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Vernacular rap will limit you – Hammer to rappers



Ghanaian music producer, Edward Nana Poku Osei, popularly known as Hammer has expressed the view that African rappers who use their local languages face challenges in breaking international boundaries.


According to him, the global reach of rap is influenced by the language used, although he noted that this does not apply to songs.


In an interview with Joy FM’s Kwame Dadzie on the Showbiz A-Z show, Hammer emphasized that it is easier for ‘sing-songs’ in vernacular languages to cross over, citing examples such as Asake with Yoruba.
He also pointed out that rap songs rely heavily on beats, while ‘sing-songs’ have melody, making them more accessible to international audiences.

“It’s easy to sell vernacular in a singing format than in rap because ‘sing-songs’ have melody. Rap songs are words. So the beats drive rap songs. Listen to Zibote, we still don’t know what they were talking about but we love it because it is a song-song.

”It is easier for a ‘sing-song’ to cross over, like Asake with the Yoruba. He can cross over with it because it is a ‘sing-song’ but if you rap in Yoruba you will go hungry,” he said.

The renowned music producer further highlighted the transformation of Award-winning rapper Sarkodie, who now focuses more on English rap, attributing this shift to the limitations of vernacular rap in reaching a wider audience. He also commended Sarkodie’s English rap delivery on his ‘No Pressure’ album.


“Sarkodie has suffered out there. The reason he has transformed into an English rapper, is that he has to move on because the vernacular rap will limit you,” he stated.

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