RAP MUSIC USED AS A VEHICLE FOR PROTEST IN GHANA; ‘WONNA MAMA’ BY KWAME WRITE AND ‘CHALEY WE DEY’ BY C-REAL, BOTH FEATURING WANLOV KUBOLOR

ONE FOR WONNA MAMA

Amidst the flooding in the capital, power outages(dumsor), water shortages and riots against demolition of housing without properly planned relocations, Accra has had its fair share of instability and threat to harmony these past few weeks. At the same time we find fuel prices going higher (just last Tuesday, 16th June, 2015, prices surged up by 4%) and the cedis keeps on taking a series of plunges in the face of the US dollar, Euro and Pounds Sterling. Artists who are in touch with their immediate environment, have been creating to illuminate these issues, cautioning the citizens to be aware and keep awake as their country and home is continuously threatened by these conditions and the leaders who do almost nothing to resolve things.

Wonna Mama is a call on all citizens of Ghana and the continent’s (Ghana’s mama’s) inhabitants to push for the best and connect with the aim to solve their own problems, without reliance on the so-called leaders, who have failed massively in terms of regional integration, economic and infrastructural development, etc.

As projected more vividly with Martin Luther King Jr’s quote; “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” we as artists seek to portray the state of the nation and explore possible measures to tackle this death-fall.

Since kwame write released Public Verses Announcement EP, enthusiasts have been calling for more, especially as they realized he had the flair for rap aside poetry recitals. It gets realer as kwame write features one of Ghana’s most renowned musicians with a solid sense of social consciousness and activism; the one and only Wanlov Kubolor of the Fokn Bois’ duo. Pidgen English is mainly used in a verses each by the artistes interspersed with sampled vocals from the emphatic politician, international showman and businessman Kofi Wayo. Press play and get sizzled by the fast paced long syllable rhyming and positive content.

CHALEY WE DEY

C-Real brings Wanlov in on this track that just needs to be heard to be understood.
It’s a message to Ghanaians and it’s been a long time coming. Ghana has been facing the same problems for generations now through all its governments and it seems its time the people took a part in bringing in the change. This track is a call to action for all Ghanaians to join hands and make that happen.

Chale We Dey tells the story of a typical Ghanaian mindset and the situation the masses face due to bad management of the state. Check out the duo on one the best and most honest songs of the year.

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PRESS RELEASE: THE GOWN MUST GO TO TOWN (ART EXHIBITION)

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Press Release:

blaxtarlines Kumasi and the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board present:
“the Gown must go to Town…”
KNUST END OF YEAR EXHIBITION 2015
19th June – 17th July 2015. Museum of Science and Technology. Accra.

