Reggae President in Ghana, Blakk Rasta has written a letter to the organizers of the annual Ghana Music Awards. He sent a copy of the letter to GhanaGist.com which we reproduce below:
REGGAE/DANCEHALL CATEGORY AT THE VGMA’S
I write to register my disagreement and plea on the above headline which I believe is the concern of several other people in and outside the country.
Sir, at the recently ended VGMA, Reggae was combined with Dancehall in the same category which truly went against roots reggae, the original reggae from the creators of the genre. You might know that there is a sudden upsurge of dancehall in Ghana which generally talks about violence, sex and gangsterism even though a few live up to the societal billing. May I know what dancehall is in Ghana? Is it hip-hop music with Patois lyrics or what?
This upsurge has drawn a heavy radio airplay for dancehall at the detriment of roots reggae which has been tried and proven as the only survivor in the Reggae world. What this means is that, there is a huge unfair competition between the two and therefore should not be combined. Nevertheless, at the Grammys, this is done because America is a country where priorities in music relegate Reggae to the back bench as a ‘necessary evil’ unlike in Africa where the backbone of our music can never afford to push Reggae away.
In short, as Ghana’s reggae president, I write to say that, you are killing out roots reggae if you continue with this unfair competition. Please, separate them, at least.Please, do not copy the Grammys’ bad habit.
I will also like to say that, roots reggae music has never been entertained on the main stage since the inception of the GMA’s. Are we saying the genre or artistes are not entertaining enough to move the crowds? Remember that reggae brought Obama to Ghana and brought the world’s spectacle to the country you are organizing the awards for/in. Reggae music has won more international awards for Ghana than Azonto, Hiplife and Gospel which in itself is not a genre but heavily sponges on reggae rhythms in Ghana. Please, give reggae music a lifeline to feed the insatiable entertainment appetites of Ghana.
Please, do not suffocate reggae music if you truly want to support and promote Ghanaian music.
We see it as more than just a genre but a culture and order from our great African heroes and prophets.
I congratulate you on the just ended awards and say, more grease to your elbows as we look forward to a better VGMA’s with fair genre representation.
Yours in Reggae,