Chalewote; The Rockstar Effect (Written by Nana Antwi Bosiako)
The biggest art festival in Ghana, ‘Chalewote’ together with a series of outlined events was organized from the 14 th -20 th of August, 2017.
I was engulfed with excitement for it was my first time to be at an event of such magnitude with publicity yet anticipating for the performance of the sensational and thought-provoking Hip-hop artiste ‘Abena Rockstar’. In my mind’s eye and soon on everyone else’s, she is the future of African Hip hop.
I grew up with the hip hop culture and with each phase came critical studies and research. In the past, some good artistes surfaced, got their tags as the next biggest thing for the culture but somehow they faded out. What we really cannot put our fingers is whether the experts of the culture did not do due their diligence or the artistes themselves weren’t ready for the big leap, whether they lacked the mental picture of their success or the mental energy to sail through it.
I hardly make predictions of the future of the hip-hop but haven’t spoken with Abena Rockstar might me change that, her in-depth knowledge about the hip-hop culture is worth every admiration. Her current EP ‘May All Fears Inside Abort’ was a home run for me As time passed, there was an honest anxiety I felt within, so many questions kept running through my mind prior to her performance as some acts who mounted the stage were booed off.
Some of the highlights of the night for me was the performance of Kwame Write and his fusion with indigenous African instrumental as he performed his spoken word was a bold step from the usual spoken word performances. Next up was Darko Vibes, his crew brought a lot of energy on stage, moved the crowd with his hit songs throughout the performance. Also, Kwesi Arthur is a gem, his performance was honest.
His closing remarks still lingers on my mind. He told the crowd about his heart wrenching community 9 days in Tema where he resides and what he has been through with his music career to be performing on this big stage. Finally, the Rockstar mounted stage, Abena looked all hyper and elegant with her costume. She commenced her performance with interaction with the crowd before starting with her freestyles which got the crowd screaming. In between performances her calm and reserved persona.
Magic happened for me when she performed with the instrumentals to two songs from her MAFIA EP i.e. ‘Berra’ and ‘Skin Pain’. It was so refreshing to hear it being performed live. She was moving from one end of the stage to the other, involving everyone in the crowd. That is the Rockstar effect, a rapper who has well thought about her performance and manages to serve the audience with satisfaction before she leaves the stage.
Though it was a free show, I won’t second think about paying money to watch a performer like Abena Rockstar. Big ups to the organizers of Chalewote from bringing me out of my shell to watch a fun packed show. Long Live Hip-hop and may everyone experience the Rockstar Effect!
Written by Nana Antwi Bosiako