Payola has hampered the growth of hiplife – Reggie Rockstone

Veteran Ghanaian musician and ,originator of Hiplife music, a genre that fuses Ghanaian Highlife music with Hip-hop, Reggie Rockstone believes that payola has hampered the genre's growth.

Reggie Rockstone

According to him, paying payola before getting your songs played on air is one of the biggest things that cripped artistes and promoters who were promoting the Hiplife brand as a music genre.

Reggie Rockstone made this assertion on Akoma FM’s entertainment 360 after he was asked whether or not Hiplife is dead, as acclaimed by one of Ghana’s rap artistes M.anifest in a recent BBC documentary, Hiplife Rewind.

“I can’t say that Hiplife is dead, and I said that in the documentary that I can’t sit here in Ghana and say that something I gave birth and name to is dead, even though I understand his(M.anifest) sentiments.


“The brand Hiplife has become quite unattractive to associate with for various reasons. One of which is radio stations demanding Payola before playing our music. This was what they were doing to us when we had just started laying the foundation of the genre where we had little to pay for the music to be played”, Reggie said.

Payola, it is slang for paying or bribing DJs, radio presenters or TV networks to promote musical works. This is usually illegal in the industry across many countries.

The musician, who doubles as an entrepreneur, said he believes in appreciating a DJ or any network who plays the music of his free will rather than being forced to pay before playing his music on air.

Meanwhile, Rap star M.anifest also claimed that Hiplife is dead in a new documentary by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) titled Hiplife Rewind.


Speaking in the documentary the rap star posited that Hiplife is dead. According to the Ghanaian rapper, Hiplife is dead because the young are no more interested in it.

According to him, Hiplife tastemakers contributed to the death of Hiplife also because they were at a point too conservative to recognise and participate in the evolution of music in West Africa.


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