Currently buzzing in the news worldwide is dancehall musician Shatta Wale. He has had his biggest career feature yet. He’s on Beyonce’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album.
Multiple award-winning producer Guilty Beatz is also part of the album – he produced three songs off the yet-to-be-released 14-track album.
This is one of the best and biggest news Ghana has received in many years. However, there have been some big collaborations which put Ghana on the world map.
See below the top five collaborations which gave Ghana music a mileage on the international music market.
5. Reggie Rockstone, 2 Face, Wyclef and Kwaw Kese (We Glad)
A decade ago, this collaboration was regarded as a step forward for Ghana music. Easily one of the hottest rappers at the time, Reggie Rockstone proved the authenticity of his international links with “We Glad” featuring Wyclef from the US, 2Face from Nigerian and Kwaw Kese. All the featured artistes were hot; 2Face was blazing with an R.Kelly feature called “Flex", Wyclef was topping US charts with “Take Me As I Am” and “Perfect Gentleman” and Kwaw Kese was among the hottest rappers in Africa after working with Professor Jay from Tanzania.
4. Sarkodie and Ace Hood (New Guy)
Sarkodie had broken into the international market before hooking up with Ace Hood but benefitted eminently from the collaboration. He had won his first BET and MTV Africa Music Awards before Ace Hood came into the picture. However, the collaboration opened a new chapter for the SarkCess Music label owner in 2015. The controversies surrounding the collaboration coupled with comparisons, arguments and top reviews from local and international media attracted the needed buzz for his catalogue and brand.
3. Stonebwoy and Sean Paul (Most Original)
Breaking through the Jamaican market has been one of the most difficult tasks Ghanaian artistes have faced over the years but Stonebwoy’s smart business moves plus his nonpareil talent gave him a breakthrough. Jamaica is the home of dancehall, thus trying to conquer as a foreigner would be arduous but Stonebwoy’s zeal earned him a place. “Most Original”, a song off the BMG label owner’s “Epistles of Mama” album featuring Sean Paul did the magic. Even though he had collaborated with some top Jamaican stars before Sean, the latter’s influence gave him a major career boost on the international market.
2. Fuse ODG, Ed Sheeran and Mugeez (Boa Me)
Fuse ODG’s international breakthrough started with “Antenna” however “Boa Me” which features multiple Grammy winner Ed Sheeran gave him extra mileage. Even though songs like “Antenna”, “Dangerous Love” (featuring Sean Paul) and “Million Pound Girl” racked up millions of views and topped charts in the UK, Ed Sheeran’s ability to eloquently deliver his verse in Twi grabbed major headlines. Don’t forget, Ed Sheeran’s collaboration with Fuse on “Bibiaa Be Ye Yie” earned the latter his first Grammy recognition.
1. Shatta Wale and Beyoncé (Already)
Shatta Wale and Ghanaians have long awaited this moment. It was apparent when Beyonce unveiled the tracklist for “The Lion King: The Gift” album. The news was met with massive congratulatory messages from fans, industry players and fellow musicians including Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Samini and M.anifest. Fuse ODG has argued that the collaboration will benefit Beyonce (perhaps, feeding on SM fan base) but the truth remains the same: Bey is a global Queen and wouldn’t need any hype from Shatta Wale to trend or sell her music. And in case Beyoncé earns a Grammys nomination next year, Shatta Wale will be credited.