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A KING’s Charm over his subjects, a concert of many colours, A Legend LIVES ON … THE FIFTH RAPPERHOLIC

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Heightened and impatient, the growing crowd begins to grumble loudly now. For hours, they have waited to be let into the large auditorium in which the concert is scheduled, but the gates have remained firmly shut. Circumstances thus fester disturbing thoughts. No one is anticipating a stampede, but…

2017 marks five editions of Sarkodie holding his annual Rapperholic concert. Also, it crowns an extensive tour of major destinations across Europe, UK, and the US with his latest album. Now bearer of the accolade “Highest” as a result of the album’s title, Sarkodie is expected to curate nothing short of that adjective. The venue has remained unchanged in the past couple of years, and to a large extent, his biggest hits haven’t either. But he bears in his hand on this occasion, an exceptional new body of work, and a sturdy desire to engrave it as a classic in the hearts of patrons gathered here tonight.

Sarkodie performs at Rapperholic 2017. IMAGE/ SADIQ MORE

Once inside, the crowd is much relaxed, but also very alive with debate, legend, and gossip. Tonight, everyone is a GH rap expert…Sarkodie serving as the primary reference. Across the hall, numerous zealots are already drenched in their own sweat. Attired in Sarkodie merchandise, they have significantly been roused by music being spun by DJ K Krack ahead of performances on the night; flaring their hands and chanting along to songs as performers would, as if it is they who penned them in a modest home studio that quiet morning. There’s something to be learned from this sight –the marvelous power of the well-crafted spoken word.

Things escalate quickly –a rapid succession of riveting acts (mainly emerging stars) ensures this. If there lingered anywhere in the venue, any remaining shadow of monotony, the opening round of performers dispels this outright: Article Wan, A.I, Kwesi Arthur, B4bonah, energy machine Epixode, Sariki, Teephlow, and Yaa Pono have proven true revolutionaries in this new chapter of Ghanaian music. Their offerings in recent years have served as party staples as they have facilitated soul-searching. That Rapperholic brings them all together on one stage is commendable.

DJ Mensah, and UK band The Compozers constitute Sarkodie’s corner tonight. It’s not an unfamiliar team, and their aptitude is impossible to question. As has been the situation with the Rapperholic franchise over time, we are on the verge of something momentous.

Rapperholic has always been about a lush atmosphere. Everybody is there with a jollification mindset, and when people are united in this purpose, very little can hold them back. So intense is the vivacity in the realm that it thickens the very oxygen circulating in the room, making it tangible to the naked eye. In Ghana, only a handful of names are potent enough to summon such spirit –the name “Sarkodie” is one of them. Since his 2009 debut Makye, Michael Owusi Addo (as he is privately called) has remained the darling of music lovers in these parts. With superior wit and delivery, ingenuity and simply an innate desire to rap, he has risen to the foremost echelons in the country and beyond. In the past decade or so that he has practiced music professionally, he has been a key contributor of songs which constitute our top picks.

Furthermore, Sarkodie’s magnificent stage charm, fostered over the course his career, has made him a true performance icon. Whether singlehandedly, or in the company of the notable contingent of surprise acts that supports him each year, he has always held his own. That is why Rapperholic sets in particular, are always keenly anticipated.

“The hunter ages, but not his skill”, translates a popular Ga adage. Legends will always remain legends. There is not a dull moment at Rapperholic 2017, and every performance is important for a reason; Jayso, Strongman, and Teephlow reecho the essence of pure rap, Feli Nuna, Freda Rhymes, and Eno boost our confidence in the female rapper’s competence, Kwaw Kese typifies brazen originality, King Promise, Kurl Songx, and Akwaboah are antidote for the ladies, Koorede Bello and Yung L augment the West African feel, and BBNZ boys Shaker and Ko-jo Cue ooze the worth of the pen and paper. But Obrafour’s appearance is undeniably the most significant on the night. The rapturous reception which meets the Rap Sofuo’s triumphant entry unto the stage is the sort of thing that shatters glass ceilings.  As he performs alongside Sarkodie, not even he can hear himself. The crowd takes over, roaring well-received collaborations from the pair: Saa Okodie No, and Life, as well as classics off Obrafour’s unequaled catalogue including Yaanom, Kwame Nkrumah, and Ohene (which Sarkodie impressively recited with perfection).

