The name Slip Music!! Does it ring a bell? The young ones may not know what I’m talking about but for me it sounds louder than the Presbyterian Church bell in my hometown calling for Sunday Church service.
I have always mentioned that Mark Okraku Mante was more of a smart young businessman than a music producer in the sense that he saw the opportunity back then of the growing media which he was part of the multimedia and he used his position to produce most of the artist in Ghana.
Unlike today that you have countless radio stations, back then it was only GBC and Joy FM. As a young man who loved music and wanted to learn more, I use to visit his office in Adabraka almost every Friday evening where you would meet most of the musicians.
Mark had unbelievable energy around him but one thing I observed about him was his snobbish attitude which I got to understand after I opened my record company. The truth is you received so many CDs you have no option than to reject some outright especially when you are in a bad mood.
I admired him because he was a young CEO of Slip Music at that time, a music label that produced a lot of artist in those days. I joined the Producers Association because of him and I joined the music battle field because of him, in fact he endorsed me in the presence of big names like Nana Ampadu, Kojo Antwi, Amakye Dede and the rest.
Our last cordial encounter was when I had the album launch for De Voice in Tema, he came with his artist Kumi to support us and he stayed for close to 4 hours and I remember him telling me not to use bright lights for my subsequent shows.
Our seemingly cordial friendship went sour during the GHAMRO struggle when we met at the studios of Happy FM discussing the behaviour of the then GHAMRO board headed by Don Carlos Sakyi which he Mark Okraku was part of.
I described their behaviour as one that was not acting in the interest of the musician and was acting out of bad faith which I termed in our local parlance as HUMHUMBONI and because he was present in the studios he took it personal but deep within me I knew I meant the behaviour of the board and not him personally so he walked out and that’s when he pulled his guns.
I never had the opportunity to meet him again even to explain because of our busy schedule when I became a Board member until last year during the Odwira Festival when a fellow producer Yaw Osborn told me Mark had asked him to help organize a show at his father’s house so if I had time I could pass.
I asked him to confirm from him first before leaving since Akropong is a bit far. I felt it was an opportunity to apologise to a senior brother and colleague so I called my artist up and we took our guitar to go return the favor at our launch.
We got there around 6pm and there he was standing in front of his gate and the first thing he said jokingly was to my artist that “hey your boss is a crazy man” and we all laughed over it and I asked that we put all that misunderstanding behind us.
We did our sound check and he personally asked if we were satisfied and the response was yes but we would go for a ride and return when the program starts since we wanted him to do the opening act.
When we came back and waited till 01:00am, Mark made it clear that he will not allow us perform so am like that’s no big deal if you are not ready to forgive and forget that’s ok by me.
We left back to Accra because all the hotels were full due to the festival, when we got to Aburi we couldn’t see clear because of the dew, so we drove to the gardens where we slept in our car till the next morning before descending to Tema.
As soon as I got back I called Dr Cann his godson and told him of the incident that happened and that I was going to address it on air in order for it not to repeat itself again but Cann said we should not talk about it because he was his godfather and had refused to leave Happy FM for Hitz FM around the same time and it will create a vindictive impression so I listened.
Fast forward to our recent encounter when Multimedia put us on their Adom Temafest show due to an agreement we had with them. We got there around 10:00pm and lo and behold Mark was the coordinator.
Anticipating what was likely to happen we decided to stay till 03:00pm to confirm our conception about him and trust me in his element he did not fail. He told us again that he would not let us perform even though they had used the brand to collect gate proceeds, sponsorship and his fans paying to come watch him perform that’s when I also decided to pull my guns since the testicle of an idiot cannot be stampeded twice and now the battle lines were drawn.
I know the GHAMRO issues brought some bad blood but did it warrant that PHD “pull him down” attitude from him? I don’t really care though since all the artist he has hated on recently including Shatta Wale and Sarkodie are making it big time and maybe it’s a good omen for Mark to hate on you.
My small man to man advise to him is to stop living in his past glory and come to terms with reality because right after his move to multimedia 3 presenters resigned including my favourite Black Rasta because I do reggae and his company sacking 2 within a short period obviously cannot be coincidental and that he should check his huge ego.
If you ask me I would say if Ghana music has paid anyone greatly then it is Mark Okraku and he should be owning his own radio and TV stations by now and advising and helping the young ones as a godfather and not to tear down the walls that protected him all these years.
I know deep down he has mentally forgiven a brother because as a board member of the VGMA he did not stop my brand from being nominated but then his ego is stopping him from also physically returning a well-deserved apology.
Mark, the system has changed and I hope to see you soon on social media especially Facebook else I will come to your house personally and sign up for you.
As we soldier on I wish you all the best but for me vengeance is of the Lord and I will rather channel my energies into promoting my brand than to go to court seeking for an apology.
Music is a Powerful weapon and that is what will be used. To all the VimCrew I say a 21 musical gun salute with VIM.
#Okraku #godfather #DrCann #godson #Bice #Paakow #NanaAgyeman #DeVoice #KwesiAboagye #EgoMeetsEgo #SammyFlex #YawOxbon #VimCrew
By Enock Agyepong