Hiplife music is an impressive innovation on the age old Ghanaian High Life music. The infusion of rap into these indigenous tunes has made it more lively and entertaining. The creation of such a musical ingenuity combine with the addition of modern techniques is a boost for the growth of the music industry in the country. These new additions are very essential for the development of the industry beyond our boundaries. High Life music just like the kente cloth is brand which makes all of us proud.
Watching Ghanaian talented artistes singing those dazzling tunes on OBE TV and other TV stations in the UK is quite nostalgic. The notes keep the soul agog in some depressing moments. It makes you journey into the remote past when these notes were sung with passion. In the distant past composers of these glittering lyrics usually focused on Kweku Ananse (spider) the folklore legends and his wiliness. The music apart from being a source of leisure told stories which were quite ethical. Great musicians like Nana Kwame Ampadu, Akwasi Ampofo Adjei, JA Adofo etc were exceptional story tellers in this area of folk music.
Since the days of Hiplife star Reggie Rockstone, this genre of indigenous music has taken a different dimension. Some self styled rap artistes have emerged on the music scene and are doing injustice to our much cherished magical tunes. These music flops are destroying our remarkable notes in the name of singing. Well singing is a talent and some of these flops who are less endowed in this area of human ingenuity should consider looking for other vocations. Alternatively they could apprentice themselves to gifted stars like Daddy Lumber, Kojo Antwi to learn the skills from them. They should take a cue from Ofori Amposah who under studied Lumber for decades before eventually finding his own voice.
Flops or no flops their repulsive music must be marketed come what may. Due to this these misfits have introduced a new tactics of promoting their horrific stuff. They are utilizing the services of semi nude lady dancers in their video clips to enhance sales. Their video clips are usually laced with scantily dressed horde of ladies dancers. These well selected model-like dancers are experts in spinning their plump rear sides 360 degrees in a second and thus setting some viewers on urge.
Some hiplife lovers may ague using partially clothed lady dancers in video clips is aesthetic and add charm to the clips. In fact it is a new phenomenon in the music industry worldwide. Wearing uniquely designed outfits such as those worn by the late king of pop Michael Jackson, pop legend Elvis Presley, pop diva Liz Taylor etc during performances is a thing of the past. Contemporary pop divas like Beyonce, Britney Spears etc will rather be in their natural state on stage. Staying on the same wavelength with nature to deliver power ballads is more beautiful than cladding in fanciful dresses.
Using lady pole dancers as part of hiplife music video clips is not my bone of contention here. My dilemma is what we see on televisions these days are deviation from the norm. Music producers are going over the top in their attempts of copying blindly from the US. Some of the clips are so offensive and stomach-churning. You see ladies baring their near nudity on national television and revealing themselves pointlessly.
The most unpleasant part of it all is most of the TV stations show these clips at prime times when the kids are about. I think these innocent ones should be spared the insanity of the adult world. They should be shielded and protected from the greed and avarice of our deceitful world. We should not be too much in hurry to thrust our loved ones into premature life of parenthood when they should be finding some meanings to their lives in the lecture theatres of Ghanaian Universities.
Anyway another point is these naked dancers are unnecessary distractions to the lyrics of the song. Some viewers would focus on catching glimpse of these curvy ladies than listen to the message of the song. For instance I know some few guys I was with in the UK who will always wanted to watch the Hiplife programme on OBE TV to catch a glance at these rare gems dangling their valued asset on the screens.
You can tell these guys are more interested in viewing the fat rounded glossy thighs of these dancers than listening to the lyrics. They enjoyed seeing these lovely models do the milk shake while exposing the top part of their well endowed fleshy bosoms and in the process revealing the cleavage striding across. These guys usually made lewd jokes and get so excited when they see these curvy semi nude dancers gyrate their pear shaped hips generously when doing the 'mapouka' dance and revealing every thing in the process.
Well I hope these dancers choose to flog their civility voluntarily. I trust they are not being subjugated by some conmen who promise them wealth and celebrity status over night in return for all these madness.
Using infectious stripped dancers in video clips as marketing strategy may be working wonders for producers in terms of sales. However this strategy could backfire if it's not handled cautiously. The reason is mainstream Ghanaians are very religious and decent people who frown on indecency. Such clips will be viewed by such noble people as obscene and offensive.
Already a portion of these gracious and pious individuals view hiplife as a secular music. A number of of them are already struggling to come to terms with mortifying their souls by listening to these lay songs. Stake holders in the industry should not alienate these honest individuals by producing and screening obscene music video clips needlessly.
Francis Kwaku Kuma