Renowned rapper, Kwame Ametepee Tsikata, popularly known as M.anifest, in a new documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) titled ‘Hiplife Rewind’, has revealed that Hiplife is dead.
Posted to their YouTube channel, Monday, February 6, 2023, the rap star posited that Hiplife is dead. According to the Ghanaian rapper, Hiplife is dead because the young are no more interested in it.
Also, he holds that the gatekeepers failed to evolve with the sound and the times. “Hiplife is dead because the driving force of the music is the younger people and the younger people do not identify with Hiplife,” he asserted, shifting in his seat and sitting up.
According to the enterpreneur and musician, Hiplife tastemakers contributed to the death of Hiplife also because they were at a point too conversative to recognise and participate in the evolution of music in West Africa.
“The originators of Hiplife were a bit too precious about what it should be so as new versions sonically were happening, you could hear people saying, ‘Oh, this Jama, this Azonto, is watered down, it’s not real’,” he noted, adding that insisting on the “idea of real,” these industry powers failed to identify that: “You have to evolve or perish [and that] is what any music form has to understand.”
“Those who were gatekeeping Hiplife were refusing to acknowledge the evolution and the thing must evolve. The thing must evolve,” he stressed. “For it to survive, the thing must evolve.”
When in the early 90s, rap legend Reggie Rockstone amalgamated American Hiphop with Ghanaian Highlife, together with his friend and business partner, the late DJ Rab, he named it Hiplife, the precursor to the current Afrobeats wave sweeping across the world.
The genre birthed Ghanaian megastars like VVIP (formerly VIP), Tic (formerly Tic Tac), Lord Kenya, Kontihene, Obrafour, Okyeame Kwame, M.anifest, M3nsa, Sarkodie, etc.
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