Okyeame Kwame: We didn’t aim to make hiplife appealing to younger acts

By Majesty 3 Min Read

Well-known rapper and songwriter from Ghana, Okyeame Kwame, has voiced concerns about what appears to be the current generation of rappers’ disregard for the hiplife genre.

Instead of identifying as hiplife artists, many young Ghanaian artists, according to Okyeame Kwame, would rather be associated with hip hop or Asakaa (Ghanaian drill). 

He explained this trend by saying it’s hard to find the name of the hiplife genre on digital music stores.

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Kwame Dadzie, an entertainment journalist for Joy FM, expressed concerns about what he saw as a downturn in the hiplife industry in an interview with X.

Okyeame Kwame tweets

Okyeame Kwame responded, acknowledging the shift in preference among younger rappers and explaining that although they may not use the term “hiplife,” they are technically still creating music within that genre.

A younger generation will give up on tradition when it fails them. If they call their music hiplife, how will it fit on Spotify and other streaming sites? People choose their business heroes based on financial and social impact, how many heroes did hiplife create? Nuances,” Okyeame Kwame emphasized.

When asked what went wrong, Okyeame Kwame cited a number of reasons, such as the absence of a welcoming culture to draw in young artists and the lack of a digital platform to sell their art. They also failed to turn their gifts into a multibillion dollar industry collectively.

He acknowledged that hiplife had fallen short, especially when it came to securing a place on streaming services that do not classify it as a genre.

Okyeame Kwame refuted the notion that hiplife concerts are no longer necessary, highlighting their significance in preserving the history of Ghana’s hiplife music genre and arousing feelings of nostalgia.

In response to the Recording Academy of the Grammy Awards bringing up Ghanaian drill rather than hiplife, Okyeame Kwame played it down, saying the Grammy Awards are a business and only consider things that fit their budget.

Tic tac, tweets

Renowned hip-hop artist TiC joined the discussion, acknowledging that hip-hop has changed and rejecting the idea that it is no longer relevant. He compared it to hip hop, pointing out that despite its changes, it is still relevant and keeps evolving.

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