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Hammer Hits at Rappers Using Local Languages on International Stage – Full Details HERE!

Unlocking International Success: Hammer's Analysis on African Rappers!

Ghanaian music producer Edward Nana Poku Osei, popularly known as Hammer, has shed light on the challenges African rappers face when using their local languages to break international boundaries.

In a candid interview with Joy FM’s Kwame Dadzie on the Showbiz A-Z show, Hammer emphasized the impact of language on the global reach of rap music.

Hammer explained that while songs sung in vernacular languages can easily cross over to international audiences due to their melodic nature, rap songs face a tougher barrier.

He noted that rap relies heavily on beats and lyrics, making it harder for non-English rap to gain global traction.

“It’s easier to sell vernacular in a singing format than in rap because ‘sing-songs’ have melody. Rap songs are words. So the beats drive rap songs. Listen to Zibote; we still don’t know what they were talking about, but we love it because it is a song-song,” Hammer said.

He cited Nigerian artist Asake as an example, explaining how Asake’s use of Yoruba in his sing-songs allows him to cross over to international audiences successfully. In contrast, Hammer pointed out that rapping in Yoruba would not yield the same results.

“It is easier for a ‘sing-song’ to cross over, like Asake with the Yoruba. He can cross over with it because it is a ‘sing-song’, but if you rap in Yoruba, you will go hungry,” he added.

Hammer also discussed the evolution of award-winning rapper Sarkodie, who has transitioned to incorporating more English in his rap to reach a broader audience. He praised Sarkodie’s English rap delivery on his ‘No Pressure’ album, attributing this shift to the limitations imposed by vernacular rap.

“Sarkodie has suffered out there. The reason he has transformed into an English rapper is that he has to move on because vernacular rap will limit you,” Hammer stated.

Hammer’s insights underscore the complexities faced by African rappers striving for international success. While vernacular singing can transcend linguistic barriers through melody, rap remains a more challenging medium due to its reliance on lyrics and beats.


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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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