Monday, April 17, 2006
A Snapshot of Popular Music in Tamale
There are so many musicians doing creative things in Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana. I wanted mention just a couple of them. Hopefully, there be time in future to devote to talking about more of these singular local artists.
I met Abada when they played a VCD (yeah, that's right. that's what's often used in Ghana) release party for one young hiplife group called B.F.G.s. Their name, which stands for Big Friendly Guys, subverts the stereotypes amongst ordinary folks that hiplife dudes are trouble. This is the first Tamale hiplife artist to release a VCD, so this show was big. Abada were part of a line-up that included most of the top Tamale musicians of the last several years. The show and after-show lasted til late. At least 10 different groups and individuals performed a mix of hiplife, their local brand of highlife, and reggae. The parking lot outside was a sea of motorbikes and ice cream sellers and all sorts of local teens. Most people ended up at another place on the other side of town where there were DJs spinning the usual mix of r&b, hip-hop, dancehall, and local sounds.
Abada, interviewed at their hang-out. An area they call Yaari ghetto. Black Moon on the right, Black Shanty on the left
Here they are on stage at the release party the night before. This is at one of the main nightlife spots in town, Picorna.
Black Moon, the the sweeter, highlife-oriented half of the vocal duo.
Black Shanty, the ragga boy with the rough and deep tones.
MC Rauf, aka Shoe Shine Boy, is one of the well-established veterans of the scene these days. I met him when I first came to Tamale in 2002 and we chatted at his barbershop. He was initially a shoe shine boy, he told me. To be a shoe shine boy is one of least desirable or profitable gigs in Ghana, but it also connotes a sort of dilligence, which Rauf seems to embody. Listen to one song, aptly titled "
I was lucky to come back to Tamale after about three years and kick it with Rauf again.
me n my homies got a hip hop blog that you should check out too
not too many cross overs but we know hip hop too
hope you like it