Ghana has seen many rap talents over the years, especially since the advent of Hiplife in the middle of the 1990s.
Talk of Reggie Rockstone, the originator himself; Obrafour; Lord Kenya; Okyeame Kwame to Yaa Pono, M.anifest, Kwaw Kese, among the many others, rappers have popped up here and there and have thrilled fans with their music.
Despite the contributions of the many rappers to the music industry in Ghana, Sarkodie stands tall when it comes to success as a rapper and you will definitely agree with this point of view after reading through his many achievements as we have put together below:
Every musician wants to be appreciated for their talents. One of the ways such appreciation manifests is being recognised for awards.
Sarkodie stands tall in this regard. With his 19 wins from over 50 nominations, he is the most successful artiste of the Ghana Music Awards.
And he will likely hold that record for a long time as the career of his closest contender, Ofori Amponsah who has 12 awards to his name, seems to have dwindled.
2. International recognition
Gone are the days when Ghanaian musicians were content with their status as local champions. They want to be recognised outside the shores of the country.
He was the first Ghanaian to receive a BET Award with his Best International Act.
Africa Award in 2012 and has also received two nominations since then. He is had nominations and /or won international awards including MOBO, MAMA, EMY Awards, among others.
In 2015, he became not only the first Ghanaian rapper but the first one from Africa to perform at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, United States when he rendered a freestyle before the 2015 BET Awards.
3. Impact outside music circles
The Rapperholic rapper’s impact is not felt only in the music circles. Outside of it, his work has caught attention and he has had the privilege speaking at the prestigious Harvard Business School in the US.
Speaking under the theme, ‘The Art Of The Hustle’ on February 27, 2016, Sarkodie used his life and career to inspire students who participated in the conference.
He has also, together with businessman, Prince Kofi Amoabeng, embarked on similar engagements to share their success stories with students of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
It takes a lot of effort for a showbiz person to get serious attention from academia and it definitely shows how serious Sarkodie’s career is taken even outside the industry.
4. Consistency and Versatility
Sarkodie has been active since 2007 but has been a top artiste for about seven years now and one thing he has shown in abundance is consistency and versatility.
There has never been a year since 2010 that you would not hear a hit track from him. Having released Makye (2009), Rapperholic (2011), Sarkology (2013), Mary (2015) and most recently Higher (2017), he has released five albums over the period he is stayed in the limelight which is a very good turn out for a rapper.
He has also proved over the period that he is not only good in his comfort zone of rap (Hiplife) as he has experimented with other genres to much success.
The Mary album and other collaborations he has had are clear examples of that. It is one thing to perform very well in your comfort zone but it is a whole different ball game with such experiments.
Even the great Lionel Messi, it is argued by fans of Cristiano Ronaldo, will not perform that well if he were to leave his comfort zone of Barcelona for another club or league entirely.
So, Sarkodie definitely needs commendation for this. Of all the notable rappers in Ghana, Obrafour is about the only one who could shuffle that easily between genres with such success.
5. Commercial success
Ultimately, all musicians, even if they claim to be doing it as hobbies, would like to reap financial rewards for their talents.
And for someone who has decided to dedicate his life to the craft, it is more crucial to make some money in order to put food on the table.
Sarkodie is a full time rapper and he can afford to put food on the table because he is getting paid enough for his trade. His shows are almost always sold out.
He has endorsement deals with Samsung and Tigo and also has other businesses including a personal clothing line. In fact, he is considered as one of the richest musicians in the whole of Africa.
According to the May 2017 edition of Forbes Magazine, Sarkodie is the 9th richest African artiste with an estimated worth of $7million. No Ghanaian artiste, not to talk of rappers alone, has ever been featured in the Forbes rich list and it proves that Sarkodie is the most commercially successful Ghanaian act.
All in all, the man born in Tema on July 10, 1988 as Michael Owusu Addo stands tall among rappers in Ghana.
You may have your preference based on style of delivery or even likeness for another rapper but if it’s about impact and success with their talents, no one compares to King Sark, as his fans call him.