Successful collaborations in the year 2015 helped reinvigorate what many critics predicted was ‘a dying industry’, bringing a euphoric sense of relief to those working in the music industry. Pulse.com.gh music correspondent David Mawuli looks into the beef that brewed over the Ksi Boys collaboration.
While a couple of collaborations and group works didn’t meet the ‘wild’ expectations of music lovers, some broke all barriers and went farther than expected - there was M3nsa’s fabled disband from FOKN Bois, to them teaming up with Elo on their success singles; “Ghetto” featuring Sarkodie and “Finders Keepers” featuring Sena Dagadu. And we can't forget Okyeame Kwame’s team work with Kumasi born stars Strongman, Flowking Stone, Cabum and Kunta Kinte, which all showed Ghana artists hustled last year to record multitudinous collaborations.
But, aside all the excitement these collaborations brought, a few were questionable due to the artistes involved, like, Ksi Boys, - the most criticised group due to the artistes involved.
Before Ksi Boys
Before Ksi Boy’s hit track titled “Aso)den” was released, Okyeame Kwame revealed plans to unite Kumasi born and based rappers on a new track on November 20, 2015. The rapper single-handedly organised the artistes and gave the track all the necessary hype it deserved via his huge following on social media pages. Though he didn’t mention the names of artistes involved, he made it known that top four Kumasi rappers will be featured on the track.
After the release
After the release, the song entitled “Aso)den” trended on Twitter for days, had massive rotation on social media, and both good and bad reviews but mostly criticisms.
Music critics felt that Okyeame Kwame was ethnocentric whiles other top Kumasi artistes who were not featured on the track felt favouritism played a major role in Okyeame’s selection. In fact, a section of the media linked the track to George Quaye – the public relations officer of Charterhouse. Some suggested that the track was recorded to chastise George due to a little scuffle he had with Flowking Stone.
According to Okyeame Kwame, "Ksi Boys" is a much bigger project such that it is not, and cannot be about attempts to spite personalities, whether big or small.
The track represents the spirit of a people, cherished by the need to uphold a rich cultural presence. The rhythm which showcases a fusion of 'Kete' and hip-hop, tells you the extent to which ‘cultural values’ are made prominent in the song.
"Ksi Boys" is about promoting the rich tourism potential we have in Ghana, hence, it would sounds a bit myopic for anybody to conclude that the "Ksi Boys" or its concept is aimed at any single person, but wasn’t enough and tangible reasons for some of the avid supporters of the neglected artistes.
Though some of the renowned Kumasi born rappers such as Sarkodie, Reggie Rockstone, Willy Maame, Asumadu and Ko-Jo Cue reserved their comments on the track, a Dancehall musician Shatta Rako came out to publicly accuse Okyeame Kwame of stealing his idea. Shatta Rako’s accusations had rebuttals from Strongman and Cabum but none were taken serious because some fans believed Okyeame Kwame’s was being ‘tribalistic’.
Immediately “Aso)den” was released, it didn’t go down quite well with some critics. According to them, gathering Kumasi born rappers on a single track demonstrates tribalism but I think it’s a wrong perception. It’s wrong because when Tema All-Stars collaborated on a track called “Wine Dine”, nobody linked it to tribalism.
I see Ksi Boys to be a group influenced by favouritism because artistes involved are Okyeame Kwame’s favourite people around him – mostly OM Studios artistes. If Okyeame claims the group comprises of the best Kumasi born rappers, then what’s wrong including BET Award winner Sarkodie, VVIP group member Reggie Rockstone, Shatta Rako and Willy Maame? Are they not good enough to be featured on the track?
Let me have your views below.