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‘Naija beats’ no threat to Hiplife - Reggie Rockstone

BY: Gifty Owusu-Amoah
Reggie Rockstone says 'Naija Beats' no threat to Hiplife
Reggie Rockstone

Hiplife ‘Grandpapa', Reggie Rockstone has said that there is no cause for alarm regarding Ghanaian artistes jumping on Nigerian beats for songs in recent times.

He mentioned that even though the concerns were legitimate in the face of Ghanaian artistes probably losing their identities, it was, however, not a threat to the survival of Hiplife music so such fears should not be entertained.

In the quest to probably penetrate the Nigerian market, some Ghanaian artistes have adopted the strategy of doing songs that are similar in style and beats to that of Nigerians.

For instance, AK Songstress’ Jonathan and recently, Camidoh’s banger Sugarcane, Kelvyn Boy’s Fall Flat, Darko Vibes’ Je M’apelle featuring Davido, among many others, are thought to sound so much like Nigerian songs.

For a moment, listeners may easily connect such songs to a Nigerian artiste but while this is a huge disquiet for some industry players, the Plan Ben hitmaker believes the development is part of music progression.

Speaking with Graphic Showbiz, Reggie Rockstone said he was least perturbed about the goings-on since ‘Naija sounds’ were no threat to Hiplife.

“Personally, I’ve had people approach me about this issue behind the scenes but truthfully, what is there to worry about? I don’t think that what these young boys are doing is not happening all over the world.

“In the heyday of Hiplife, I personally know that Nigerians sampled our beats and even recently when Azonto was the in-thing, it took over Nigeria, Africa and beyond. So what is wrong if our boys and girls are also sampling their beats and copying their styles?

“If this is what is trending, there’s nothing wrong in jumping on the bandwagon as far as you are talented. Fela Kuti, who is credited as the originator of Afrobeats, took lots of inspiration from Ghana and particularly, Highlife music.

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“However, it always becomes a sort of rivalry or competition when it is Ghana taking something from Nigeria. These complaints and unnecessary matches make Ghanaians look petty and envious of Nigerians which shouldn’t be so,” he said.

Describing music as one that has no boundaries or confined to the interests of a particular group of people, Reggie Rockstone said that Nigerians were all over the place because they were patriotic towards a cause than Ghanaians.

Notwithstanding, he pointed out that the current happenings also fell in line with Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s vision of championing Pan African music.

“Well, there’s a saying that ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ and since Nigerians are all over the place, it makes sense to follow what is working for them. Besides, Kwame Nkrumah championed for such a cause where Africans can have same songs to enjoy so I think this falls within that.

“Just last year, Black Sheriff took over Nigeria with his music and that tells us that Nigerians also admire us. The only difference is that they are always business minded and so ready to cash in on every situation,” he added.