Music icon Reggie Rockstone has said he would have taken the business part of music more seriously were the Hiplife revolution, which he led, happening today.
The venerated rapper nicknamed the Grand Papa of Hiplife guested on ‘The Big Show’ on Class 91.3 FM.
Kumi, a listener to ‘The Big Show’ hosted by Nana Kwesi Asare, texted in asking Reggie Rockstone if he would have done things differently, with the advantage of hindsight.
“Yes,” Rockstone readily answered. “Because there’s always room for improvement. I believe in that.”
“One, I would have put the business side of it much higher because it’s called show business (showbiz),” he added, confessing that because the passion and ease of music creation “was just a gift God gave me, I never thought about it from the business side of things.”
“Today, knowing the world and how things have been positioned, I would have probably looked at it from a more business standpoint,” the businessman noted.
That said, he second-guessed himself arguing that: “Who’s to say that if I had done it from a business standpoint, I would have given my all?”
“Maybe the freeness of it; the very selflessness of it is what made it get to the people,” he emphasised.
Returning to the importance of viewing music, in this case Hiplife, as a business venture, he considered the economic boost the genre and its attending revolution could have given Ghana if it had been mindfully engineered.
“I do realise that economically, it could really have helped my country,” he said.
However, the ‘Agoo’ hitmaker observed that: “It has done immensely well for young people in Africa and Ghana and so I can see it creating more jobs and employment because I mean look what Hiplife did [over time].”
He marveled at the discovery of “amazing talents” and how “people have been able to create and earn a living [from] this [genre].”
“You know, you get to travel all over the world,” he added, citing artites like: “Sarkodie… Black Sherif…”
“All these came from a certain place – a seed that was sown and I’ve lived long enough to see what it has become,” he remarked contentedly.
Furthermore, the Grand Papa cited the phenomenon of Africans in the Diaspora making music with the continent’s stars.
“Beyonce making music with Shatta Wale,” he mentioned.
“These are great feats and we should never undermine what it is that we have done,” he noted.
“And not just me,” he admitted. “I was just chosen to lead but collectively, we all contributed to what it became.”
The music pioneer posited that before the ascendency of Afrobeats, it was Ghana leading the music charge with Hiplife.
“We were the once who inspired young Black Africans all over Africa!” he strongly said.
Reggie Rockstone argued that “just as Dr Osagyefo” Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first Prime Minister and President, an iconic Pan-Africanist, “paid his dues, we paid our dues with this musical collection” and “today, Afrobeats is worldwide and its making millions of dollars.”
“We’re eligible for a slice of that pie,” he added. “Because we worked for it.”
Reggie Rockstone came to prominence in the early 90s having successfully amalgamated Ghana’s Highlife with Hiphop from America – creating Hiplife – together with his friend and music partner DJ Rab Bakari of blessed memory.