Editorial: Leave Reggie Rockstone’s Hiplife alone

ReggieI hate too much pressure and I don’t wish it on anyone. However, I’m a Ghanaian and we love to give pressure, unnecessarily. We mount pressure on everybody including politicians but our worse culprits are celebrities. Footballers, musicians, actors and performers, these guys are basically the easiest targets when we are bored.

For years, we all knew Reggie Rockstone as the founder of Hiplife that’s why we affectionately call him the ‘grandpapa’. But for almost a month now, the media has mounted a serious expedition into the history of hiplife and scoffing-ly questioning whom the true father(s) of the genre is. Worse for the grandpapa is the sudden unearthing of purported hiplife secrets and facts that we all didn’t know and cared less about. But for some weird reason, a lot of attention is being given to contending views on who actually invented the genre and this is really making Reggie uncomfortable.

So what is hiplife, what are we talking about? Hiplife is a Ghanaian music that fuses hiphop, highlife and a bit of dancehall. Hiplife was originated between 1993-93 by young urban people who were mainly influenced by western rap music and needed to do something they could relate with and call theirs.

Rap music started in Ghana in the late 1970s but what we are setting the records right on, currently is hiplife. That’s local Ghanaian language on a hip hop beat. Basically.

I don’t want to bore you with all the names associated with the origination of the genre but will attempt to give more vivid information on that in my later post. But now, lets focus on the pressure. Is it necessary? Especially that CNN and other international media platforms have already recorded Reggie Rockstone as the founder of the genre. Is it important we alter that history? To what end?

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Reggie Rockstone
Reggie Rockstone

Hitherto this whole brouhaha, we all had a single hero of hiplife and rallied around his legendary. And trust me, hadn’t been for Reggie Osei, hiplife wouldn’t have seen such vibrancy in recent times. He single handedly crusaded for the genre when critics were fiercely gunning hiplife to failure. He held on it, advertised it and propagated the message on radio, TV and online.

Till date, none of the claimants of the genre can contest Reggie’s contribution to the existence of hiplife. He is the one person you see when you think about the brand hiplife. He actually wears a t-shirt with the inscription ‘I am hiplife’ anywhere he went just to expose the idea and keep it reigning. You can’t deny such a person is virtue and commitment towards the propagation of the hiplife genre.

We’re not saying one person invented hiplife. As the record has been consistently laid, it was a whole revolution with Reggie Rockstone spearheading the crusade. Along the way, almost all the soldiers gave up to pursue other ventures, but he held on. Now we have hiplife artiste being awarded artistes of the year in the Ghana Music Awards and being recognized across the world.

Reggie Rockstone is not enjoying the pressure and we should spare him the unneeded witch-hunt.

Its even #noneOfMyBusiness.

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