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Ras in Ghana: UK Artists

Ras

Check out profiles of the Ghanaian artists you'll be hearing across Ras' shows




Tic Tac :: Highlife History :: Reggie Rockstone :: Buk Bak
VIP :: Mensah :: Obrafo :: Rex Omar

Tic Tac (Hip Life)
Tic Tac is based in Accra and is known as the 'Busta Rhymes' of Ghana. He raps in the Twi dialect and was part Of Natty Strangers in 1997 but the group has since disbanded. He says 'I want to achieve respect for African music and young musicians'. 'Masom' was his second LP released in June 2002 and the album spawned no less than 6 nominations at the Ghana Music Awards.

He has performed at the Notting Hill Carnival, also alongside artists such as 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks, Kanda Bongoman, Judy Boucher, Mark Morrison, Buju Banton and Misteeq. Tic Tac set up his own record label TN Records to give young and up coming musicians in the country a chance, he is also the current vice chairman of the Greater Accra region of Musiga (Ghana Musicians Union).



Music: Highlife & Hip Life
Highlife was a form of dance music played mostly in Ghana and Nigeria which represents one of the century's first fusions of African roots and western music. The person most associated with the music and was crowned the 'King of Highlife' was E.T. Mensah.

The music began to die out in the 1960s as Congolese music was on the rise but there is still a lot of Highlife music to be heard from the highlife veterans like Jewel Ackah and A. B. Crentsil as well as from new people like singer Sammy Orusu and a group called Western Diamonds who were voted the best highlife big band in Ghana at three GBC (Ghana Broadcasting Company) MUSIGA Awards during the 1990s.



Reggie Rockstone (Originator of Hip Life)
Reggie Rockstone is considered to be the pioneer of rap music in local Ghanaian dialect. He's had 3 albums out on the Kassa Records Label: 'Makaa Maka' which means 'I Said It Because I Said It!', 'Me Na Me Kae' which means 'I Was The One Who Said It' and 'Me Ka' which means 'I Will'. In 2004, Reggie won the Kora award for best African Video. He has performed with Shaggy in Ghana in front of 50,000 people. He is known as the Godfather or President of Hiplife. He has a track out with Beenieman which was recorded during Ghana independence in Ghana.



Buk Bak (Hip Life)
Buk Bak are a three man rap group (Buk Bak is slang for 'school books') – the band are Prince Bright, Ronney C, Shoetan. There has been a rumour circulating that this group have spilt up but so far this remains a rumour. They're based in Accra, Ghana and their lyrics are in Pidgin English and Ga. Prince Bright is known for his wailing rap style similar to popular music from Mali or Senegal



VIP – 'Vision In Progress' (Hip Life)
VIP are Lazy, Prodigal, Promzy, Bone & Friction and they're based in Accra but represent for Nima, the hardest area in Accra! They are currently signed to Precise Music. Their track 'Ahomka Womu' won 'Best Song' at the Ghanaian Music awards in 2003. The group are known as the 'Wu Tang Clan' of Ghana. They mostly rap in Hausa but also fluent in Twi, English, French and Ewe.



Mensah (Hip Life)
Mensah is a common Ghanaian name. He was formerly in a group called Lifeline Family but left the group for 'business reasons'. He has worked with Reggie Rockstone on his track 'The Mapouka Dance'.



Obrafo
Obrafo had an album called, 'Pae Mu Ka' which was released in September 1999 on Noize Records. Obrafo translates as 'The Executioner'. 'Kwame Nkrumah' was a track he released which was a sentimental tribute to the late Pan-African and founding father of the Ghanaian nation. He has also featured Cy Lover on 'Agoro No Aso' (The Party is On) - a smooth combination of Twi and English that marked the first demonstration of sheer talent in production by 'The Last 2' a.k.a. Slim and Deep. Other artistes also featured were Alhaji Flesh, Ayewaa, Dr. Poh and Funky Functure.

He is probably the most successful rapper in Ghana next to Reggie Rockstone because of his lyrics, tight production, massive airplay and huge unit sales. Not to mention some good videos. He has had numerous shows in Europe also. He dropped a single in May 2000 paying homage to his mother and the mothers of Africa.



Rex Omar
Born in Kumasi capital of the Ashantis of Ghana, Rex Omar has gained wide recognition in the West African region and beyond. Having performed internationally aat a variety of places including Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faaso, Togo and Britain, Rx is set to explode on the international market with his latest album “Who am I?” Rex Omar, originally called Rex Owusu Marfo, is firmly rooted in his native criss-cross rhythms and melodic inflections. With this heritage plus the pervasive influence of western pop music and his personal love for jazz, Rex has created a unique blend of Afro-Western pop and jazz music, which he still calls, Highlife Music. His singing style portrays influences from the praise singers of Northern Ghana and Ashanti.



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Other shows with Ras Kwame

1XMusic

100% Homegrown

Championing the sound of the UK, Ras Kwame instigates the urban artist uprising.

 


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