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Opinions of Friday, 8 July 2016

Columnist: Yeboah, Kwame

Sarkodie vrs Manifest and the political lessons therein

Sarkodie and Manifest Sarkodie and Manifest

The past couple of days has all been about Sarkodie and Manifest, who is 'dope' and who is 'wack'.

Ok, for those of you who only know about Elder Mireku and Amakye Dede, I will try to explain both 'dope' and 'wack' to the best of my ability. The word 'dope' in Hiplife parlance is conferred on a rapper who can spite his colleague in english( preferably with American undertones), through a rhythmic utilization of metaphors, hyperboles, similes and innuendoes.

And your rap must pose deeply rooted hidden meanings that is not privy to feeble minds. In this case, rather than say someone is a sycophant, if you want to sound 'dope' you should say-always nodding like a lizard, damn it, agama...

And oh, to be deemed 'dope' you must also dress the right way. Ideally, a pair of GTP 'kaba' neatly pressed onto a pair of skin tight jeans or shorts, with huge ornaments and chains ( Like the one President Kufour took home as ex-gratia) counterbalancing on your neck.

Don't forget to keep a beard, the bushier the better. If you are not hairy, you might as well consider making an appointment to see the Accra mayor. And always make sure you wear some fancy Nike or AdIdas sneakers.

So now that I have done my best at explaining the term 'dope' let me try my possible best to explain the term 'wack' ( bear in mind, am offering limited information on these issues for free now, but if you need further clarification we will have to deal pro bono) .

The thankless title of 'wack' in Hiplife, refers to rapper who raps in Twi, whose only preoccupation is to rap about himself and his achievements; who has achieved so much in terms of awards and recognition only because most people are not discerning enough to know that the language he raps in does not have metaphors, similes and hyperboles.

To be 'wack' you must perform on big shows, win awards locally and internationally. If Harvard invites you for a seminar and you accept the offer, you are damn 'wack'. If you have the balls to call yourself the Boss, when you know you do not hold a degree in Economics, you can't tell when a demand is elastic or inelastic, then my brother you are 'wack'.

If you rap in Twi on a BET cypher and pick a BET award back stage, then you are not a star, you are a comet at best. Simply put you are 'wack'.

If your grandfather is not a Professor of music, how would you spell 'obidiponbidi'? Massa you are 'wack'. If you fill up the 02 arena in London and mount the stage in a 2000 dollars Yeezus outfit, it does not change anything . Joe 'wo y3 wack'.

I have tried my best to explain both terms to you; it might not make sense, but in Ghana, a lot of things do not make sense. Even the fact that you are reading this article in the dark does not make sense .

Who decides who is wack and who is not?

Over the course of the past few days, there has emerged a unique breed of music connoisseurs mostly stationed on social media. These guys have wowed me with their remarkably impeccable understanding of what makes up a good rap song. Their analysis so shrewd and pervasive I can't seem to forgive myself that I never picked up any of their books off the shelves.

Who cares anyway? I have made lots of 'mahamas' ( and mahama does not mean mistake I beg) in my life, I must as well live with this one (lol).

So who are these people? I prefer to call them the Aryans( If your history is good, you should know the origin of this name).

Well, to begin with: They are Ghanaians. They are educated, highly opinionated, westernized, brainwashed, highly prejudiced and judgmental and pretty arrogant.

They posses a 'we against them' mentality. If you are not one of us or cannot relate to us, you are 'wack'. If everything about you is local, if you are not contemporary, if you do not command a good grasp of the English language, nor hold a degree or more, you are of a lesser breed.

If you cannot understand them you are not smart, if they cannot understand you, you are not smart. If you are not well educated and yet you are making it big, they will say you are prospering on the back of a mediocre society. ' if only the masses were educated you will not be where you are' they will say.

When they are working for a boss who is uneducated, they will say ' oh if my boss was a little educated this company would have been much bigger and better '. And yet they do not have a single business plan to their name.

For those who have been monitoring the debate on Sarkodie and Manifest on social media, you will notice the disingenuous 'Aryan' stamp of quality conspicuously embossed all over it. These 'smart' guys, have successfully managed to make a villain out of a hard working son of the land, and I mean Sarkodie.

They have painted him as a crass braggart, a miserably unintelligent buffoon , who has only chalked all the success over the years because his songs are loved by people of his kind- dumb, ill-educated, primitive and classless which obviously happens to be the majority of Ghanaians and and some considerable number of people in Africa and the world.

They have made it difficult for people like me, who have a good level of education and also love Sarkodie to comment on this matter. Doing so will risk me being disowned and insulted. They will question the quality of my education and remind my father what his options were, rather than waste it on my school fees.

Indeed, if you were a foreigner who has never heard of any of the artist in question, you will think that Manifest is the biggest artist in Ghana. When indeed he only raps to his friends. This is how effective these guys have been.

As things stand now, Sarkodie has lost the social media battle. Manifest is the king of the 'likes' and 'shares'. Manifest is trending. And he will keep trending until he makes the mistake of endorsing Mahama. Then the 'Aryans' will serve him the same bitter pill they forced down Sarkodie's throat.

Sarkodie, though still remains the Boss of the masses, and for sure this is a game of numbers.

What has politics got to do with it?

So the big question is, what has a 'beef' between two Hiplife artists got to do with politics? Well, I have news for you; it has everything to do with politics.

Ghanaian Politicians like beef and Toyota cars( lol, thats a joke). But seriously, there has been an unfolding trend over the last couple of years. The trend where before each elections, the NPP is touted as the likely party to usurp power only to lose to the NDC.

Several reasons and conspiracy theories have been espoused to explain this development. Some have blamed it on pink sheets that mysteriously turned blue in the strong room. Others claim some goats and sheep were sent to the slaughter house at Atubuga Junction. Today, I have the honor of presenting to you the real reasons behind this phenomena.

It all comes back to these Westernized elites I mentioned earlier in my write up. These 'smart' guys have succeeded in portraying the NPP as the 'dope' party and the NDC the 'wack' party. If you belong to the NPP 'then you know what time it is'. If you belong to the NDC you better get yourself in line.

They love the NPP because they believe it is the party for the enlightened, educated minds. Whiles the NDC is for people who can barely tell their left from their right. These 'smart' guys have hijacked all the social media platforms, and on a daily basis, they are bashing the President and his Ministers, calling them amateurish and incompetent.

If your only source of news is through social media like me, you will not be mistaken to think that if elections were held today, the government will struggle to amass a paltry 20% of the votes. And yet the opposite is always the case . So like Manifest, the NPP is winning the social media campaign whiles the NDC is touching base with the masses.

And we all know politics is also a game of numbers . As far as am concerned, I have no doubts that this trend will be repeated in the upcoming elections in November .

For the records, I am not a prophet and even much so now that Prophets are turning into all kinds of animals, and the economic hardships has enlivened a taste for all kinds of animals. The predictions I have made are solely my opinions and observations. Writer's e-mail: