This is not the first time the compilation of lists of top or best rappers has come up.
In the US, the home of Hip Hop, almost every day, some influential industry person, magazine or media outlet come up with a list of the Best Rappers or Lyricists.
In Ghana, once in a while, somebody or entity drops a list of best rappers but the conversation got intense last week, when the legendary DJ and industry guru, DJ Black, released his list of ‘Top 50 Rappers in Ghana’ – obviously inspired by the latest controversy in the US, again, over the same sort of list.
DJ Black’s list has caused some others to also come up with their own listing, although, they fail crucially to assign the criteria they used to compile such lists – and some falter sometimes, in tagging such list, ‘All Time’.
As a lover and follower of Hip hop and Ghanaian music, it is just fitting for me to also not banter with those who have compiled theirs, but just list my own – and I assign the criteria for my choice.
Based on skills, clout, influence, following and recognition, I present my ‘Top 10 Rappers of All Time’ in numerical order.
For all the rudiments of rap, Obrafour tops it all. He demystified hiplife, made it look simple and overly appealing for every average Joe to tinker with. His influence, following and recognition were unassailable.
He had the skills in abundance and his energy on stage was stupendous. He arguably had one of the best stagecraft and his ability to excite the audience at a given time was undeniable.
In the last decade, Sarkodie has not had any competitor(s); in skill, in elevating the culture, in generating such mass following and attaining worldwide recognition.
From his role as one-piece of the legendary group, Akyeame, to going solo, Okyeame Kwame, aside his proficiency in rap – has been able to command one of the most consistent, most appealing and most lucrative brands in the last 20 years.
Albeit having a short-lived blossoming career, Okomfo Kwadee was the best storyteller ever in his prime. Many that came after him, tried to replicate his style, all to no success.
For leading the way for all these, coupled with his skills, influence and immense recognition across the world, the Grand Papa takes the 6th spot on the list.
Before Tinny, there were rappers like Kassim, Prince Bright who were rapping in Ga but undoubtedly, Tinny made Ga rap commercially viable, appealing and lucrative.
In his prime, Obour was overly skilled. He had bits of everything; a bit of Obrafour’s intelligent rap skills, Kwadee’s story-telling and Kenya’s awesome stagecraft. He is unmatched in how he garnered such attention with his stagecraft.
Prince Bright (Buk Bak)
The act of rappers singing and rapping expertly in Ghana was made popular by Prince Sparkles. Bright was dexterous and a trendsetter too!
Scooby Sela (Sass Squad/TH4Kwagees)
Scooby Sela is heavily underrated but he was the leading man in two successful groups, Sass Squad and TH4Kwagees. For his deft touch on rap and his influence, he gets my last spot on the list.