — to talk about their 'simple consistence' plans to take over the rap game.

    VIP's exuberant, infectious single "Ahomka Womu!" helped push sales of their 2004 release “Ahomka Womu” album. VIP are rap music's most unusual set of collaborators., their multiple personalities are showcased on their album releases.

    Making music in Nima

    The original members of Vision In Progress was made up of Promzy (Emmanuel Ababio), Friction (Musah Haruna), Bone, Prodigal (Joseph Nana Ofori), Lazzy (Abdul Hamid Ibrahim) and Friction's dog called Chicago. Their musical careers started in the early 90s at Nima, ghetto suburb in Accra.

    Before that they met to see "who is who" in rap competitions. Little did they know that one day they would become superstars from an slum area called Nima.

    With the group set, they kicked off performing at parties, nite clubs, street festivals, carnivals and beach events to build their fan base.

    At one of their carnival performances, they met Ace radio-presenter, Mic Smith of Groove FM who became their manager and got them a deal with Precise Music. With that coming they cooked up two hot albums - “Bibi Baa O” and “Ye De Aba” which garnered more popularity. Now VIP was a household name nationwide in Ghana who represented Nima. They moved on to Goodies Music Production who also took them to higher heights.

    Along the success lane, Friction fell out of the group because he wanted to pursue a solo career. Bone too also dropped out.

    The last standing ones were Promzy, Lazzy and Prodigal who still believed in their vision and came out with the third album - “Lumbe Lumbe Lumbe”.

    Single went to number 1

    VIP's major hit single, "Ahomka Womu" was released as a cassette single. The record climbed to the top of the music charts and stayed at No. 1 spot for months. Though they were straightforward rap artists at this early stage in their career, Promzy, Prodigal and Lazzy were determined to shake things up.

    "We work as a team. Each and every member contributes the same thing, we wanted to do different things than what current and other upcoming hiplife acts do", they said.

    The rise

    VIP emerged as one of a slew of Nima-based groups that were gaining national attention at in the late 90s aside Akyeame and Nananom.

    The trio gained more listeners because they were armed with songs such 'Ranasallah', 'Kuzomuyewasa', 'Obaa Sweetie', 'Daben Na Odo Beba', 'Besin', 'Ahomka Womu', 'SisSisi Na Die Wom' and more. These were songs that got every one to his feet dancing.

    Anytime VIP are in the music laboratory, they carefully work on their lyrics that they know will carry their work  across and also relate to all ages.

    The group in 2004 set a record by succeeding in winning five awards at the Ghana Music Awards, and in doing so, broke the myth in 2011 by winning Artistes of the Year to which they are record holders.

    VIP till date has Ahomka Womu as their best single ever released .

    VIP sets trends. For now their name is known around the world.

    VIP won awards all over

    VIP's major crossover achievement came finally in 2011 with their sixth release, “Progress”.

    The album had a certain psychedelic feel and produced several hits, among them "I Think I Like Am, 'Away and more'.

    'Fight No More' also put NIMA on the musical map for good, with the numerous references to the neighborhoods where they grew up.

    United Nations was able to notice what their music could impact on and made VIP UN Peace Ambassadors for West Africa. They performed in mammoth concerts in war torn countries such as Liberia and Senegal to promote peace.

    They have won or were listed in all prominent awards in Africa.

    No plans for solo careers

    Some VIP fans worried that the departure of Friction could also spark the other members going separate ways. Promzy, Prodigal and Lazzy stressed that they were still a team. Promzy, Lazzy and Prodigal are all fathers but still find time to do music.

    The bottom line is VIP has an enormous presence with today's most desirable target audience. When they record a song, it becomes a hit. When they are event bill roasters, it sets attendance records.

    VIP has reigned as Ghana's No. 1 hiplife personality group.

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