Sunday, October 30, 2005
I've now got a place where you can check out some video clips of rappers in Ghana. My camera captured the scene: individuals' biographies, live performances, freestyle battles, and a fascinating view into the life of numerous young artists. As hiplife takes on many forms in and around Ghana's capital, Accra, I spoke with a vast spectrum of characters. From the 13-year-old schoolyard ragga boys to the 30-something and older crowd of industry movers and shakers, I talked to a ton of people.
Click on the post title above or here to see my first video post, Kwaw Kesse Rocks Tema.
This video clip is a good example of a more underground, but well-organized, show. Tons of excited kids were seriously feeling Kwaw Kesse's audacious jams. In many of his songs, Kwaw uses foul language and insulting epithets, which riles up these wild teenagers to a fevered pitch (somewhat comparable to some of the better hip-hop shows I have seen back here in America). Contrasting with most mainstream hiplife shows, this show features Kwaw actually rapping into a live mic. Most hiplife shows rely on lip-syncing in order to preserve the tightness of the performance, and to help the artist focus on intricate choreographed dances. This is wack, but with most promoters employing severely used sound systems, miming becomes preferable to having the mic go dead mid-song. In this performance, Kwaw keeps the original tracks playing, but has the mic switched on so you hear his actual voice. A hardcore show like this is rare in Ghana, especially among the more established artists who are less apt to risk a disaster, technical or otherwise, which could spoil or delay a show.
FYI--Kwaw Kesse means Big Kwaw (Kwaw is a common Akan name). Dude comes from Agona-Swedru, where he started kicking rhymes as youngster in the schoolyard...
but i think its very cool!!!!!!