Last Friday, award winning artiste, Lord Kenya proved that even though he is now a pastor, his new life cannot take away from him the fact that, he was once the biggest Hip Life artiste in Ghana who rocked several stages.
The Rap Heavyweight as he was known then put aside his bible and robe to join other Hip Life artistes he started the genre with several years ago to entertain patrons at the just ended ‘Back In The Day’ musical concert held at the Dome of the Accra international Conference Centre.
‘Back In The Day’ reminisced old Hip Life tunes produced in the early 90s and unified the artistes behind such hit songs – most of which are still relevant today.
Marking the day as 103rd birthday of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, first president of the Republic of Ghana, patrons had lots to dance and sing about as they got entertained from the likes of T-Blaze, Joe Frazier, Ded Buddy (now Qwesi), Paa Dogo, Native Funk Lord (NFL), TH4Kwages, Akatakyie, Keteke, Ex-Doe, Chicago, Slim Busterr, Abrewa Nana, Kontihene, Obrafour, Tic Tac and VIP
Also now a pastor, the once ‘bad’ boy Azigiza Jnr., who was a DJ, radio presenter and a musician also shown that he has not lost all that made him the best of what he was several years ago before his calling.
Opening the show before the MC’s entrance, DJ Perfect and Andy Dosty dished out old skuul Hip Hop tunes and intermittently mixed with Hip Life and High Life of yesteryears.
Azigiza after opening the show reminisced ‘back in the day’ era with various dance movements of yesteryears. Occasionally asking the DJs to swap songs, the audience remembered down memory lane.
After electrifying the already charged audience, first act, T-Blaze of Lifeline Family surfaced with first his ‘Secretary’ tune.
Now the party had started as patrons joined to sing and rap along with him. Then he moved on unto ‘Wosisi’. Not surprisingly as every voice in the auditorium tried to be heard singing the song.
One special thing about the ‘Back in the Day’ concert was that, the songs has been there over ten years, so patrons had less to worry about concerning the lyrics.
Heavy built with his sagging jeans hanging, TBlaze then dropped ‘Feeling nu ye deep’ and then to ‘Dua’ before handing over the baton to Joe Frazier who performed three songs including ‘Yaa Maame’ and ‘Shiishii’. His performance was intertwined with sporadic free styling.
If there were rhyming and free styling categories in the Ghana Music Awards, Joe would have won it many times – without any doubt. As usual his ‘I miss you like …’ rhyme excited the patrons.
Qwesi who then was known as Dead Body but spelt Ded Buddy was next with sexiness.
Did you know he was a former member of the Native Funk Lords (NFL)? If you didn’t know, now you know. Just like his predecessor, Ded Buddy didn’t waste time, he performed his smash hits ‘Yebesa’ and ‘Abofra wisua’
Paa Dogo of Last2 fame was next. For close to a minute, he walked from one end to the stage to the other. Perhaps he thought he was dreaming. From his movement and countenance, he had missed the big stage and obviously missed performing to such large number of people.
He managed to annoyingly amuse the patrons before setting off to perform lines of his numerous features on other artiste’s songs. Most people didn’t remember him until he performed his ‘Dogo’ song which appeared to be the song that the people readily remember.
Even though in the previous years, artistes had several hit songs on their albums, there were also few who had just a hit and Paa Dogo was one of such artistes. Instead of leaving after performing the song that people still remember him with, he held on to perform some unknown songs.
With the patrons obviously not happy with such a development, the DJ had to cut him in the middle with one of the biggest hits from rap duo; Akyeame. He then shamefully left the stage.
Native Funk Lords (NFL) was next with their ‘Vote For Me’, ‘Pilolo’ and ‘Moma Yenka Bom’. Before their entrance, the audience was shown one of their old videos which had everyone laughing.
But on stage were Eddy Blay and Jake carried pot bellies whiles their other member looking the same, they excited the patrons with their pidgin raps and punch lines.
When it got to the turn of TH4Kwages which originated from the defunct group; Sass Squad, the patrons were taken down memory lane when break dancing popularly known as ‘cracking’ was popular.
Atsu Koliko is on solo journey as the result of Scooby Selah’s migration to the Reggae genre. They treated the audience to ‘Serwaa’, ‘Manu Mehu’, ‘Semameta’ and then their biggest hit ‘Nana Esi’.
Akatakyie made up of two brothers, Kobby Culture and King Pharoah were next. They kept everybody at the venue on their feet as they performed ‘Me Hemaa’ and ‘Agoo’. Pharoah’s rap on ‘Odo sisi me’ might appear amateurish now but was on everyone’s lips.
Keteke, a three member group had two members on stage to perform their ‘Alele’ and ‘Chio Chio’ songs which were well received and danced to.
Now was the turn of Ex-Doe and Chicago who had an interesting time on stage. Ex-Doe was the first to perform as he runs through hits such as ‘Yebre’, Gogo Woho’, ‘Comfort’ and his all time banger ‘Maba’.
Then Chicago rolled out his reply to Ex-Doe in ‘Wobeko’. The duo continued to perform their hit ‘Daavi mede kuku’ after which Ex-Doe vacated the stage.
Slim Busterr followed next to do songs like ‘Baaba’, ‘Marsherita’ and other tunes.
It was interesting for patrons as Slim Busterr and his dancers brought to the stage dance movements that patrons only watch in their music videos.
Abrewanana and Kontihene also performed old tunes like ‘Wa rashie’, ‘Odo Filla’, ‘Asesa’, ‘Esi’, ‘Kro hin kro’ and ‘Aketesia’.
As a born again, Lord Kenya started his performance with his ‘Born Again’ song then he moved to other songs before settling on his armchair to interact with the audience. He got little carried away as he repeated and recollected how he was saved from his bad ways.
He intermittently stopped and asked the audience which of his songs he should perform. With several hit songs to his name – would you blame him?
In his prime, he had no challenger and even as a pastor now he still has the presence and the ability to rock any stage – after all, his songs are still very relevant and people are still enjoying it.
Amanda Jissih, host of the E-Talk on GHOne also had the chance to mesmerize the patrons with her ‘raps’ when Lord Kenya offered her the mic to rap. She was applauded for her amateur rap.
Before vacating the stage for ‘Rap Sofour’, Obrafour, Lord Kenya advised people against the use of drugs.
After Lord Kenya, there were performances from Obrafuor and Tic Tac with VIP closing the show.
For their contribution to the Hip Life genre, Zapp Mallet and Hammer of the Last 2 fame were awarded for the special Lifetime Achievement Awards. They were both presented with a plaque.
The ‘Back in the Day’ concert was a great event by all standards with a great boombox styled stage. Despite the fact that, the audience didn’t turn up fully, there are more positives to be drawn from the show.
For many of the artistes who are not currently active in the game, the show afforded them the chance to make some money. It’s another success from Empire Entertainment led by Bola Ray and Media GH.