The Big 'E'

Snow Masking in the tropics, winter came early

In recent times, any music lover of both foreign and local content, can’t help but notice an upsurge of a particular fashion trend that has to do with snow/ski masks, being flaunted in music videos, concerts, clubs and has eventually become a part of the lifestyle of most music celebrities and their fans alike.

It’s sort of a big deal uptown for certain artistes, faithful to a particular genre, such as dance, electronic music, hip hop among others, to be seen wearing a rather daunting snow mask and for some, an entire robotic costume of which our very own acts such as Mugeez of R2bees fame, Shatta Wale and AMG’s Medikal, have served as pioneers to its inculcation in the Ghanaian artistry.

Mugeez in Supa Music video. Photo Credit: R2Bees/YouTube
Medikal in How Much (Remix) Music video. Photo Credit: Medikal/YouTube

Either way, eyebrows have been raised at the recent trends of the snow masking portrayed by our celebs and several reasons based on facts, observations and personal reactions pop up as to why they wear these masks, but firstly, let’s dig deep into its origins.

Usually referred to as the Balaclava, a Russian word meaning, ‘protection against the elements’, this headgear stems from the October 25th, 1854 battle of Balaclava which was a part of a larger Crimean war where British soldiers used handmade garments over their heads to keep warm. Its now been refined into diverse types ranging from the couture surgical masks, windproof, thermal fleece among others.

Time travelling down memory lane into the now, the craze started when the rap duo, Ayo and Teo started sporting stylized surgical snow masks after an instagrammer asked why they scrunched up their mouths anytime they danced, and hence, the birth of a global fashion trend and brand. Since then hip-hop icons such as 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, Young Thug and a host of others, have been seen adorning theirs on BET stages, in music videos and public appearances. Its much like the idea of tattered jeans spearheaded by Kanye West just to prove a point to rich kids who might have made fun of poor kids for coming to school with tattered clothes…. but hey, we’ll delve deeper into that some other time.

The most potent reason, perhaps, to the question on board is the obvious factor of supporting a movement sparked up by the plight of one of their own in their line of duty. These artistes including those that have picked up the trend in Ghana, seem to relate with the situation that the initiators found themselves in, by being prone to negative criticisms from the people they strive hard to please through their music. So, let’s criticize constructively and support talents rather than… well, you know what.

On the contrary, others artistes, genuinely suffer from anxiety and a form of agoraphobia, so wearing a mask helps alleviate their discomfort and hey… you can’t blame them for that cos it ain’t no easy thing to be in charge of moods, emotions and temperaments of hundreds of souls at a go and having to please each one of them and give them a good time irrespective of whether or not you are in a good mood. They hide behind the masks in order to put up a different identity and inspire confidence in their art.

I seem to have consumed all that there is to know but for this last one. You know what… it could simply be a fashion trend and whether or not our guys here have no business wearing snow related costume in a tropical region of the world where the sun scorches all year round, yours is to make memorable moments and shake off the stress while they do what they do best, fueling your energy through good vibes all year long.

Shoutout to every music icon holding it down out there, upholding artistry and pushing the barriers. You are our unsung heroes.

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Emmanuel Ghansah, Ghana Music

Singer, Songwriter, scriptwriter, blogger, lover of the creative arts, brands and communications expert.

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