In many regards, Obrafour is hiplife. The genre may have been originated by Rockstone, and properly established with the input of a hundred other pioneers, yet, Obrafour has embodied that sound more effectively than anybody else. Starting with Pae Mu Ka (1999), his approach has served as both soul and blueprint for hiplife, while operating on the everlasting “Last Two” pulse.

The model apprentice, Sarkodie has, since the beginning of his career, always deemed Obrafour as a godfather. Their performance, and Sarkodie bowing to him in a remarkable act of reverence and gratitude is simply heartwarming to behold. Both rappers are reportedly brewing a joint album following a passionate appeal by veteran producer Da’Hammer some weeks ago (who is producing the work). Judging by the distinction achieved on everyone of their collaborations so far, the project is bound to be emblematic.

Sarkodie bows to Obrafour at 2017 Rapperholic Concert. IMAGE/ PULSE

Maybe it is the December spirit, but recent days have witnessed images of great solidarity and mutual admiration that normally is infrequent in a fiercely competitive terrain as showbiz. At his December 22 concert, Stonebwoy genuflects before guru Samini during their performance. In neighboring Nigeria, archrivals Wizkid and Davido seem to have patched things up, appearing on each other’s concerts. Davido’s recent 30 Billion concert witnessed a Mo’Hits reunion, with D’Banj, Don Jazzy and other original members of the once supreme music label all performing side by side.

At Rapperholic, Sarkodie is Nas, and Fela, and Bob Marley. He’s Marvin Gaye, and Kojo Antwi, Daddy Lumba, and Paa Dogo. The stage is made for him, and affords him opportunity to explore the many extensions to his creativity than he normally would.

No limitations exist. Rapping or singing, backed by a band or DJ set (or both), Sarkodie simply reigns. Over highlife, hiplife, hiphop, Afrobeats, or reggae, he shines brilliantly.In an era where rappers particularly are constantly berated for their obsession to mime onstage and nothing else, Sarkodie proves that an all-round performance can be achieved by a rapper too.

His image as a performer is highly boosted by the Rapperholic concert, and serves as necessary springboard for the subsequent year. So, even in spite of RuffTown’s Ebony, Sarkodie will make a more than decent showing at the 2018 VGMAs.

The mere mention of this name causes deafening cheers, and when he finally surfaces onstage, dressed in black, and performing Light It Up amidst fearsome fire breathers, he does render a performance worthy of the applause and long standing ovation that characterises his sets. Other songs follow, off Highest as well as previous offerings, and the cheers remain constant. Beloved colleagues join him: Samini, Joey B, Magnom, Captain Planet, Efya, Becca, Kwaw Kese, Adina, R2Bees, Big Shaq…This party just goes on and on.

By the time he performs Glory, his inspirational new single featuring Nigeria’s Yung L, it is unanimously agreed that he has tucked yet another successful edition neatly in the annals of history. His swan song for the night, and indeed, a great 2017, the number causes him to shed a joyful tear. His story is a deeply moving one, and for anyone who has followed his journey over the past 10 years, it has been one big blessing.

A ‘Sark’ FULL OF Glory… Sarkodie – THE ‘Highest’ ALBUM REVIEW

Glory, the Jayso-produced joint, sums up Sarkodie’s new album and life too: no matter where you are, dreams do manifest if you keep at them, and are patient and resilient enough to see them come to pass.

“King Sark till I die/ nobody can ever pull me down”, goes a line in the song. He can afford to say that now because he has come from far, and remained alive. And when accounts of an artist now frequently takes the form of  a tribute, maybe they have really become legends.

Thoroughly thrilled and content, the crowd files out of the conference centre leisurely now. Pockets gather here and there, conducting their postmortem. For hours, they have truly jammed to some of the biggest songs of 2017  –the fatigue in their bones, and their sore feet are testament to that. The reviews are generally positive, and nobody seems to even remember the poor crowd control by organisers at the beginning of the show, or its late start. Rapperholic 2017 has ended well.

A multiple-award-winner, Sarkodie is author of five albums in all: Makye (2009), Rapperholic (2012), Sarkology (2014), Mary (2015), and Highest (2017). Compered by Dancehall singer Shatta Wale, this year’s Rapperholic concert is a joint collaboration between the rapper’s SarkCess Music, and A Team Productions.

