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In the face of doubt, Sarkodie’s showmanship at Global Citizen Festival shows why he is the best



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The days before the Global Citizen Festival had been ones that created rumours that could only be classified as a fallacy when it comes to Sarkodie’s place in Ghanaian music.

A song on his upcoming Jamz project featuring King Promise ignited a healthy debate only to be fuelled by what most people know as agenda – making a stance on what may be true or not and sticking by it to win the argument by all means.

Understandably for those with legit concern, Sarkodie had been judged by his enormous marking scheme that a work that could fit as an A+ for many other musicians was deemed by many as a weak C.

 

With how social media stans and trolls work now, it is highly difficult to sift for constructive criticism. So what could have been a fair argument turned into a matter of who was right or wrong, stuffed with blasphemy including the delusional fact that Sarkodie was mid or ‘washed’.

In a coincidence that could have triggered a reflection of how two Ghanaian artists had produced quality work, it turned into a comparison of Sarkodie vs Black Sherif for some.

This is not something to dwell on. The mere thought of it makes true music lovers nauseous. That is no disrespect to Black Sherif. He is a great talent that with the right guidelines and direction could take Ghana far with his music and beyond. But comparing him to Sarkodie makes a losing argument – non-existent to say the least. Black Sherif still dreams to get to where Sarkodie has and that’s on period. But agenda will always agend.

 

Michael Owusu Addo’s showmanship likes a challenge and a dare. When he is pushed to the wall, he fights back the way he knows how best. Be the musician and top performer that he is.

 

The venue for the Global Citizen Festival was a familiar one for Bra Mich. In August 2020, the Ghanaian rapper held his Black Love Concert at the same venue. Standing by that huge star on top of the Black Stars Square delivering his flow for that show is the kind of attention Sarkodie lives for.

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Just that this time, unlike handpicking artists for Black Love Concert to compliment him, there were international superstars who were on a mission to make their mark in Ghana.

 

Usher Raymond IV, an American superstar was the headliner for the Global Citizen Concert with SZA, Stonebwoy, Stormzy, Tems, Gyakie all set to share the stage with Sarkodie.

With the mix of stars from across the globe including Nigeria, one of Ghana’s biggest music banter and debate opposition in recent times on the show, this was a moment for Ghana to show they could compete on all levels and boy did King Sark perform the hell out of the show.

 

Having been preceded by an energetic performance from Stonebwoy, Tems getting all the love and cheers plus a solemn delivery from Gyakie, Sarkodie needed to live up to the standard the show had already set for itself midway. All talks were about how the show had been an awesome experience on the ground so far, not that anyone expected the ‘No Pressure’ hitmaker to cave under pressure.

 

Adorned in an all-black top and down with some sneakers and a scarf, Sarkodie who had already excited the audience during his backstage interview put the first element of surprise, moving away from his SarkNation anthem to spit some bars as he made his way up the stage.

 

In his most comfortable state in music, Ghana’s best rapper alive showed the world how rap came easy to him even on the biggest of stages – literally.

 

As a rapper who had always crafted his performances in a way that looked unique and appealing for all involved, Titi’s daddy threw it all back to the pizza and burger days, involving the crowd from an early stage.

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For fans of Sarkodie’s music, ‘where the ladies at?’ are both integral parts of his wording and benevolent moments when on stage. The BET Award winner transitioned to perform his song Coachella featuring Kwesi Arthur. Kwesi had already climbed the stage with Stormzy and Yaw Tog so did not make a cameo for Sark.

One of the loudest moment from fans on the night was when DJ Mensah moved shift the next gear with ‘Illuminati’. Word for word, the fans sang along as the party was already getting lit with an emphatic command over the microphone by one of the greatest to ever do it in Africa, Sarkodie.

 

At this point, most fans thought Bra Mich could not outdo himself but also knew the possibilities of what the night held considering the number of songs he could throw in for a show he wasn’t handling alone or had the majority share of showmanship like his Rapperholic.

 

He did give hope that there were even brighter moments ahead, performing his song with Obrafour titled Hope (Brighter Day). His versatility and musical flair of shifting emotions in the way he wants without boring an audience was put on display and everyone could see a master of the art at play.

 

When ‘Adonai’ eventually dropped, the audience was far in the land of ecstasy. It did not matter that the song had been in existence since 2014. Even in 2022, it was still a banger and the words from almost every one of the people around resounded in the echoes of the loud melodic masterpiece.

We have the Ghana anthem, we have the UK anthem, this is the SarkNation anthem. So if you don’t know it, just look at the SarkNation next to you and see how they’re gonna …” Sarkodie points to DJ Mensah who drops the beat. Sark had made known why an important ritual for all his performances had been delayed.

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And just like magic, happiness run across the faces of all who were at the Independence Square as their arms bounced in the air to the rhythm of “Obidi! Number One…”

 

It had already been established. He was the number one performer until that point fo the show. Sarkodie gracefully blowed some kisses to the audience and left the stage, making every single Ghanaian who was there proud – even with the differences of who people’s favourite musicians are.

 

On nights like these are when kings are made. An already king had been remade.

 

When faced with delima around what he offers to the Ghana music industry, Sarkodie has time and over showed that he can compete with the biggest across the globe.

Not only has his music taken Ghana to where people dream of, his performances are of the highest quality (no pun intended).

Just like all humans, Sarkodie has made mistakes in the past. However, his ability to grow, learn and unlearn has made him a creative who will be talked about for a long time.

 

The series of excellent Rapperholic (bar one poorly organised in 2018) shows, his quest to venture into risks most musicians fear to go near. Just like the Black Love Concert or taking one of his shows to the dessert in Dubai, this is a man who has proved to fear no boundaries in music and performances.

 

Michael Owusu Addo’s performance at the Global Citizen Festival once again shows why he is the best and can be bet on to compete at any level when it comes to music showmanship.

 

 

 

 



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Written by Emesal Wisdom

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