‘Beef’’ is a lyrical warfare in which acts (usually between two individuals or groups) exchange insults either subliminally or directly. It is seen by many players of the music industry especially rap/hip hop industry, as a catalyst for hard work and a means to maintain supremacy in the game.
While ‘beef’ is not uncommon to hip hop music elsewhere in the world, it is relatively new in the Ghanaian music scene. Nonetheless, ‘beef’ has been in Ghanaian music industry for over a decade now. Mentions can be made of the Kawkese vs Kontihene, Asem vs Tema Boys and many others.
We have witnessed, within the past few years, several feuds in the music scene which has become a trend where artistes want to get attention by throwing ‘jabs’ at some top figures and where artistes who have disagreements in one way or the other, translate it into songs as ‘‘diss’’ songs. One that became the talk Gh, was/is the one between the leader of the High Grade Family- Samini, and the Dancehall king hit maker – Shatta Wale. The former adopted a subliminal mode of dissing which he creatively turned ‘diss’ songs to hit songs (Scater badmind, iskoki) and his latest Vex Mad, whilst the latter often engaged in open/raw insults with name dropping.
The rift between these two creative acts, in my opinion, has contributed exponentially to the popularity of ‘dancehall music’ in Ghana. However, Samini who is noted for top hits almost every year seems to have lost focus. This can be technical or personal creative issues and may not be a result of the ‘beef’, but I cannot rule out the ‘beef’ since these issues which I am about to address below manifested during and the ‘beef’ period.
- Two hit songs only in almost 2 years.
Since the feud started somewhere 2013 (I stand to be corrected), Samini has managed to make impact with only two songs – Scarter badmind and Iskoki, despite the numerous singles and collaborations he has released during this period.
- Sounding the same on most songs.
Noted for versatility with his mirage of styles, Samini seems to have lost this quality and thus sound the same in most songs. His verses are not unique and I usually forget the rhythm (even the chrorus) after listening to some of his songs. His verse on Chase’s pull me down, Fine Lady, Verse on KK Fosu’s song, just to mention a few, all sound uncatchy and not-like Samini’s.
- ‘Lame beats’
I once watched an interview with Hammer of Da Last Two Music, where he said that “you can manage a bad song on a good beat but you cannot manage a good song on a bad beat”.
I have noticed that Samini has moved from working with JMJ to working with Brainy Beats. The latter is a very talented producer though relatively new in the Ghanaian music scene. However, from my listening ear perspective, the sound and mixing he has produced for most of Samini’s songs does not help much.
To whom much is given, much is expected. As legend in African music, one who crossed boundaries with his music and has won several awards both locally and internationally, records that can stand the test of time are expected from him. The young ones are watching and want to see their heroes achieve greater heights above the sky limits that Nino Brown set.
By Joe Bilbod