More images from the concert courtesy Sadiq More:

Sarkodie at Rapperholic 2017. IMAGE/ SADIQ MORE

Sarkodie bows to Obrafour at 2017 Rapperholic Concert. IMAGE/ PULSE

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Events & Places

Rapper Teephlow to embark on “Thank you Central Region” Tour

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Rapper Teephlow after his VGMA 2018 record of the year is set to embark on a Thank you tour in his home Region Central Region.

The appreciation tour will see him pay a courtesy call on the Omanhene of the Ogua Traditional Council, the Central Regional Minister among others.

In an earlier interview with Accra based Television, First News Network, the State of Art expressed his happiness for winning the record of the year award.

TeePhlow has several songs to his credit including New Era, The Warning, Riding and Sei Hor.

Teephlow is signed onto SpyderLee Entertainment,  a member of the Groupe Nduom is also behind the huge success story of duo Keche. They are also organisers of the prestigious People’s Celebrity Awards.

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The Vodafone Red lounge, the real tech party at VGMA 2018

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Since taking over as headline sponsor of the Ghana Music Awards some six years ago, Vodafone has spared no expense to ensure that they add more than a bit more to the experience of their customers at the annual event.

It was Vodafone that started an added ambience of music, food and drinks on the side of the main night of VGMA at the VIP and presidential rooms of the Accra International Conference Centre. For about five years the telco brand entertained people it referred to as valued customers as they enjoyed the awards in those privileged rooms.

This year, however, Vodafone decided to flip the script and they did so by changing the name of the entertainment arena from a room to a lounge, thus Red Lounge was introduced at the 19th Vodafone Ghana Music Awards last Saturday night. It has always been Red Room

While the name may have changed, it was still a Vodafone event and so came with all the trappings of what the brand has been known for on VGMA nights: class, food, drinks, music and a real reddish party atmosphere.

There were couches, settees and there also were the bars that served all manner of drinks. And then the stand that served the grills, mini-sandwiches and wraps, fruits, cake and other such canapés to the very privileged few who got invited by Vodafone to the place reserved for its key consumers.

The new idea of engaging with the consumers in the Red Lounge is the inclusion of technology to depict the new focus of Vodafone as the telecom brand that is leading the way into the digital space.

First was the invitation by an SMS alone and a simple SMS scan at the entrance to allow those invited to enter the lounge! No invitation cards. Next was how drinks were ordered via an app on tablets. No shouting to order drinks and food and definitely no jostling between people.

And then there was the robot engagement inside the Red Lounge. The role of the robot in the lounge was multiple: it showed patrons the way to the washroom and also took a picture and printed for them.

The pre-event party in the Red Lounge started from 7pm-9pm with guests arriving to take a bite or two and have a drink while songstress Yaa Yaa crooned melodious songs with the support of her band and also strummed her guitar strings away into the night.

Starr FM’s DJ Vyrusky was on hand to help Yaa Yaa with good music from his turntables and also sent the lounge into a party mood after the main event during the post-event party. The party went on until the dawn as MC Kabutey Ocansey became the hype-man on the night.

It must be mentioned that space was a bit small to contain the partying crowd, there was some confusion at the entrance to the lounge and it seemed the noise level was too much to have a decent chat with the robot during the after party.

However, the transformation of the left wing of the AICC into a club feel, the addition of technology in the experience and the uniqueness in the setup and engagement need commendation. It was another awesome addition to the VGMA experience by the brand that knows how to do it best!

See IMAGES:

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AllStar DJ Mynor hosts the biggest automobile show BENZ PARTY (+IMAGES)

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Award-winning Ghanaian DJ, Allstar DJ Mynor has hosted the biggest Benz Party in Ghana.

The event was organized by AllStarKonnect/SuSean GH LTD and Motion Consult.

“BENZ PARTY is an initiative that was created to bring all lovers, users and also fans of Mercedes Benz together… Basically, the idea behind this initiative is to share ideas, connect owners together, exhibit, educate, inform and also have fun ” DJ Mynor said.

