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Local Language rap will limit you – Hammer to rappers

Hammer Image from his INSTAGRAM
Hammer Image from his INSTAGRAM

Ghanaian music producer Edward Nana Poku Osei, also known as Hammer, has said that it is difficult for African rappers who use their local languages to break international boundaries.

Although Hammer says this doesn’t apply to songs, he believes the reach of rap on the global stage is dependent on the language used.

He said this in an interview with Kwame Dadzie on Joy FM’s Showbiz A-Z. “It’s easy to sell vernacular in a singing format than in rap because ‘sing-songs’ have melody. Rap songs are words. So the beats drive rap songs. Listen to Zibote, we still don’t know what they were talking about but we love it because it is a song-song.

It is easier for a ‘sing-song’ to cross over, like Asake with the Yoruba. He can cross over with it because it is a ‘sing-song’ but if you rap in Yoruba you will go hungry,” he said.

Explaining further, Hammer explained why Sarkodie now does more English rap than he used to do in the past. “Sarkodie has suffered out there. The reason he has transformed into an English rapper, is that he has to move on because the vernacular rap will limit you,” he stated.

He said he was impressed with Sarkodie’s English rap delivery on his ‘No Pressure’ album.

Recently, Sarkodie dazzled rap music fans with his impeccable flow on the Hennessy Africa Cypher 2024. The eight-minute cypher also features other lyrically-gifted rappers on the African continent: Maglera Doe Boy (South Africa), Didi B (Ivory Coast), Young Lunya (Tanzania), Khaligraph Jones (Kenya), and Ladipoe (Nigeria).

This comes a few weeks after he released ‘Brag’, a hiphop song that generated a lot of excitement in the rap fraternity.

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Hammer, after taking a break from active music, announced his return last year. In the meantime, he is preparing to release an album titled ‘Upper Echelon’.

Michael Ashley

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