Or, as Wanlov Kubolor hilariously calls it, Mpatois. ( I like his term better :D)
I thought this was over. I thought we as Ghanaians had decided conclusively that we no longer tolerate nor need fake slangs or slurring to get ahead.
With songs like “Fake London Boy”, and general ridicule of radio presenters like Jeremie ( whose accent apparently developed in the chilly temperate climate of Asylum Down), we signaled to the nation that being authentically, and unapologetically Ghanaian was IN.
Heck, Azonto is proof positive of that; we can create a global phenomenon that others want to emulate simply by being ourselves.
So why am i hearing cringe inducing put-on Jamaican accents every time i turn on the radio? A trend that is on the rise in tandem with the growing popularity of “Afro-dancehall”. It’s as though growing dread locks grants you not Samsonesque strength, but new language capabilities. Tower of Babel steeze.
I don’t even mind Africans doing Dancehall music. The genre has grown in popularity to transcend Jamaica’s sole rights to it, in much the same way that Rap/Hiphop is no longer a dominion ruled over by Americans alone. Besides, Jamaicans are our ancestral cousins, and Rita Marley is an honorary Ghanaian, so i’m sure they don’t mind us dabbling either.
However, one does not NEED to pretend to be Jamaican to do Dancehall. I promise you this. No more than an American accent (or even English for that matter), is a prerequisite for rap ( (and all hail the likes of Obrafuor, Reggie Rockstone, Okyeame Kwame, Lord Kenya etc for demonstrating this point)
Dancehall is in the rhythm and the melody. The lyrics could be in Twi. If that’s too tricky, we have a perfectly workable and unique Pidgin of our own. Why must we disgrace ourselves with this “cock it up, wine it aroun’, and bruk it dung” life?
Some of you have believed in your powers to the point where even in everyday conversation, not a beat in sight, norrrr mpatois.
(I noticed Blakk Rasta toned that mess all the way down when he appeared before parliament though! Ness time. lol.)
But mi cyaan tek it anymore. Mi sick an tired a unu. You know who you are.. and
some of the main culprits are people i love, so trust me this hurts my feelings to type.
(Like my bae Mugeez: Sleeping Beauty was lit.. but the mpatois nu..daabi kraa. “Matarala” for Motorola? No husband. No).
So gather round, and please pass this message along to your people dem.
Stonebwoy, Shatta, Kaakie ( Kaakie..grr), Samini, Mz Vee, Jupitar, Episode, recent offenders like Eazzy and Edem. Name them all..
Dear Jafaican friends, permit me to give it to you straight in terms you apparently understand.:
Unu haffi stop di wash ova patois.. a eediat ting dat! A puppy show ting dat! Mpatois haffi dead! Fiyah bun!
Was that grammatically accurate Jamaican patois? Does anyone care?
Seriously.. don’t do this anymore. You sound like Taye Diggs in How Stella Got Her Groove Back. And even if you don’t, you’re still doing the most. I beg. WE beg.
Im trying to find examples of Afro-Dancehall done authentically. I cant find any, but i’m sure some exist.
ETA: It may not be all the way perfect, ( and Nigeria is riddled with offenders of their own) but “Bend Down Pause” by Runtown feat. Wizkid is on the right track.
Notice Runtown’s opening verse:
“Who be dat girl with the big nyash.
She tell me say her name na Sherifat”
Or Wizkid’s, which includes phrases like “I no dey carry last”
It is an unmistakably Nigerian song. And that makes a HUGE difference in my opinion.
I’d like to hear from you though. Am i the only one who feels this way? Do you have an example of a Ghanaian Dancehall artist doing this right?
Let me know!