Opinion

THE LIST! Top 10 Ghanaian Rappers of All Time

By Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo

 

THE compilation of lists of top or best rappers in Ghana or elsewhere is nothing new. In the US – the home of Hiphop – almost every day, some influential industry person or media outlet comes up with their list of best rappers or lyricists which can often generate controversy.

In Ghana, once in a while somebody, or an entity, publishes a list of best rappers based on their own criteria but the conversation got intense last week when legendary DJ and industry guru, DJ Black, released his list of ‘Top 50 Rappers in Ghana”.

DJ Black’s list has caused some others to also come up with their own list although they fail to assign the criteria they used in their compilation – and some falter sometimes, in tagging such list ‘All Time’.

As a lover and follower of Hiphop and Ghanaian music, it is fitting for me to also not banter with those who have compiled theirs, but just list my own and I assign the criteria for my choices.

Based on skill, clout, influence, following and recognition, I present my ‘Top 10 Rappers of All Time” in numerical order.

  1. Obrafour

For all the rudiments of rap, Obrafour tops it all. He demystified Hiplife, made it look simple and very appealing for every average Joe to dabble in. His influence, following and recognition have been unassailable.

  1. Lord Kenya

He had the skill in abundance and his energy on stage was remarkable. He, arguably, had the best stagecraft in the industry and his ability to excite an audience at any given time was undeniable.

  1. Sarkodie

In the last decade, Sarkodie has not had any competitor(s); in skill, elevating the culture, generating a mass following and attaining worldwide recognition.

  1. Okyeame Kwame

From his role as one half of the legendary group, Akyeame, to going solo, Okyeame Kwame, aside his proficiency in rap – has been able to command one of the most consistent, most appealing and most lucrative brands in the last 20 years.

  1. Okomfo Kwadee

Although he had a short-lived career, Okomfo Kwadee was the best storyteller ever in his prime. Many that came after him tried to replicate his style, all to no success.

  1. Reggie Rockstone

For leading the way for all these artistes, coupled with his skill, influence and recognition across the world, the Hiplife Grandpapa takes the sixth spot on the list.

  1. Tinny

Before Tinny, there were rappers like Kassim and Prince Bright who were rapping in Ga but undoubtedly, Tinny made Ga rap commercially viable, appealing and lucrative.

  1. Obour

In his prime, Obour was skilled. He had a bit of everything; a bit of Obrafour’s intelligent rap skills, Kwadee’s story-telling abilities and Lord Kenya’s awesome stagecraft. He is unmatched in how he garnered attention with his craft.

  1. Prince Bright (Buk Bak)

The art of singing and rapping expertly in Ghana was made popular by Prince Bright Sparkles.  Bright was dexterous and a trendsetter too!

  1. Scooby Sela (Sass Squad/TH4Kwages)

Scooby Sela is underrated but he was the leading man in two successful groups, Sass Squad and TH4Kwages. For his deft touch on rap and his influence, he gets the last spot on my list.

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