With the Gown must go to Town, the Department of Painting and Sculpture of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) celebrates its recent past student Ibrahim Mahama’s participation in the 2015 Venice Biennale as the youngest artist of the International Exhibition All the World’s Futures. The Department also congratulates its past student El Anatsui for his Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement awarded by the same Biennale.
The Gown must go to Town features the works of the Department’s 2015 graduating class of BFA students and selected teaching assistants. Also featuring are six special guest artists, all graduates of the same Department, whose works have featured prominently in other important platforms of contemporary art such as the I:54 Contemporary African Art Fair New York, SMBA’s Time Trade and Travel, Stedelijk Museum’s How far how near, the two Saatchi Pangaea Shows and Silence between the Lines in Kumasi. In the past decade, the Department has risen to become a hub of ambitious Contemporary Art in West Africa. The new spirit was instigated by an Artist Collective of young tutors inspired by kąrî’kạchä seid’ou’s Emancipatory Art Teaching. The Artist Collective and its networks introduced a new spirit of contemporaneity, material and political sensitivity, and reflective public engagement into the curriculum. The titular the Gown must go to Town, a précis of the ethos of the present curriculum, is a rehash of an important axiom in the acclaimed speech, The African Genius, delivered by Kwame Nkrumah in 1963. This edition of the KNUST End of Year Show is kindly supported by the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, the Nubuke Foundation, the Cultural Attaché’s Department of the French Embassy, and friends of blaxTARLINES KUMASI, the Contemporary Art Project Space of the Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST.
Exhibition Opening: 5pm-8:30pm. Friday 19th June 2015.
Open Daily: 8am-5pm. Mon-Sat. 20th June- 17th June 2015.
Curatorial Team
Artistic Directors: kąrî’kạchä seid’ou, Kwaku Boafo Kissiedu, George Ampratwum
Curators: Robin Riskin, Selom Kudjie, Patrick Okanta Ankrah, Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo
Participating Artists (BFA Class of 2015 – Selected)
Mohammed Taajudeen Abdulai, Michael Adjei Danso, Sandra Kusi Agyei, Joshua Ahenkorah, Dzidepo Mensah Ahlijah, Ronit Akomeah, Effie Amonoo, Larry Amponsah, Lois Selasie Arde-Acquah, Prince Akuffo Asante, Alvin Ashiatey, Fred Afram Asiedu, John Attakora Gyimah, Mustapha Awuni, Emmamuel Kwasi Azumah, Eunice Oppong Baah, Lawrence Baganiah, Samuel Boateng, Elolo Bosoka, Frank Botchway, Joshua Osei Mensah Brobbey, Felix Darko Adu, Francis Djiwornu, Dzidefo Kwami Yao Dogbeten, Farouk Haajar Ameen Kudos, Adjo Kisser, Silas Mensah, George Neequaye, Elvis Nsiah, Stephen Odei Tettey, Ruby Oduro, Emmanuel Opoku Manu, Barima Osei Sarfo, Yaw Owusu, Derrick Owusu Bempah, Belinda Owusu-Boakye, Emmanuel Kwaku Pianim, Gershom Sackey, Kafui Torgbui, Samuel Nii Wellington, Chartwell Cofie, Mary Osei Baah, Bright Gyimah Danso
Participating Artists (BFA Class of 2014 – Selected)
Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo, Gideon Asmah, Kwame Asante Agyare, William Duku, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi, Francis Anim Sakyi, Godfried Tetteh, Joshua Gblorkpor
Special Guest Artists
Afia Sarpong Prempeh, Jeremiah Quarshie, Selasi Sosu, Dorothy Amenuke, Edwin Bodjawah,
Ibrahim Mahama
Curatorial Team
Artistic Directors: kąrî’kạchä seid’ou, Kwaku Boafo Kissiedu, George Ampratwum
Curators: Robin Riskin, Selom Kudjie, Patrick Okanta Ankrah, Mavis Tetteh-Ocloo
Support
Michael Adashie, Dorothy Amenuke, Edwin Bodjawah, Kwabena Afriyie Poku, Kofi Setordji, Odile Tevie, Stéphanie Soleansky
Organising Institutions
blaxTARLINES Team, Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST
Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (Museum of Science and Technology, Accra)
Nubuke Foundation
Sponsors
Department of Painting and Sculpture, KNUST, Ambassade de France au Ghana/Institut Franҫais du Ghana, Nubuke Foundation, Friends of blaxTARLINES, Ibrahim Mahama (Artist)

CHECK HYM OUT AS HE WORKS ON HIS AFRO TRAP ALBUM “KENKEY MONEY PROJECT”

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I met HYM for the first time on May 6th, 2015 at Republic, Osu, when Inkfluent held a poetry, rap and music session headlining Ghalileo, the Rewrite Crew including myself, etc. As part of the Yoofi Hesse group, there were a couple of new faces who put up surprisingly passionate and stellar performances spiraling the audience into different realms. People were in the crowds cheering and asking for more!

It’s interesting to get in touch with HYM once again, and this time track his musical growth, as he works on a soon to be released collection called the Kenkey Money Project.  “After two years of putting in nothing but work, a lot of effort, time and energy making this project, I can honestly say the time is finally here. Please keep in mind that we are living in trying times and to be a musician and not shed light on some of the pressing issues of the past, now and tomorrow is nothing short of cowardice in my books,” he says.

