Only a revolution can revive Hiplife —Fredyma

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MUSIC producer/sound engineer Fred Kyei Mensah, popularly known as Fredyma, has revealed that unless key actors of Hiplife continue to write, record and produce the genre, people should forget about its sustenance.

Hiplife, he says, has suffered such a blow that it will only take a revolution to bring back the music genre which was popular in Ghana in the 90s.

His observation adds to discussions following a 30-minute documentary on Hiplife, titled Hiplife Rewind by BBC broadcast last month.

The documentary by Akwasi Sarpong and Keyvah Cardoso sought to project the chances of the survival of Hiplife against the now global Afrobeats pioneered by Nigerian artistes.

Even though industry players such as legendary producer, Hammer of the Last 2 and artiste manager, Bullgod have expressed their misgivings about the documentary as they say it doesn’t give a true representation, Fredyma is certain reviving Hiplife is at the mercy of artistes; they have to keep recording it.

“Most of the artistes who were doing Hiplife have all migrated to Afrobeats, so it will take a whole revolution to bring it back.

“Also, it virtually went into oblivion when some of the music executive producers and financiers stopped investing in the genre, creating a vacuum and giving room for other music types to come to play.

“My personal take on all of this is that Hiplife is a legacy that was bequeathed to us by the originators and we should have been able to uphold it”, he said.

Since the BBC documentary, a number of industry players have not relented in voicing their views including Fredyma himself, who has been lately chronicling his version of the “Hiplife story” on his Facebook wall.

The likes of Hipllife stalwart and popular DJ, Andy Dosty and renowned music producer and sound engineer, Zapp Mallet have not hidden their displeasure about the documentary which featured industry players including Reggie Rockson, KiDi, Panji Anoff, Eno Barony and Abraham Ohene Djan.

Concerns have been raised by critics on the selection of personalities for the documentary, with Zapp Mallet making known his displeasure of being sidelined.

In a recent post on Facebook post, Zapp Mallet said: “When you are an architect for something and they don’t want to give you credit for that. It hurts, you know”.

For many of the critics, their uneasiness stems from the fact that Hiplife Rewind failed to present the actuality of Hipilfe particularly with the originators, and Fredyma believes their concerns should not be disregarded.

“I don’t consider it as ‘noise’ from some pioneers being sidelined since it’s a genuine concern. When you are part of a change or a process and you are left out during the recognition stage, it is worrisome.

“I think what is in contention is who coined the name, Hiplife. It’s been established that Reggie Rockstone, together with his late father, Ricci Osei and Zapp Mallet, was behind that.

“However, before the name was coined, some musicians were already doing the genre just that it wasn’t called Hiplife then”, he added.


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