The 2019 edition of the Rapperholic concert hosted by Ghana’s most decorated artiste and Africa’s most awarded rapper, Sarkodie, which happened on 25th December was a huge Sarkcess.
The much talked about event took place at the ‘Grand Arena, AICC’ and saw the likes of Kwesi Arthur, Edem, Coded of 4×4, Tulenkey, Kofi Mole, Quamina MP, Medikal (came on stage briefly during Quamina MP’s performance), Efya, Sista Afia Bless of ‘Chocho Mucho’ fame, Joey B, King Rudy(P-Square) one half of Nigeria music duo P-Square, La Meme Gang, Lyrical Joe, Drew and Krymi, Donzy, Camidoh, AK Songstress, etc… gracing the stage as they took turns to perform.
This year’s marked the show’s 7th edition and the organizers promised a fun-packed event. But did they live to expectations or rather the opposite? Let’s find out.
This article is going to give you a quick review as to what happened at the 2019 Rapperholic Unstoppable edition.
One challenge most event organizers experience is the late start of shows and Rapperholic was not an exception.
The event which was supposed to start at 7 PM started a little after 8 PM. It was not really bad because patrons were treated to some back to back music before the main show started.
This year, the show as stated earlier was hosted at the ‘Grand Arena’ in the Accra International conference center (AICC) and that allowed the attendance to grow high as compared to last year.
The Grand Arena has a capacity of about 5000-7000 and the only empty seats were that of patrons who had gone out either to buy something, take pictures beside the decorations put at the back entrance of the auditorium or those who had gone to visit the washroom.
It was a sold-out show.
One thing I observed too was that of a large number of people who were just outside and never made their way into the auditorium when I inquired, a few of them had hopes of there being a free gate at some point so they could also go in to enjoy the show or for some tickets to be sold at cheap prices so they could afford it too.
The crowd in the auditorium was a party crowd ready to jam to every tune and most were obviously dancehall lovers.
Also, no lineup of artistes billed to perform was announced but that did not stop people from attending the much-publicized event.
For a show that did not have a TV or radio station advert running, the turn out was impressive. The organizers used social media to their advantage in promoting the show.
From the lighting system down to the sound, everything was on point until at a point the technical team had some difficulties with the sound systems.
This even marred Kwesi Arthur’s performance as he had to bring his performance to a close due to the constant feedback and interruptions. I believe he couldn’t hear himself well at some point.
The lighting was great, especially during Sarkodie’s performance. To some extent, it made his performance exuberant and exciting to watch. The colours were okay too.
The stage was also wide enough and well arranged for the various artists who blessed the stage to feel free and also utilize its full potential.
Overall, every artist who came on stage had a lot of positive energy and nobody was really a flop. As the acts took turns to mount the stage, they were all fired up and meant business.
The Rapperholic stage is known to give upcoming acts the opportunity to showcase their talent. Even the underground artistes who were given the opportunity to perform on such a big stage came with intense energy.
BREAK DOWN OF SOME PERFORMANCES
Patrons of Rapperholic saw both upcoming and well-established acts come on stage to perform.
Getting to the latter part of the event, the artistes Sarkodie featured on his latest album ‘Black love’ joined Sarkodie on stage one after the other to perform the songs on the album.
Sister Efya joined Sarkodie to perform ‘Broken Heart’, King Promise came to perform ‘Anadwo’ and ‘Can’t Let You Go’, Songstress Efya came on stage to perform ‘Saara’ with Sarkodie among other hit songs the two share’ Rudeboy (one half of Nigeria music duo P-square) performed ‘Lucky’ too and his other hit songs.
Mr Eazi also joined Sarkodie on stage and performed ‘Do You’ and rising artiste Herman Suede who features on Sarkodie’s ‘Womba’ off the ‘black love’ album represented too.
There was no artiste shouting “osi dien” or “menti o” on the stage.
SARKODIE’s GENERAL PERFORMACE
Everybody in Ghana knows that two things Sarkodie is particular about when performing on stage especially on his own show is his entrance on stage and his outfits.
These two things once again were on point. From the acrobatics team who came to perform to the dancers were well-rehearsed and made Sarkodie’s performance lively.
Sarkodie changed outfits into about 3-4 outfits and each was a masterpiece. A personal favorite was that of his led lights jacket. In fact, Sarkodie was dripping in finesse.
Then to his performance.
Last year, Sarkodie had a problem controlling his breath and was obviously tired at a point but it was different this year. He managed to control his breath, even continued to exude enough energy for 10 people.
Per observation, whenever he felt tired, he allowed the audience to do the singing so he could catch his breath or turn around as though he was communicating with the team at the back just so he could recompose himself.
Overall, Sarkodie’s performance was amazing. His mere presence on stage was enough to make the audience go gaga.
Once the crowd heard DJ Mensah’s (who happens to be Sarkodie’s official DJ) jingle, everybody in the auditorium stood up and started shouting with some even trying to go much closer to the stage just to catch a glimpse of King Sark.
Sarkodie performed his old songs like ‘Baby’ featuring Mugeez, ‘When I Grow Up’, Saa Okodie No featuring Obrafour and also songs he released during the Azonto era like ‘Dangerous’ and ‘U Go Kill Me’ featuring E.L, etc…
He then performed some latest songs like Oofeetsɔ featuring Prince Bright (Buk Bak) and Year of Return featuring Coded of 4×4. These songs are currently top bangers in the country.
Sitting in the crowd, one thing that set the crowd talking was the delay in artistes mounting the stage. At a point, nobody mounted the stage for about 15 minutes.
Per my research, the team was trying to handle to issues they were facing and salvage the situation.
But these long waits during the show made people feel uncomfortable as it somehow killed their “mojo”. One moment they are jamming and the next moment the place is dead silent. It was somewhat a ‘killjoy’ moment.
The technical hitches made it difficult to properly show the mini-documentary of Sarkodie’s music journey.
Also, Rapperholic organizers need to find ways of curbing ticket hoarding. Right from the entrance of the AICC, patrons of the event were met with various people approaching them to try and sell Rapperholic tickets to them.
The Rapperholic tickets on all digital platforms as well as the physical copies were sold out before the main event.
This means people buy it in bulk just so they can resell it at high prices at the event or once the tickets are sold out.
This is not the best as some people refuse to buy at that high price and this could have had a negative effect on the show’s attendance.
Also, the guy supposed to roll the advert in between performances got up without informing the producer/director of the show, George Quaye on where he was going and they needed him to roll an advert but was nowhere to be found.
This was one of the reasons why at a point, nobody had mounted the stage. Organizers should always have at least two or more people rotating and controlling/manning things like sound, light and other machines.
Furthermore, event organizers need to develop ‘a backup plan’ as it is difficult to control or get a 100% issue free show when it comes to live production events.
When one thing or one part of the event goes wrong, there should be something put in place to help salvage the situation.
The seating arrangement was a bit of a problem most especially for people who are not so lucky in the height department.
As compared to the Dome which helps people at the back to still see the stage, with the Grand Arena those at the back could not see the stage or who was on it.
Some couldn’t see even when they stood on chairs. Something should be done about the seating arrangement next time.
To conclude, everybody forgot all about the shortcomings of the event organizers once Sarkodie mounted the stage.
Sarkodie’s fan base is probably the most loyal fan base in Africa in general. They stream his music, buy his albums, promote his works and pay to see him perform.
Admittedly, the 2019 Rapperholic concert was a “Sarkcess”.
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