“It is tragic” today’s music preaches materialism, Ghanaian rapper M.anifest, has observed.
"We are promoting material things like Ferrari and Gucci most of which we do not have stocks in. I think this a bit of a let-down,” Kwame Ametepee Tsikata said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Thursday.
He wants musicians to mould society to accept higher virtues such as success, excellence and happiness instead.
“I am not against the business side of the music but it goes beyond that,” he clarified.
“If you just entered the university and you are not making money but thinking of every new phone that comes, instead of looking for work, then I think it is a bit tragic,” he commented on the effects of preaching materialism in the society.
He said, “I have never tied myself to material things.”
M.anifest is a Ghanaian rapper, singer and songwriter reputed for his international appeal. He won Best Rapper and Hip-Hop song of the year at the 2017 Ghana Music Awards.
He has worked with several artists with international appeal including Damon Albarn, Flea and Tony Allen and has compelling albums including Nowhere Cool and The Price of Free EP.
A recent spat with Micheal Owusu Addo also known as Sarkodie gained national attention. But he has since dispelled the notion of any rivalry.
“We like pitching people against each other, instead of taking the best we all have to offer,” he said in a recent interview.
M.anifest’s position on opulence and consumerism in the music industry must be viewed in the context of recent happenings in the industry.
Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr, known in showbiz as Shatta Wale, a dance hall artists consistently boast a million dollar house with a swimming pool. He spites his colleagues in the industry with this.
Recently when Strongman, music signee of Sarkodie, parted ways with his boss, Shatta Wale blamed the happening on poverty.
In a tweet, Shatta Wale said “If u get money as an artist, you won’t worry when pushing a talent… it’s an investment from the money you have made but if you can’t push then my n*gga you broke ass.”
In other instances, the rivalry in the music industry has been about who gets paid more for performing. The video below illustrates the frustrations of Livingstone Etse Satekla, also known as Stonebwoy, who was responding to accusations that he is paid a pittance for his performances.
Often these accusations have been the basis for animosity between fans of these artistes who control huge fan bases, especially on social media including Facebook and Twitter.
M.anifest argues that having movements and following in music “is good.”
However, the focus for forming these movements should not be about getting a pay cheque.
“It is about harnessing people’s power but sometimes artists do not understand this,” he said.
“This is not to say business is not good but it is more than that when you are capturing the souls and minds of people.”
He believes artists are capable of helping to mould their fans.
M.anifest explains that artists must not seek validation in money or what is popular.
Artistes “are supposed to be the most self-aware, self-actualised people. They take the road less travelled, it is difficult, but you must have a sense of self and tell people who you are.”
He intends to use his music to promote this philosophy of excellence, success and the pursuit of happiness.