Do you know most of your favourite Dancehall artistes actually started as rappers? These artistes changed their style to show their versatility whilst others could simply not make any headway with their flimsy raps.
Let’s check them out:
#1. Sonni Balli
It is a pity Sonni Bali is relatively unknown in our industry. If you conduct a random survey amongst the youth (the age bracket that follow Hiplife and Dancehall music) 97% might tell you they haven’t heard his name before.
This notwithstanding, Sonni was a very good rapper. He was the forerunner of one of the earliest Hiplife groups called G-life. As a matter of fact, he discovered Batman, now called Samini in the music scene.
As a rapper, Sonni made a couple of hit songs with Abiola, his group member before he went solo and travelled outside the country. After a long break, he came back, not as a rapper but a refined Dancehall artiste. He is yet to compete with mainstream artistes like Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy but we believe he will definitely drop a banger sooner than later.
#2. Shatta Wale
Shatta Wale, together with Stonebwoy is arguably the best Dancehall artiste in this country. Ironically, he didn’t receive this widespread attention he is enjoying now when he was a rapper. Many still remember him for his anthem Bandana from Ghana, moko hoo when he was that skinny young rapper way back.
Shatta couldn’t sustain the success he had with first album and therefore has to make quick adjustment. He went on a long break and returned as a Dancahall Commando.
Samini’s identity as a musician used to be very difficult to recognise. He began as a rapper but even in that era he switched to Dancehall once a while. Since the emergence of Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy, the Linda crooner found the need to up his game as a Dancehall act (many have criticised him for not being a genuine Dancehall artistes).
#4. Scooby Selah
This Fante rapper was once upon a time one of the finest rappers in the early 2000s (if you doubt, go and check the song he did with Obrafuor entitled Asem Sebe). He was a former member the group, SASS Squad. Later the group split into two; the original group and a new one called TH4Kwagees.
Unfortunately he and his group member Atsu Koliko couldn’t maintain their momentum. Scooby Selah is now doing Dancehall though his new strategy is yet to receive recognition from his fans.