Known for birthing a musical genre that fuses hip-hop and highlife and is called hiplife, Ghana has always been a big contributor to African hip-hop.
Whether through Reggie Rockstone (who is con-sidered the godfather of hiplife) or through rappers like Sarkodie who was featured alongside Jean Grae, Ab-Soul and Talib Kweli in this year’s BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher series, the West African country is full of musical treasures. One of these is M.anifest, who has been nominated in the Most Gifted Hip-Hop Video category in the 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards.
Now in their ninth year, the Awards will take place on November 17 in Soweto’s Walter Sisulu Hall.
M.anifest is happy that his video for Makaa Maka, which comes as a single after his third album, Immigrant Chronicles: Coming to America and before his next album, has been recognised as one of the best hip-hop videos of the year. “This is the first time that I have been nominated for these awards,” he tells me, “and I’ve been working on the continent for a while, so this is a good mark of how things have gone in the past year. I’m excited because when I’m at the awards I’ll get to meet other people in the creative arts.”
Born Kwame Ametepee Tsikata and honing his hip-hop skills in Minneapolis in the United States of America, M.anifest has long represented his home country in the language he intersperses with English and how he dresses on stage and on set. His brass and wooden neckpieces that put the Jesus Piece popularised by the likes of Kanye West to shame are an omnipresent feature of his image.
''Makaa Maka'', which “literally means ‘I said it because I said it’ and translates into saying something without apology, is a concept that is close to M.anifest’s heart. He’s also unapologetic about his nomination but says, “there are a lot of deser-ving people, but I roll with the punches.”
The 2012 Channel O Music Video Awards take place at the Walter Sisulu Hall in Soweto on November 17. Vote for your favourite at www.channelo.tv.
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