Hiplife was formerly the dominant musical style in Ghana, but it has long since lost its throne.
According to entertainment journalist Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo of 3FM’s Showbiz 927, misunderstanding and lack of cohesion among the genre’s creators were the primary causes of the genre’s demise.
“Confusion among the originals was one of the factors,” Arnold highlighted as contributing to the death of hiplife. He claimed that the lack of cohesion even in the name’s creation made the genre unappealing to young people.
“Let’s leave the question of whether we should hang on to it and continue to do so out of the discussion. Hip-hop is no longer relevant. The history of hiplife should be preserved, in my opinion,” he explained.
He likened the current state of hiplife to the “inventor syndrome,” where everyone wants to be seen as the original creator of something new and groundbreaking.
“In the early stages of the industry’s development, everyone aspired to set trends. The continuum process failed as a result,” he noted.
This lack of coherence ultimately made hiplife unappealing to younger generations, causing it to fade into obscurity.
Arnold also pointed out that the rush to be known as originators led to some strange and questionable choices.
“Will you want to associate with something that Ghanaians are not even proud of if you are an upcoming artist? Are we not even working together to push it? No. You will therefore continue on your chosen course,” he stated.
In a final note, Arnold urged Ghanaians to focus on the history of hiplife and its contribution to Afrobeat history.
He pointed to Nigeria’s collective efforts in promoting Afrobeats, which has become a world-recognized genre.
“We should do the same with hiplife,” he concluded, “and hold on to its place in our musical heritage.”
Earlier this month, Ghanaian radio host and musician Okyeame Quophi expressed his displeasure with the recently released BBC documentary Hiplife Rewind, saying it was inaccurate and misleading.
“I watched this Hiplife documentary on YouTube yesterday which is produced by BBC and now fully understand why HIPLIFE IS DEAD. The 30 minutes plus presentation lacks the facts and is very misleading. Apuuu!!! Wei,” he wrote on Twitter.