Obrafour is undoubtedly one of the best rappers in Ghana. However, despite the successes he has achieved through his talent, he claims that Highlife is what made him the person he is today.
He claimed that highlife music has been a significant influence on his music career to this day.
"When I was a kid, I recall that my dad used to have a collection of Highlife recordings and would play them every Sunday from morning until night. I used to listen to renowned Highlife musicians like Ramblers, Nana Ampadu, Adofo, and others, and it gave me a lot of ideas and a profound understanding of music.
"The excellent Highlife music I had the pleasure of listening to when I was young has had a significant impact on both my compositions and my delivery. My music uses Highlife music's storytelling style for its lyrics. I was playing highlife when I first started my music career with sound engineer Hammer, but Hammer suggested that I do rap," he said in an interview.
He claims that the Highlife music he listened to for a prolonged period of time had an impact on him, making him a better rapper. "In fact, artists like Adofo, CK Mann, Ramblers, and Nana Ampadu impacted my hip-hop career since they had a significant impact on my music. I borrowed from Highlife the proverbs, adjectives, and wise sayings that helped me create greater music. Highlife music has greatly benefited me, he said.
The Heavy hitmaker claimed he needed to own the rap with Twi and it was remarkable how Ghanaians welcomed it in addition to how he stamped his feet on the rap scene.
Every song he now writes is inspired by highlife, and he said, "When Ghanaians bought into my rap, it gave me the energy to make more. I have no regret spending a lot of time listening to all these great performers in the past."
Obrafour spoke about the current state of Hiplife and noted that it was different from earlier times. Hiplife was popular back in our day, but these days it seems like Afrobeats are taking over. I can understand this because music changes over time, and that is where we are right now.
"But despite all the different genres we perform here in Ghana, I still believe that our songs are original. Our music may go far if we keep our individuality and don't view it as the only medium for amusement but rather as a means to teach, inform, and promote our traditions and customs.
The Kasiebo rapper claimed that in addition to Guru, who Obrafour is credited with helping break into the public eye, he had mentored numerous other up-and-coming performers but refrained from disclosing their names.
"It is never easy for me to take credit for the folks I have helped." Most of the young musicians out there that are succeeding greatly have been guided by me. By God's grace, I always attempt to introduce a new artist whenever I release a new record, and most of them have succeeded," he remarked.
Has he been celebrated enough and what’s next?
He respects the love Ghanaians have shown him over the years and is glad for it, whether or not Ghanaians have celebrated him enough in his opinion.
"I am glad and appreciative of what I have via music, so what more can I ask for? Ghanaians have already done enough to help me by supporting my music, therefore I didn't really give it my all.
"There are many things in the works. I think God has given me enough expertise to continue to provide Ghanaians with excellent music. I've never thought less of myself, and I'll keep writing and performing beautiful songs until God calls me, he declared.
Artistes managing artistes
Obrafour, who marked 20 years in the music business in 2019, responded that it was extremely difficult for a musician to manage another musician when asked about the difficulty of doing so.
He believed that managing another artist would always present a conflict of interest. "The CEO's artists will always compete with one another. It is better for a musician to assign the task of signing another musician to a management who is qualified to do it.
If the musician wishes to be their own management, there will inevitably be problems. All of the examples we've seen here in Ghana have failed, he said.
The award-winning rapper, born Michael Elliot Kwabena Okyere Darko but popularly known as Obrafour or Rap Sofo, marked his 20th year in the music business in May 2019.
Pae Mu Ka, Asem Sebe, Tofa, Asem Beba Dabi, Heavy, Nte Tee Pa, Yaanom, Maame, Kwame Nkrumah, Kasiebo, and Adom Bi are just a few of the songs he has written.
At the Ghana Music Awards in 2000, he received several honors, including Rapper of the Year, New Artiste of the Year, and Hiplife Song of the Year.
Obrafour has collaborated with a number of artists, including Sarkodie, Bisa Kdei, M.anifest, Red Eye of 2 Toff, Guru, and Tinny.
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