He envisions setting out this project that would go a long way to educate people on major socio-political and historical misconceptions. He calls his style Afro-Trap. As presented by RF Inc, I’ll be one of the first if not the first to let you know when this project is cooked and ready to be served to the loyal masses! You can follow through the lyrics of the first single; “State of the nation address freeverse” (re-prod. by Sean Kay) here:

LYRICS:

“State of the nation address freeverse”

I remember mama saying greatness always takes a while

To be a man it takes a child

To make a child it takes a man to take a wife and all his life

Stick to his words no back tracking and no telling lies

So I apologize on behalf of who I used to be

I normally don’t give a sh*t

In this world where every man’s a thief

Politicians busy stacking up what every man should eat

Wahala dey x2

There’s riot in the streets

Policemen dey come

Army men dey come

Children holding guns because we don’t have the vim to

We’re just ordinary people

At least that’s what we were told

Long before

We knew we had the diamonds, long before the gold

Long before the roads built around the coast

Took our brothers on that boat, and left bruises on my soul

So these visions that I hold

And these lyrics i unfold carry stories of a folk denied hope when they needed it the most

We’ supposed’ come together

Turn together, grow together as a folk

If not, we’ll just keep wondering this earth till he calls us in

Who? Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name

Thy will be done in my life and my ways

Strangely these days nothing moves me

Neither news nor the movies

Right down to the music, Write down some new music

But put a message in the sh*t you say on beats when you use them

Or fall victim to the system, I’m dropping gems you should listen

Listen! mutumina ka bude hankalinka rayuwa badu gidigidi shey a hankali fa

It’s a game if it’s a game play am well like fifa

you be king today, tomorrow zaka bar garinka

Protect yourself and help the people around

Play your cards right, jump from  here to caprice

kowa na damuya, all frowns no smiles, meke faruwa

wahala na qaruwa magana na qaruwa

You want a king, toh GA guda, I’m the sh*t chale GA quda

I got gees in kano and kaduna

And anytime, I buss zakaga ana taruwa

cuz na tsani munafiki X4

I’ve seen things, I’m seeing things, I’m singing f*ck what you feeling

Thinking of a master plan that’s not violent

Preach it to the world. it’s wrong to stay quiet when you know the truth…HYM

By kwame aidoo

GRADUATE’S APOLOGY LETTER TO GHANAIANS AFTER FLOODS. “I HAVE FAILED YOU GHANA!”

Dear Ghanaians,

MY APOLOGIES FOR WE HAVE FAILED YOU GHANA

I write because I am sad, but I write mostly because I am ashamed. Ashamed because I am a civil engineer with a master’s degree in the built environment, who gained this degree by writing a thesis on the topic “developing sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) as flood mitigation measure in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana”. A paper I was so proud of until now.

I remember I had to start my thesis defense with highlights of the flooding problem in the city of Accra with historical facts on flood occurrences, and the loss of lives and properties from the 1930s to 2012. I remember doing this because my Swedish lecturers couldn’t clearly phantom flooding as a problem needing solving in 2012 at a city level. I further had to show previous research on flooding in the city, and the country as a whole. One showed the correlation between high-earn/low-earn communities and flooding in Accra, a topic not for discussion today, but one I shall surely write about soon.

All these studies, my very own much included, have been shelved and gathering dust every day. We go through hell to undertake such studies, to gain degrees upon degrees, in various fields; Architecture, Engineering, Urban Planning, Real Estate, etc.; at different level; bachelors, masters, doctorate, professorship, all in the aim of developing our built environment. Yet out of school, we go through life professional in the office behind a desk, work and get paid and worry not if we are achieving the aim we sort to study for, to make life better for everyone, everywhere.

