The hottest news in town on the entertainment front today is not about John Dumelo being sidelined by producers and his follow-up denying granting any such interview.
Neither is it about the fact that Abeiku Santana, as of last week, had not picked a form to contest the NDC parliamentary nomination for Mfantseman as he had previously indicated.
It is the lingering issue about who actually introduced the word “HIPLIFE” into contemporary Ghanaian music language. This has come up for discussion and over the last three weeks of so, it has been the raging topic on many entertainment platforms.
The question that has been screaming for an answer and which has generated the controversy is this: did Reggie Rockstone invent the music genre known as hiplife? The simple answer to this question has opened multiple cans of worms or even worse, a few of Pandora’s Boxes which have brought in their wake many more questions.
In a country where record keeping is not taken seriously, you are likely to get entangled in such a quagmire one time or the other. In such a situation, the answer people give to the question is whether they like Reggie or how they think he would take their answer.
However, if you listen to and read the arguments carefully, there seem to be two schools of thought. One that says that Reggie is the originator and therefore deserves all the plaudits that have come for almost two decades and the other being that there was a youthful hip hop culture which Reggie popularised.
There are some people who had even been touted by others as those who gave birth to not the just the genre but also its name and when those same people had the opportunity to corroborate such credit given them, they flatly denied such an honour.
For crying out loud, the argument being had is less than twenty years old and we have lost all historical knowledge and you would wonder what it would be like if it had risen up eighty years from now.
There is a difficulty to separate the issues and know exactly what the fact of the matter is and I am not going to pretend that I know the exact answer to this issue, there are people closer to the music scene in the 1990s who have tried and burnt their fingers at giving any such answer gave.
What I can speak to, having lived in that period is that, there was a certain growing hip culture and many of the young people who loved music were doing rap, beat boxing, R&B, etc. There were the likes of Native Funk Lords, Mahoney Pee, Nananom Sydney, etc.
There was probably not a local name for what they were doing. Reggie came in a tad late, but he galvanised or rather rallied the energy of the young people and did something that most of them bought into. I don’t know if he gave it the name or not, but I know he played a big role in popularising the genre and gave the young people confidence that they could do this.
Can we therefore call him the Grandpapa of hiplife if what I said above is what happened? I don’t know. Can we call Kwame Nkrumah the Grandpapa of independence? We sure have been doing so considering that despite what many before him had done, he was the one that unified our efforts, rallied us and gave us hope that we could gain independence.
The way I see it, we won’t have the fact now or soon and so all should have their own version of what they think the truth of the matter is. Hopefully, we shall get the matter resolved one day. Hopefully.
FROM CHANNEL R RADIO TO WHAT?
One of the radio stations in Accra which had stuck to the operating of Christian religious broadcast on 24 hour basis for a very long time is Channel R. Indeed, it was probably the only station that had Christian religious broadcast programming targeted at a mass audience.
The alternative has been Sunny FM and later Sweet Melodies, both of which operate wholly Christian content although they seem to be targeted at an audience in the higher regions of the Living Standard Measurement survey (LSMs).
So Channel R had been doing that until recently when news came out that the owners of TV3 had acquired the frequency and were going to start their own radio station. Indeed, the news was that they had acquired both Channel R on 92.7 FM and XFM 95.1FM as well as other stations elsewhere in the country.
Over the last few weeks, listeners of radio in and around Accra may have noticed that there is new programming on the frequency that used to have Channel R’s liners and programmes. The Frequency is mentioned in a Voice Over as 92.7FM mostly by a lady that occasionally adds the slogan; WE ALWAYS GIVE YOU A REASON TO SMILE.
I am sure some who listen to the new station have been waiting for the name of the station the last 6 weeks or so and yet that name appears to be an elusive mirage. Would they cut the chase and find a name for the station?
Over the last couple of days, 92.7FM seemed to have introduced some level of programming without the station’s name known.
It had started morning Show airing between 6 am and 9 am. Even before then, it broadcast some motivational messages from renounced International preachers like Joel Osten, Joyce Meyer TD Jakes etc.
It seems to me that the programming guys behind the station want to make content on 92.7FM, to have a local and everyday appeal as they discuss community based issues most of the time. Cue Joe Tetteh-Coffie Good Morning Accra on Radio GAR many years ago.
Again, it seems TV3 are going all gung-ho and releasing all their fire power on this new station as TV presenters such as Bridget Otoo, Bright Nana Amfoh, Iso Paeley, Fred Chidi, Michael Oti Adjei, Kweku Temeng have all been heard.
Remember Heavy Dee, aka Kleman Anatsui from Vibe FM and Joy FM back in the day? He is on 92.7 doing the late afternoon show called Freeway. This is a four hour progamme which is heavy on Music and designed for the Drive Home in Traffic.
Can he match the changed landscape and the competition that already exist in the market with Lexis Bill, Bola Ray, Jessica Opare-Saforo, Sammy Forson and many others competing for the ears of their listeners and the wallet of their advertisers. Time will tell.
As they decide whether to leave the name of the station at 92.7FM or find a proper name for it, the question of whether TV3 has what it takes to run radio stations in Accra and other parts of the country has to be asked;. They have been very successful in television, but is radio a banana peel they have stepped on? Would they always have a reason to smile? We keep listening and watching.