We are halfway through the year 2018 and Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy are up for a debate.
The year started off on a good note with hit singles coming from Afrobeats youngsters like KiDi, Kuami Eugene, Guilty Beatz, Eddie Khae and Ypee.
Highlife music is also thriving this year, thanks to the likes of Akwaboah, Bisa Kdei, Kumi Guitar and Paa Kwesi of Dobble fame.
Kwesi Arthur, Sarkodie, Ponobiom, Strongman, Medikal, Teephlow and Edem are also holding down the Hiplife and Hip-hop fraternity with their consistent records.
But, the most progressive fraternity is the Reggae/Afro-Dancehall and that is spearheaded by two giants; Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale.
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The two Zylofon Music signees have been tracked closely since the beginning of the year, and their progress has been compared from time to time.
2018 begun with several hit singles from Stonebwoy’s “Epistles of Mama” album. He hacked the airwave with songs like “Bawasaba”, “Dede” featuring Kelvyn Boy and King Promise, “Pepper Dem” featuring Amarae and Edem, “Mane Me” featuring Mugeez and Praiz and “Suit & Tie” featuring Kabaka Pyramid.
Aside from his album hit list, he dropped one of the biggest jams of the year, titled “Tomorrow” with a video, "Dirty Enemies" and followed up with "Dirty Enemies" featuring Asamoah Gyan and the official music video for “Pepper Dem” featuring Amarae and Edem.
He proceeded with his ‘Epistles of Mama World Tour’. He has performed on 10 local and international stages out of the total of 17 tour stops.
He has 4 more cities (New York, Edmonton, Lagos and Dubai) to play before the end of the year.
He kick-started the year with “Pray” – a song with similar tempo as “Freedom”. Unfortunately, it died out quickly, but he followed up with one of the biggest songs of this year, titled “Gringo”.
The visual for the song set a new tone for the Dancehall fraternity, generating long showbiz discussions and setting new YouTube streaming records.
Shatta later dropped another banger “Thunder Fire” featuring his Militants and followed up with “Amount” music video.
In terms of gigs, he has not been able to climb major stages. The only comparable one should be Ghana Meets Naija concert – which he appeared as a surprise artiste.
Overall, he has not lived up to the expectations. But, there could be a reason behind that. That is, the highly anticipated “The Reign” album.
He has constantly been pushing the album via social media, and now on a media tour to promote it. The album which will be due for release in October has been the talk of the town for some time now.
But, can that be an excuse for the slow progress for one of the industry’s most consistent artistes?
It’s a big yes, but not entirely true. While preparing the album, he can decide to drop a few potential bangers off it to tease fans and at the same time keep his brand in shape.
He has the track records. He was the hottest artiste in 2016, yet he managed to release “After The Storm” album and dropped a couple of great hits.
At this point, it’s clear that Stonebwoy is superior in 2018 so far but honestly, the year is not yet over so anticipate a great comeback from Shatta Wale.
In your opinion, whom do you think has really worked this year? Share your thoughts.