Rounding off the year in high spirits is Ghana’s enigmatic breakout star of the year, Black Sherif who just got eulogized, listed and interviewed by global music brands i.e. Spotify, Amazon Music, The Fader & Audiomack all in this month.
Black Sherif has hit yet another milestone as his album ‘The Villain I Never Was’ has been named one of the 50 best albums of the year by U.S music magazine The Fader.
Compiled by The Fader, the album placed 49 among other successful albums released in the year under review.
The 20 year old new Ghanaian sensation’s album was among the likes of Bad Bunny ,Freddie Gibbs , Rachika Nayar , Jockstrap, Beyoncé and the likes .
In the piece, “The 50 best albums of 2022”, The Fader writes of Black Sherif’s debut EP: “After the international success of “Kwaku The Traveller” and a string of unforgettable features, Konongo-born rapper Black Sherif was supposed to spend his summer playing at festivals across Europe.
“A creative spirit prevailed, though, and he was possessed by a desire to complete his debut album at home in Ghana. So, instead of euphoric performances throughout the world, he spent the rest of the year slinking across studios in Accra to finish his debut album, The Villain I Never Was.
“I left it all to finish this album because I wanted to give it my all,” he told THE FACE earlier this year. As achingly honest as it is insular, The Villain I Never Was is a coming-of-age epistle from the fast-rising rapper keen to make sense of and do away with the nihilistic public perception that his music has created.
“Oil In My Head” is accessorized with thumping basslines and skittering percussion, but its subtext is an urgent plea for peace of mind. On “Toxic Love City,” he sings that he fucked up by letting someone he loved realize their hold over him. These are the words of a 20-year-old navigating life, forming new memories, and exorcising his demons.”
Furthermore, Just a few days ago Audiomack, a global music streaming service that includes artists from all around the world, has released its list of the 50 finest albums of 2022.
Superstars like Wizkid, Beyonce, Daddy Yankee, The Weeknd, and other notable musicians’ albums were in the collection, which was mostly dominated by Afrobeats artistes from Nigeria.
Ghanaian new sensation Black Sherif’s album ‘The Villain I never was’, was the only Ghanaian album that was among the 50 finest albums of 2022 listed. The achievement brings a magnificent 2022 to a perfect end for Black Sherif.
Black Sherif has gradually become the golden voice of Ghana’s rap scene. After a series of smash hits, both introspective and anthemic, Sherif’s debut album The Villain I Never Was landed, sounding like an instant classic.
2022 BET Hip Hop Awards nominee, Black Sherif is currently having a good run in the showbiz industry.
Following the successful release of the 14-tracked album which features the African Giant, Burna Boy on track 14, ‘Second Sermon Remix’, fans and music lovers have shown their appreciation for the rapper’s album.
‘The Villian I Never Was’ album in less than 24 hours of its release surpassed 70 million views on streaming and audio discovery platform, Audiomack.
The album also peaked at peaks at number 12 on billboard chart sandwiched by Wizkid’s; ‘Made In Lagos’ album at number 11 and BTS’s ‘Love Yourself: Tear’ album at number 13.
‘Oil In My Head‘, ‘The Homeless Song‘, ‘45‘ and ‘Konongo Zongo‘also debuted on Apple Music Top 100 Charts Ghana.
Black Sherif is not only appearing on world charts or blowing up streaming algorithms but also caught the attention of international award schemes as he has received two nominations in just a month.
The “50 Best Albums of 2022” list by Audiomack further reinforces the fact that Afrobeats is one of the significant musical genres now sweeping the world of music.
Along with Wizkid’s “More Love, Less Ego” body of work, the self-described “African Giant,” Burna Boy, made the list with “Love, Damini,” and the acclaimed albums by YBNL Nation superstars Fireboy DML and Asake — “Playboy” and “Mr Money With the Vibe”—were some of the best albums.
Seyi Vibez’s “Billion Dollar Baby,” T.I. Blaze’s “The Fresh Prince of Lagos,” T Dollar’s “Born 2 Shine (EP),” and the skilled FAVE’s debut EP “Riddim 5” were also some of the other Nigerian Afrobeats artistes on the list.
Moreover, Ghanaian artiste Black Sherif has revealed why he keeps mentioning ‘Kwaku’, ‘Frimpong’ and ‘Kwaku Killa (KK)’ in his music.
“You see now I use Kwaku, KK, a lot. I used to get bullied for it,” he said in his near-hoarse voice on a Spotify RADAR Africa interview, posted on YouTube on December 14, 2022.
“At the time, I was Sherif Frimpong Ismail,” he kept pulling his beard, and smiled as he made the recollection.
Explaining why he was bullied for his preferred name, he quoted what his bullies would say: “How are you, a Muslim, calling yourself Frimpong?”
He noted that because of the mockery, “I didn’t like the Frimpong name, even though that’s my father’s name.”
After High School, however, he came to the realisation that the name is: “My identity.”
“Due to that history, I have always felt I have to do something, I have a debt to pay, pay my dues, so that name would be mentioned and honoured,” he revealed his resolve. “This is why I never front Sherif Muhammed Ismail a lot.”
“I [rather] front Kwaku Frimpong,” he stressed looking his Spotify host in the eye. “That [name] is my actual identity.”
Currently the fastest-rising Ghanaian music act, he also said it was a surprise to him when he first noticed that subconcsiously, his go-to name when he makes music is Kwaku Frimpong.
“About eight weeks, I wrote a lot of songs and in about 80 per cent of them, I found myself saying ‘Kwaku’ a lot,” he said in wonder as though it was a fresh realisation.
The breakthrough song for the Konongo-born rapper, ‘Second Sermon’, which later saw a remix featuring Nigeria’s Burna Boy, birthed the catchphrase: “Kwaku Frimpong will cause trouble.” In the song, the young adult bemoans engagement in actitivies his family, especially his mother, would not be proud of, all in pursuit of a better life in Ghana’s capital Accra.
“Now that the whole world is chanting ‘Kwaku Frimpong’,” the seriel hitmaker says he has noticed he has “paid” the name its due respect.
Lastly, in a recent interview on Amazon Music’s +44 Podcast, he revealed that he was homeless for eight days, and it sprung from when he had issues with his former financier, Snap Chavis Wayne.
Ads by Snap Chavis Wayne dragged Black Sherif to court for breach of contract after the ‘Second Sermon’ hitmaker refused to accept a mansion and a car from him.
Another issue Wayne had with Black Sherif was that he neglected the contract and went to sign a new one with Empire Entertainment, a foreign-based record label located in the U.S.
Reminiscing about those times, Black Sherif said he and the producer who made the beat for ‘The Homeless Song’ were rendered homeless during that period.
He revealed that fellow musician, Smallgod, got him and his producer a place to stay.
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