The battle of who really originated hip-life in Ghana continues—and we think these guys are making unnecessary noise in our ears.
Does anybody receive royalties for being the originator of hip-life in the country? Why won’t they allow us to enjoy our peace as we think about dumsor and hardships that have engulfed us in Ghana?
Over the years, Reggie Rockstone has been credited as being the originator of hip-life; but Renowned Ghanaian sound engineer and music producer, Emmanuel Zapp Mallet has asserted that Reggie is not the who introduced the name.
Zapp Mallet disclosed in an interview with Flex News Paper that though Reggie was the first to release a hip-life album Maka Maka, that does not make him the originator;
“When Reggie Rockstone came down from UK, he came with his partner and they both had the hip-hop culture which was sweeping all over the globes as it were at that time and some of us thought that we could go to our root, our heritage and do something Ghanaian, more African and merge hip-hop with our identity.
“An identity that will project the Ghanaian culture so Michael Kuku who was an instrumentalist then and I decided to name that class of music hip-life and it worked,” he said.
Zapp Mallet who remains one of the best recording engineers and producers in Ghana stated that his decision to finally set the record straight by adding his voice on the matter is not for recognition but for the sake of history and for people to have a clear understanding of what is making waves.
“I have been silent on this issue for this long even though I knew it will come out one day. This was in 1994. It is a long story to be told now but a lot of us were behind generating and promoting this hip-life course and it is just fair we give them some credit, indeed Reggie Rockstone founded that genre, made it commercial but a lot of people gave a helping hand and he was not the one who introduced the name hip-life,” he added.
Zapp Mallet also added that, it was at one of their studio sessions when they argued over the name to give to that kind of music and the word hip-life came in mind and Reggie was present at that meeting.