Hiplife as a music genre has over the years won much more recognition around the world and currently represents an aspect of the Ghanaian urban culture. Lately, music isn’t only perceived as a source of entertainment but an alternative means of livelihood which puts food on the table for practitioners and their families.
Born in the United Kingdom in the later part of the 1960’s, Reginald Osei remains a pillar behind Hiplife and another reason for the commercialization of Ghanaian music. Mostly referred to as Reggie Rockstone, he got attached to the Hip Hop movement after the 80’s as a dancer whiles he juggled between London, New York and Accra.
Starting as a rapper, he belonged to PLZ (Parables, Linguistics and Zlang), one of the top rap groups then in London during the 90s. PLZ had Fredi Funkstone and Jay as the other members of the group. Reggie as an artist was a force to reckon with and had won his street credibility before moving to Ghana.
As the PLZ performed their hit tracks in and around the jurisdiction of the British Monarch, Reggie gained a lot more recognition rather than money. Just at the same time, he also widened his scope aiding him to become a deeper emcee. He became an extraordinary showstopper anytime he got behind the microphone.
Filled with a refreshing energy and talent, Reggie couldn’t restrict himself to solely business as he assisted his father, but rather extended his musical project to Ghana. Heavily influenced by American Hip culture, he had to find add-ons that represented an African flavor to his songs. This required a paradigm shift and a revision of his notes.
With the help of Vibe Fm’s Mike Cooke who had worked with Reggie back in the United Kingdom, he provided his radio network for promotion to get Reggie find his way around the Ghanaian music scene. Talented Ghanaian producer Panji Annof and his wife were also instrumental and on a subtle note influenced the direction of Reggie’s music.
A new music genre then in the making and to be unleashed on the ever daring Ghanaian youth with a strong desire for anything foreign but hip was the target. Hiplife, thus an authentically laced Hip Hop beats over a Ghanaian lingua was born with Reggie at the forefront. The release of “Tsoo Boi” was phenomenal and perfect as it received the needed attention just like subsequent songs which included “Sweetie, Sweetie” and “Agoo”.
Becoming the unofficial hiplife king of Accra, he was all over and became the reference for anything rap music. With a fan base that kept swelling and cutting across, Reggie became the most sought after performer in Ghana without any doubt. He had a wild stage presence accompanied by a stimulating stage performance which he always exhibited anywhere he performed.
Becoming a formidable brand, Reggie was used as an icon to promote the Guinness stout in the 1990’s with his face on billboards at almost every corner of the nation’s capital aside television commercials. Currently, he is an ambassador of yet to be launched Nigerian telecommunication company in Ghana, Globacom.
The proud owner of Reggies Office, one of the leading hangout joints and a trained actor hopes to do more in the area of acting plus movie production.No tags for this post.