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Music of Sunday, 10 December 2006


Dutty Sean Rocks Accra

I don?t know if I heard wrong or we were just misinformed. Did we miss something? I didn?t see Akon emceeing the show as publicized but there was some sort of a mini fashion show and the clothes on the girls from Top Model Ghana didn?t say anything like ?Konvict?.

For a while they catwalked in Sean Paul ?One touch t-shirts that looked anything but classy. At about 8:00pm the conference centre auditorium wasn?t anywhere near packed. In fact, the whole of the back row was empty half way into the show. Outside of the building the usual ticket racketeering syndicates marked their turf for business with the police also prowling for misfits.

More than once they brutalized some petty criminals but I guess police brutality is more of the norm so it wouldn?t make sense complaining.

The security detail from Babs Entertainment was just horrible -- period. For just that night, portions of the venue became torture cubicles for people who tried to get in for free, and when you are lucky enough to be in the queue and probably reaching for your ticket, this guy at the door would very nicely ask ?where the f*&#k is your ticket?

The next thing you hear is -- ?Get the f*&#k out of here?. The shock will hold your tongue for a second and that?s when you get chucked outside. This same guy hit a plainclothes policeman on the head with a stun baton. Yeah, that?s how bad it was. Our famous police just stood and watch their man bludgeoned to a pulp with blood all over the place and they didn?t even arrest this guy.

Later on in the auditorium I looked up and saw how few the people in the upper gallery were. There must have been very few 700,000 cedi tickets, huh? I don?t think a lot of people know about ?Skillions?, save for the underground cats. Let me put it this way: Skillions are about the hottest Hip-hop group in the country at the moment and my lord, what a performance? I felt good about their show because Hip-hop has been slept on in this town forever and should they make continuous appearances, it just might start a new wave of musical self-expression.

There was also this eleven-year-old kid from Lincoln Community School and he wasn?t bad too, for his age I mean. At least he can say he opened for Sean Paul, something a lot of these mainstream bubble gum artistes will kill for. Somebody should tell Lord Kenya his old school stage gimmicks are exactly what he is -- old school. He was just aight!

The lights go dim and a bare footed guy popped out of nowhere with one of those northern drums [can?t remember the name -- ok I don?t know] saddled across his thick torso. The drum isn?t wired but the rhythmic patterns were loud enough to hold your attention. When the spot light drops, Samini is descending the eastern stairs towards the stage decked out in an all white navy outfit and turban with the flag floating behind him.

The rest is quite obvious -- he tore the roof clean off with some Hip-hop laced free styles and then went into hurricane Samini mode.

Bola Ray was either over excited or maybe there was some kind of mix-up but he told everyone Samini was going to do a song with Sean Paul and it didn?t happen.

By now the crowd had gotten excessively hyperactive and started screaming for Sean Paul. There is suddenly a lot of activity on the stage for about ten minutes then Sean Paul?s hype man gets behind the turn tables. For a minute everybody thought that was Sean because he looked so much like him..

He gets the crowd into a rave mode and out came Sean Paul with his dancers galloping behind. As always everybody moves towards the stage for a better look. For almost three hours we fed into the live infectious sound of the dancehall king. He would take intermittent breaks to hola at the crowd and the ladies especially who constantly clawed at each other to get a piece him.

Those close enough grabbed his pants or sneakers just so they could turn around and scream. He went through a series of hits, some dating as far back as ?96 when very few people in Ghana knew about him. But whenever he did one of those popular club bangers the crowd went wild with him.

Sean Paul is actually a great dancer and performer. Well, his dancers are exactly like how you see them on MTV -- sexy, beautiful gyrating figures. Plus they kept going back and forth and that had a way of making you wonder what they would do next. If you were close to the stage like I was, you?d probably have to fight off the edge to grab their tushies any time they brought that thickness within reach. The band was excellent and so was the sound output. Of course, it had to be from ?Black City Studios?.

A lot of people didn?t know Sean Paul played the guitar so when he did a solo of an antiwar song that didn?t make the album because of his label?s politicking, it did not have the effect of his stage craft but it showed a very different side of him. His lead guitarist is great too, he did the rock thing a few times and it was quite something to watch how the crowd reacted to it.

The concert wasn?t bad on the whole but there was a lot of chaos in between, especially from the Babs Entertainment crew. They consistently manhandled people and caused too much commotion -- both in and out of the auditorium.

I hear P Diddy is coming on March 2nd, I hope I get to see that one too.