Controversial reggae musician, Blakk Rasta has bemoaned the blatant neglect of reggae music at the annual Ghana Music Awards.
The artiste believes that the provision of only one category for the genre is demeaning, stressing reggae music deserves better.
Speaking in an interview with Myjoyonline.com, Blakk Rasta, born Abubakar Ahmed, questioned, “How can you combine reggae and dancehall under one category?”
According to him, “Reggae music is a black thing; reggae is the backbone of music in Ghana and the whole of Africa. There is no genre of music that is not borrowing from reggae. Our gospel is 80 percent reggae; in Ghana our hiphop has reggae chords.”
The Barack Obama hit singer lamented that, “For you to neglect reggae music all these while and say that because we don’t have so many artistes,” is an unacceptable excuse.
The host of Taxi Driver on Hitz 103.9, who has been nominated in seven categories of the upcoming BASS Awards said that “how is it possible that the BASS Awards are able [to get] enough artiste to nominate? In some categories they have as many as eight nominees.”
He faulted organizers of the Ghana Music Awards, Charter House, for not being fair and also being “a little bit careless with reggae music and the BASS Awards has come to teach the organizers,” the importance of reggae music.
Blakk Rasta disclosed that he has written a letter to Charter House on the subject and stated that, “if you truly have good music at heart you should not strangle reggae music. I think that they are trying to strangle music without knowing.”
“Reggae music is a very important fibre of the music industry in Ghana so you can not try and strangulate it which they are doing right now,” he added.
Blakk Rasta received nominations in the Video of the Year, Collaboration of the Year, Album of the Year, Reggae Performer of the Year, Best Reggae Artiste of the Year and the overall Artiste of The Year at the 2013 Bass Awards.
Asked about the nominations, he said, “It’s just appropriate; this is the first time I am getting seven nominations for any awards anywhere in the world. I am very grateful.”
With two albums, Voice of the Afreekan Rebel and Born Dread, giving him the seven nominations, the controversial musician noted that, “I’m expecting big because I was the only person who had two albums qualify for this awards.”
Blakk Rasta is very expectant and says he will not settle for anything less at the awards: “I will not say I will win all...but looking at the two albums that I released if I walk away with all I will not be surprised and I don’t think that is going to raise eyebrows the most important thing is that it should be very transparent.”
“If I grab less than that, it depends on how many less...but I am not expecting less than five awards. If I don’t get up to about five awards, I will think that something has gone wrong,” he noted but was optimistic that organizers “will do a very good job.”
The 2013 BASS Awards comes off at the National Theater in Accra on July 6 and it will witness performances from Jamaican dancehall artiste Elephant Man, Blakk Rasta and a host of others.
The awards night will be preceded by a Nominees Jam at the Accra Sports Stadium on July 5. There will be performances from several artistes including Samini, Stonebwoy, Kaakie, and Jupiter.
Pop Quiz: What is the most successful reggae song in 2012? Who won the 2012 Grammy for best reggae album?Too many Jamaicans are not able to answer those questions correctly. Reggae music has come a long way since its inception in the 1960s but the evolution seems to be greeted with waning interest.
It is unfortunate that the birthplace of one of the most unique and transcending music genres seems to have forgotten about it. Local radio stations would sooner play dancehall or bubblegum pop songs than they would reggae music. This is not to say that they're to blame - they are only catering to the needs of the vast majority of their listeners. So who is the culprit here?
By special request and popular demand, the Annual International Reggae and World Music Awards (IRAWMA), by Martin's International, returns to South Florida for its 32nd Anniversary, for the fifth time in 26years. On Saturday, May 4th, 2013, the prestigious Coral Springs Center for the Arts, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, in Coral Springs/Fort Lauderdale, Florida will be the site for the staging of the star-studded 32nd Annual IRAWMA. The red carpet arrival with the glitz, glamour and interviews, kicks off at 6:00pm. Special early-bird tickets go on sale Friday, October 5th, 2012 at www.coralspringscenterforthearts.com or www.irawma.com. For information call 877-9-REGGAE (734-423) or 312-427-0266.