Ponobiom could’ve died like Tupac or B.I.G. at Kasoa show [Article]

What happened to American rappers Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur in the ’90s could have happened to Ghanaian rapper Solomon Adu Antwi aka Ponobiom at the Kasaval show which took place at Kasoa on Monday 26th June, 2017.

What happened to his manager at the Kasoa Sallah Carnival was execrable and must be condemned. If not, we would be setting bad precedence for fans of other artistes.

Maybe, we have not learnt lessons from the American East Coast-West Coast hip hop rivalry in the 1990’s that created a feud between fans and artistes of the East Coast hip hop and the West Coast hip hop scenes in the United States of America.

The East Coast-West Coast Killings

West Coast-based rapper Tupc Shakur (and his Los Angeles-based label Death Row Records) and East Coast-based rapper Notorious B.I.G. (and his New York-based label, Bad Boy Records) were both shot following by unknown assailants in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

Tupac Shakur

In short, this rivalry and its concomitant killings were fuelled by antagonism between the two parties through lyrical war.

The Ghana Experience

Ghanaians have experienced a lot of music feuds and lyrical wars in both subtle and malignant proportions even though these feuds have not resulted in any deaths yet.

Daddy Lumba and Nana Acheampong did songs to throw shades at each other and nobody died; no fans fought nor hurt anybody. Some people enjoyed the songs while they didn’t even know they were ‘diss’ songs targeted as either of the two artistes.

In the early 2000s, Ghanaian rappers Ex-Doe and Chicago were also locked in a lyrical duel – they called each other out in their songs and that made it evident that they were at loggerheads.

Ex-Doe
Chicago

Then it came to KK Fosu and Samini. We have also had a Samini-Shatta Wale feud which has been hanging for a long time. Last year, rappers Sarkodie and M.anifest also nursed theirs and it generated a lot of buzz amidst angst among fans of the two parties.

It is believed that Quata and Sarkodie are also not on good terms – so are Ponobiom and Shatta Wale.

How the Pono – Shatta beef started

Ponobiom got angry with Shatta Wale when the latter allegedly prevented the former from performing at his concert at Cape Coast.

Reports indicated that, Shatta Wale’s management denied Yaa Pono of his performance time at the concert, replacing him with the former.

Pono then called for a lyrical bout from Shatta Wale and that resulted in series of songs done by either artiste to diss the other. The popular one Ponobiom did for Shatta Wale was ‘Gbee Naabu.’

The Kasaval slap

On Monday 26th June, 2017, the manager of Ghanaian rapper, Ponobiom, Ashley Brobbey was reported to have been assaulted at Kasoa Sallah Carnival organised by Supreme Africa.

An account given by the MC of the show, Dan Lartey, indicated that while Ponobiom was performing, some young men mounted the stage to slap his manager who was also on stage at the moment.

Pono (left) and his manager (right)

Their reason was that they were not happy Ponobiom was singing ‘Gbee Naabu,’ a diss song directed at dance hall artiste, Shatta Wale, who has a standing beef with Ponobiom.

Reports indicate that the guys that attacked Pono’s manager were fans of Shatta Wale who had earlier warned the organisers to inform Pono not to perform ‘Gbee Naabu.’

A video posted by blogger and artiste manager George Mensah Britton on his Facebook timeline showed how the performance was distracted at the show.

Posted by George M. Britton on Tuesday, June 27, 2017

 

When I called Tordia, the PRO of Supreme Africa, the organisers of the show, he told Citi Showbiz that the story was false ad that nothing of a sort happened at the show.

However, Yaa Pono’s manager, Ashley Brobbey has corroborated this allegation. He said his artiste was performing ‘Gbee Naabu’ when some people he believes were land guards stormed the stage to stop him from performing the song.

When he made an attempt to protect Pono, he was slapped from behind. So they left the stage and drove off.

Even though he claims he has identified who engineered that act, he says Uptown Energy has forgiven them especially when the organisers went to apologise to them.

What was the security detail?

The question that quickly comes to mind is whether there was security at the show and what they did when the incident happened.

I am not sure there was; because if there was, this may not have happened or they would have made some arrests after the assault took place.

In fact, this issue is very serious especially when most event organisers do not take cognisance of the security at the programmes. If this should continue, somebody may pull the trigger one day and we may have East Coast-West Coast replicated in Ghana.

There a lot of artiste rivalry in Ghana at present. Nobody knows what fans of other artistes may do another event.

Time to discourage ‘diss’ songs

Some people have suggested that songs that promote rivalry among artistes be discouraged. Any time that argument came up there was another school of thought that the rivalry makes the hip hop game interesting and more vibrant.

It has also been intimated that Ghanaians are peace loving people who would not fight over artiste feuds. In fact, I used to defer to the latter view but considering what happened at Kasoa last week, I am afraid, it could get worse. The artistes may do it for showbiz purposes but their fans may take things personal.

On September 22, 1996, a peace summit was convened at Mosque Maryam Louis Farrakhan in the wake of the murder of Tupac Shakur, and another after the shooting of Biggie Smalls. What does this tell the Ghanaian music society?

Conclusion

This is a big issue to muse over. We don’t want East Coast-West Coast in Ghana.

By: Kwame Dadzie/citifmonline.com/Ghana

(kwamedazzy@yahoo.co.uk)

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