Jeffrey Offei Moses popularly known as DJ Mynor is known for his association with R2bees and Criss Waddle and his numerous mixtapes like the All-Star Mixbag, Hiplife and Naija Mixbag amongst others.

According to the organisers, the Chigo GH LTD sponsored event will be an annual event supported by Starbuzz Tv, StudioXtra and Metro Tv.

See the Images below:

 

 

 

 

 

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Donewell Insurance, Happy FM Stock National Blood Bank

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The 2018 edition of Happy 98.9 FM’s annual blood donation exercise was partnered by Donewell Insurance as part of their 25th Anniversary celebrations and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The blood donation exercise which took place at the Osu Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Accra on Saturday April 14, saw a host of Donewell Insurance Company Limited and Happy FM staff together with the general public donating blood to stock the National Blood Bank.

Over 100 units of blood was collected to boost the stock of blood at the National Blood Bank.

Speaking at the Blood Donation Exercise, Timothy Karikari, a Director at Global Media Alliance Broadcast Company (GMABC) stated that the issue of shortage of blood at the hospitals is a great concern to Happy FM and hence the partnership with Donewell Insurance Company Limited to beef up the stock at the blood bank.

“We at GMABC, having trust and confidence in the Donewell brand, decided to partner them in this year’s edition. Shortage of blood at our hospitals has been an issue of great concern to this country. Blood is essential for life and the wellbeing of Ghana’s human resource is critical for the success of this country. We believe that by doing this, we are contributing our quota to the health and development of this nation,” Mr. Karikari disclosed.

He said that blood cannot be manufactured and therefore essential for people to donate to help save a life.

Blood cannot be manufactured or created and so by donating blood, you are saving someone’s life, a company’s life and a nation’s future.  Even one unit of blood is important,” he noted.

Jennifer Bebli, Head of Marketing and Business Development at Donewell Insurance Company Limited disclosed that the objective of the blood donation exercise was to give back to society and also to help save lives.

“It has been all over the news that the blood bank has always had a shortage in terms of blood so we decided that as part of our way of giving back and saving lives, we organized this exercise. Donewell Insurance is 25 years and as part of our support to Ghanaians and the community in which we carry out our business, this blood donation exercise is one of the many CSR activities lined up for the year. Since our head office is in Osu, we thought it right to undertake this CSR activity in the community in which we have stayed in these 25years and also to support the blood bank by donating blood,” she noted.

The blood donation exercise lasted for about 8 hours from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  There were other activities such as free medical screening and health checks for participants by qualified medical professionals.

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WATCH LIVE: The 19th Ghana Music Awards

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LIVE from the Accra International Conference Centre, it is Ghana music’s biggest night.

Watch live. Feed courtesy TV3.

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The Ghana Music Awards – ALL THE WINNERS – ARTISTE OF THE YEAR #VGMAs2018

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Tonight’s VGMA Awards, the 19th edition, could produce the first ever female “Artist of the Year”. The act who would be responsible for this momentous feat, should it happen, will be late dancehall singer, Ebony Reigns, whom many expect to come alive tonight.

Other contenders for the topmost laurel include Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Sarkodie, and Joe Mettle (all of whom have won the award in previous years.

Put together by Charterhouse Productions, with Vodafone Ghana as headline sponsor, the Ghana Music Awards scheme was instituted in 2000, and saw highlife veteran Charles K Tosu (Daddy Lumba) being crowned Artist of the Year. The list that has followed Lumba for the coveted award has been remarkable and regularly fiercely contested:

  1. Daddy Lumba (2000)

2. Kojo Antwi (2001)

3. Lord Kenya (2002)

4. Kontihene (2003)

5. V.I.P (2004, 2011)

6. Obour (2005)

 7.  Ofori Amponsah (2006)

8. Samini (2007)

 

9. Kwaw Kese (2008)

Kwaw Kese. IMAGE/ OWULA KPAKPO

10. Okyeame Kwame (2009)

11. Sarkodie (2010, 2012)

 

12. R2Bees (2013)

 

13. Shatta Wale (2014)

Shatta Wale. IMAGE/ KWABENA AWUKU

14. Stonebwoy (2015)

15. EL (2016)

 

16. Joe Mettle (2017)

VGMA 2017 Artist of the Year, Joe Mettle

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