By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo
It is an indisputable fact that, MTN ‘Hitmaker’ music reality show is the most successful music reality show in Ghana after ‘Stars of the Future’. Before you repudiate this fact, just take a minute to assess the records. That is not the crux of the piece, so we won’t even expend the time to rummage the facts here.
Pre – Charterhouse Era
We are also not going to waste time delving into the first 3 editions when the organization and production of the show was not under the aegis of Charterhouse, but for the sake of history, let’s just get into it for a minute.
Under the guidance of the legendary Ivan Quashigah’s FarmHouse Productions, there were Naterial, Koo Ntakra and Togbe, winners for Season 1, 2 and 3 respectively.
Charterhouse took control of the show in 2017, and have managed and produced the show since its 4th season. Check out the seasons and respective winners since the takeover;
Season 4 – KiDi
Season 5 – Kurl Songz
Season 6- Freda Rhymz
With the 7th season in its homestretch, it is only appropriate we assess the performance of the previous winner, if indeed, she has lived up to expectations.
Performance of Winners
Still hovering on the Charterhouse tenure, let’s assess the performance of winners as mainstream artists. By the design of the show, contestants work with Music Producers – and the winners, after completion of the show, go on to work under the stables of their producers. Confused? Here are examples;
Richie was producer for KiDi during the competition, therefore, after winning, the singer went on to work under the producer’s Lynx Entertainment label.
Kurl Songx’s producer on the show was Kaywa and after the show, he was signed to the producer’s Highly Spiritual Music imprint.
Freda Rhymz? Well, DJ Breezy was her producer and by following the trend, she had to work under Breezy’s label, Black Avenue Muzik (BAM).
In comparison, Freda Rhymz is the weakest link among the winners of the competition with regards to popularity and relevance. Since signing or joining BAM, she has released unnoticed freestyles and one lukewarm single, ‘Jammin’.
That girl holds her own in the rap game, make no mistake; she’s got the attitude, the confidence and all other elements that qualify her to be a top-rated rap star but unfortunately, those virtues are yet to translate into mainstream relevance.
By far, KiDi seems the most successful winner of the competition, with several chart-topping hits, most-watched music videos and high-profile shows. Kurl Songx is next, also having chalked some hits and notched high numbers for some of his quality music videos.
So the question is; for coming up with the decision to hand over or allow Freda Rhymz choose to pursue her career under the guidance of DJ Breezy, did Charterhouse get it wrong? For their inability to project the artist to another level, has Breezy and BAM faltered in that regard?
Well, before you give resounding answers to the queries, let’s do a little analysis to figure out how and why Freda is in her current state – oblivion!
KiDi, on the show, was produced by Richie and got signed to the producer’s label and Kurl Songx, also produced by Kaywa on the show, was signed to the producer’s label. Freda, on the other hand, was signed to DJ Breezy, who is also signed to the Black Avenue Muzik label as the in-house music producer.
So, while the likes of Richie and Kaywa have total dominion over the affairs and direction of their respective labels, Breezy does not have that level of control. In his and Freda’s case, D-Black is in charge and makes the decisions, and that is obviously telling in how Freda’s career has fared thus far.
What’s worse? There are close to 10 artistes signed to BAM, including Freda Rhymz, and based on the Company’s procedures, an artist can stay on the label without releasing a banging tune for years.
She Needs Time, Maybe!
Perhaps, Freda Rhymz needs time as it takes strategic planning and effective management and promotion to attain recognition – just maybe.
KiDi won in 2015 but it took him 2 years to commandeer a ‘monster hit’ – and he’s not looked back since. Kurl Songx had to use over a year to also produce a hit song, thanks to the assistance of Sarkodie.
With the pace of the industry and considering how female rappers are also not given the same level of hype, plus, most importantly, the fact that, the attention would be fixated on the soon-to-be announced winner of Season 7, time may not be the best friend of Freda Rhymz right now.
Time To Change Procedure For Event?
Since 2014, the procedure of handing over winners to their producers for management after the competition has not had any major setbacks until Freda Rhymz, DJ Breezy and Black Avenue Muzik.
The point is; the core objective of MTN ‘Hitmaker’ and every other music reality show is to unearth a talent and ensure that the talent becomes a star. Anything short of that can be considered a failure.
Perhaps, considering the seeming blotch of Freda Rhymz on a perfect record of producing stars out of raw talents, MTN and Charterhouse may have to revise the procedures of the show.