My master’s thesis alone, proposed solution upon solution on how the flooding problem in Accra can be solved. I proposed SUDS as the best solution for a city in a developing country, proposed case studies we should learn from, both in terms of design and policy and how these should be adapted to Accra. But after getting a Pass with Distinction for that study, my thesis is also gathering dust, both physically and mentally, because I too work and get paid and worry not if I am achieving the aims for with I undertook that study.

Seeing this week’s events, over a hundred deaths, and all the properties lost, all because of floods, which should have been prevented by people like me through adequate design, proper construction and supervision, and forward thinking, I AM ASHAMED. I know what should have been done, how it should have been done, and even when it should have been done.

I write because for now, this is me stating to do the right thing, taking a step in the right direction to help solve this problem. I do not have the mandate to break buildings in waterways, or initial slum upgrade problems, resort natural water bodies, or enact the policies to solve this problem. So for now I write, bringing my profession, skills and knowledge to bear, as a start to solving this age old problem. Maybe, just maybe if I write enough articles, propose enough solutions, share my thoughts, someone will hear and implement them. This is the first of many articles to come, my own way of giving back to my country Ghana.

We as professionals (architects, urban planners, engineers, leaders etc.), entrusted with developing our built environment to making them liveable have failed you. We have looked on over the years, with arms folded, and in some cases even helped destroy it, and for this we are sorry. I pretend to be speaking for us all but in actual fact; I can only speak for me. I have failed you Ghana, and for that I am truly sorry. I am sorry for letting you all down, Ghanaians deserve better from us, for we are all leaders, SO LET’S LEAD.

Kofi A. Aboagye

INSTALLATION ARTIST BAISIL KINCAID’S QUEST IN EXPLORING GHANA’S ENVIRONMENTALISM CULTURE

Baisil Kincaid is an artist in residence at Art Connect International and a member of the St. Louis Reclamation Arts Team. Having lived and worked in Ghana for almost a year, he indulges in creative ventures that go to quench his thirst for life, as he puts it; “I make art for fun, for intellectual & spiritual exploration, for discipline and emotional expression.”

He displayed a large scale public installation just last month consisting of works made from discarded scratch cards found in the Accra La vicinity formally used to purchase cell phone call credits or Wi-Fi data bundles.

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(photo credit: artist)
(photo credit: artist)

(photo credit: artist)

“My team and I have been making modular two dimensional works that stand alone as individual works of art, as well as working together seamlessly for when we stage public installation work.”
He goes on to explain that he was drawn to the scratch cards by their radiant and attractive colouration, and their everyday use as obviously identified on the Ghanaian society’s consumer’s list. He shares his journey, being concerned about the important role the internet plays in our contemporary daily lives. “The material itself raises a lot of questions and the more I looked at them and interacted with the materials the more questions came up in my mind.”
The effects of internet in connection with every day’s individualistic or societal entanglement of identities and the stint of social media tools influencing interpersonal interactions inform his work. He asks; “How is technological “advancement” affecting the environment? And how is the internet and social media connecting and disconnecting us from one another.”
This portion of his work is a figment of a bigger dream to address the dependence on electronics, climate change and the global push for greater technology leaving magnanimous remains of electronic waste impacting the environment in negative ways as seen at the about 4 acre suburb of Accra, Agbogbloshie where nearly a million tons of imported electronic waste are discarded. It is thought-provoking to note that Accra [dot] alt’s Chale Wote Festival 2015 to be held at Jamestown, Accra in August bears this essential message; “African Electronics.”
Baisil Kincaid has also put out works that address the ill-effects of plastic waste in the environment and why it is a threat to the environment at a faster rate. Recently, there was a flood that took lives in Accra and the serious sanitation problem is a main factor as majority of the population is conglomerating along the coasts, standing on the front row of the large plastic waste accumulation in the form of an ugly nebulous tide.
(photo credit: artist)
(photo credit: artist)

(photo credit: artist)

“I am designed for one purpose: to use art as a tool to heighten consciousness, proliferating a critical pursuit of freedom, in the spirit of love.” – Baisil Kincaid