Gambian rapper Gee has commented on the troubles facing the Gambian music industry.
In a post made on his Facebook page, the outspoken rapper said Gambian artists and promoters were not doing enough to grow the music industry. Gambian music fans, he said, shared some of the blame.
Speaking about Gambian artists, he said: “No matter the amount of work you put in and accomplishments you've made, it's hard for other artists to give you that respect or acknowledge it in any way. When you reach there, how do you expect the next artist to show you some respect?”
In the past, Gee and other Gambian artists have spoken about the superior treatment given to foreign artists performing in Gambia. He once again touched on the topic, saying, “Promoters here aren’t going that extra mile when it comes to Gambian artists.
“You know how many events Gambian promoters outside Gambia organise? What does it take to reach out? How many shows have we seen here in a year that have a way, way higher budget than if you were to take Gambian artists (even 10 artists) on tour to the US or Europe?
“They'll put in all the efforts they have into bringing another nationality here but see bringing Gambian Artists (to perform) as helping them. Eighty percent of these artists that go play in Europe here end up buying their own tickets and sorting out their own accommodation and all.”
On the contribution of Gambian media presenters to the lack of growth of the industry, Gee said the problem with presenters was their inability to distinguish types of success. “Presenters don’t know the difference between BIG & HOT,” he wrote, adding that he will use Senegalese examples to make the point “since y’all Gambians follow and respect what they do more than your own”.
“Youssour N’dour is BIG, Wally Secka is hot,” Gee said. “Even if Wally maintains this pace for 10 years straight, he would never achieve 10% of what Youssour Ndour has achieved. Therefore a smart person would never compare or even dare put them on the same platform. It doesn’t matter if Youssour hasn’t put out an album in some time or has recorded a present day hit.”
Gee announced his retirement from the music scene in 2015, saying it was a waste of time. He returned in 2016 with a concert in Gambia’s capital city, Banjul.