Michael Owusu Addo, known professionally as Sarkodie (pictured), is a 34-year-old Ghanaian rapper and entrepreneur from Tema, whose contributions to the Ghanaian music industry have earned him numerous accolades, including the Vodafone Ghana Music Award for Artiste of the Decade.
Over the weekend, at BET’s Hip-Hop Awards, he won in the best international flow category.The Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie shook off stiff competition from fellow African rappers Nasty C (South Africa) and Falz (Nigeria) as well as Tory Lanez (Canada), OG Ghetts (UK) and Little Simz (UK). Hip-hop is over four decades old and the genre now spans the globe in terms of appeal and the list of its purveyors spans from the United States to Europe, Africa and Asia.
Still, Zimbabwean rappers are yet to break the national mould and break out internationally in this multi-billion-dollar music industry. Among the genre’s leading exponents are Cal_vin, Junior Brown and current Zimbabwe hip-hop award king Asaph, who also won the best hip hop award at the Bulawayo Arts Award this year.
Independent Xtra: So who are you tipping in the future to win a Black Entertainment Television (BET) award from Zimbabwe?
Asaph: What do you mean by tipping lol?Independent Xtra: Who do you think will snag it in the future?Asaph: I will. I was inspired by his (Sarkodie) win, no lie.
Independent Xtra: What’s your game plan and what were you thinking when you saw him win?Asaph: At first I thought it was because of him rapping in his native tongue, but I’m starting to see it as the impact he has made in his country and globally over the years. He is been in the game for a minute. Not even a really recognisable name to most people, but work and always representing where you come from.
To work hard to be recognised as a Zimbabwean hip-hop artiste nationally and doing that also takes a lot of local work in making sure that both Bulawayo and Harare are saying I’m the one, then the rest of Africa will agree.
IndependentXtra also spoke to Aldrian “Beefy” Harrison, the founder of the Zimbabwe Hip Hop Awards about who he believes represents the country’s brightest hip hop award hopes. “It’s difficult to tell — many artistes keep popping up left, right and centre. Also, they rap in Shona, but I think Asaph. His maturity and style of rap coincides with what the current BET trends look for. He is fluent in his lyrics. His content is above average.”