Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie performed at New York's Apollo Theatre Saturday 8 August. The concert, tagged ‘History in the Making’ also had on the bill colleagues and compatriots Lighter Tod, Jadiluc, Bisa K.Dei, Kwaw Kese, E.L, The Compozers and Shatta Wale. Nigerian R&B singer Banky W was also present.
The event was only the second time a Ghanaian artist performed at the famous Apollo Theatre, a venue with a long historical attachment to African-American performers. Fifteen years ago Akyeame and Daddy Lumba performed on the Apollo stage, becoming the very first Ghanaian act to register a distinctly West African presence on the grounds.
Leading up to the event, the venerable New York Times ran a feature, noting that with the event, ‘hiplife is making a bold New York debut.’ On Sarkodie, the august publication says within the Ghanaian population in New York, the Tema-born rapper ‘is the hiplife star who resonates most the younger crowd.’
Nonetheless, it hasn’t been all positive vibes. Perhaps predictably, Okyeame Quophi, one-half of the duo Akyeame, was none too pleased by the event’s ‘history in the making’ styling. He took to Facebook and wrote the following:
‘Akyeame was the first hiplife duo to play at the Apollo Theatre to a mix crowd so huge the police came to stop the show. This was in 2000 with Daddy Lumber. Don't distort the history. Which history is in the making??’
No response from Sarkodie. Instead the rapper apologised to his countryman Obrafour over the latter’s inability to make the event. ‘I want to say sorry to my godfather @iamobrafour for any inconvenience,’ he wrote, before adding: ‘In all we [give] thanks to Almighty. History was indeed made!’