For those who followed Hip-Life in Ghana, most especially in Tema years back 2006, you can attest to the fact that there was Okodie before Sarkodie.
But for the purpose facts, I wouldn’t derve deep into the history of Hip-Life in Ghana or Tema which happens to be the city I spent the highest part of the eight years I lived and schooled in Ghana, as I would live history for the hip-life founders, fathers and godfathers.
This however would not deter me from telling you what I know about Micheal Owusu Addo, popularly known as Sarkodie. A Ghanaian hip-life and hip-hop recording artist based in Tema (Tell Every One Music Is Alive), the fourth of five children, born and raised by Maame Aggrey (his Mother). Sarkodie who started rapping at a young age was rumored to have dropped out off IPMC where he was chasing a degree in Graphic design, but that did not stop him from winning rap battles on the popular KASAHARE Level show hosted by his first ever manager Isaac Duncan Williams A.K.A Dr. Duncan (Oh! Joe) formally of Adom FM, It was during these battle days on Kasahare he met Edem and Castro who introduced him to Hammer of The Last Two, an established record producer.
After been impressed by the rap flows of the young art, Hammer decided to feature Sarkodie on two songs off the Volta Regime Album. It was after this exposure, Sarkodie recorded his debut album “Markye” realizing his first single “Baby” which features Mugeez of the musical duo R2BeeS. The single became an instant hit, rocketing him into the stardom that made Sarkodie a house hold name in the Ghana music scene. Today, he is not just an award winning artist, but an established entrepreneur and philanthropist, C.E.O of Sarkcess Music, which happens to be his own record lable. His hardwork however landed him the Best African art award at the BET’s, sending signals to the world that there is a genre of music called Hip-Life. His success remains a mystery to many who do not know his hustle story.
Remembering my early years in Ghana, I lived at Tema Community 7, not far from Datus Complex school, same hood with Stay Jay amongst other then underground artist who usually came around Seven Heavens or Bee Gees to hang out, Sarkodie was never an exception. On a hard day, he would walk through the communities 9, 8, 7, and 4 (on regular base, he would make a brief stop at Hunch in community 4 to eat) straight up to One Blaze Studio (respect to Meth Mix) at community 1 where every musical talent from Tema today started his or her hustle.
For Michael, life was all about “Sarkcess” as he was already branded as the Fastest Rapper in Ghana and West Africa. His lyrics and style of rap was proper representation of himself, as he told us stories from his hustle days through his mix tapes. His creativity coupled with his sense of humor, from one mix tape to another, made His Mix tape titled “Theft Case” one of my favorite of all his mix tapes.
Today, Sarkodie is known as one of the most successful musicians in Ghana, with rumors circulating that he is a a member of the worlds famous secrete cults “Illuminati”. But i beg to differ as a few lyrics from his “Illuminati” single tells it all;
“Yo, tia First na monka masɛm, fisɛ na meni bi
ɛnnɛ cash aba nti mobɛ frɛ me illuminati
sorry, moanyɛ lucky on my way to grammy
mako join group wae anka men push bugatti
me I think its funny, cuz I keep on making money
twɛdiampon no blessing reflect tisɛ tsunami
DJ Mensah, Kess ne Giovanni
Nyankopon seɛ ma men shaky walking through the valley”
As A young Successful artists, he is bound to have haters and face criticisms, as most persons would stop at nothing but paint him black, as for a fact, you cant please everyone no matter how hard you try. “I don’t know if I’m doing well but I think my job makes me relate to everyone which is very bad. Because when you go out and offend someone, he will get back at you. “So I just have to keep my head straight – I choose it, I cannot turn back and am already in it. No matter how nice you want to be, it’s never enough,” Sarkodie once said.
Sarkodie has had the privilege of performing on the same stage with international musicians such as T-Pain, Miguel, Movado, Trey Songz,and Ludacris. He has also established himself as a successful entrepreneur. He owns “Sark by Yas clothing line”, which was launched on April 27, 2013. The clothing line has accessories for men, women and children. In 2012, he was officially unveiled as the Brand Ambassador for Samsung Electronics at the University of Ghana, Legon. As part of the event, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy Pocket and Chief Hero Phones that had customized wallpapers of Sarkodie and his signature; users had the opportunity to download exclusive tracks of Sarkodie. Sarkodie also launched the Obidi Chief headphones. In 2013, he signed an endorsement deal with FanMilk Ghana. Sarkodie is currently in partnership with Tigo Telecommunications Ghana, a brand that sponsored the 2013 “Rapperholic” tour.
Sarkodie as i earlier stated, is the first Ghanaian to win the BET Award for Best International Act Africa in 2012 and was nominated in 2014 and 2015. In 2010, he received many awards and nominations ranging from “Artist of the Year” to “Album of the Year” in Ghana. His sophomore album, Rapperholic, was the recipient of 3 Ghana Music Awards from 12 nominations.
“If only you hustle hard, Sarkcess is your’s” _ Young Endy
#HailKingSark #SarkcessMusic #MoneyNoBeProblem #SarkcessPuzzle
Written By: Young Endy