The term Hiplife may be fading (as noted in our recent article about changes in the Ghanaian urban music scene), but there's still life in the old dog and Hiplife artists are still making waves.
One such artist is Atumpan (Frank Elinam Cobbinah), known for incorporating elements of Reggae and Dancehall into his version of Hiplife. Atumpan has been making music for the past 12 years, but the release of his debut album earlier this year ramped up the attention, particularly for the single The Thing, featuring Stone (from the Hiplife duo Bradez).
The single is receiving massive airplay in Ghana right now - even more than Shame, his cover of the hit Oleku, did (DOWNLOAD Shame) - and, as we too think it's banging, is now on high rotation on This Is Africa's playlist (so launch the TIA stream if you aren't already listening). A little side issue: Some listeners said they found the track profane, but Atumpan said, contrary to these perceptions, The Thing is actually a Gospel song. "The 'thing' is anything teachable [and] discussable; anything that someone can admonish someone about," he said. Atumpan, it's worth noting, is also a practising teacher.
Anyway, one of the benefits of all this attention is the opportunity to share the stage and work with even more hot artists, which is what's happened on this most recent release, a collaboration with Angolan artist Cabo Snoop, the man responsible for Windeck, one of the biggest hits to emerge from the Kuduro scene.
http://content.omroep.nl/ghettoradio/musicblog/atumpan_ft_cabo_snoop_muyerh_africana.mp3 Muyerh Africana
Atumpan and Cabo Snoop were both on the bill of a recent concert arranged by entertainment and event company 233Connect, and the organisers - who certainly know how to create buzz - had the idea of a collabo, so they made it happen, footing the bill for studio costs and even a video recording session. The result is Muyerh Africana (which means "African Girls" in Portuguese).
In that article about the evolution of Ghana's urban music, Chief Boima noted that a lot of what's coming out in Ghana these days travels easily across the continent, and Muyerh Africana is a good example. By fusing some Ghanaian folk instrumentation with Kuduro's energy and a bit of dancehall the pair have created a dance track that would go down almost anywhere on the continent. Purists might argue that there aren't enough traces of Ghana or Angola in there, but, hey, few tracks can do everything.