Controversy surrounding who the originator of the name is has generated debate among music fans and musicians who saw the genesis of the genre.
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Few days after sound engineer and music producer, Zapp Mallet came out to say that he originated the name ‘hiplife’ which has over the years been credited to Reggie Rockstone, the latter is questioning why it took him so long to come out if indeed he originated the name.
Controversy surrounding who the originator of the name is has generated a debate among music fans and musicians who saw the genesis of the genre.
Zapp Mallet in an interview with Flex Newspaper had said that he introduced the name hiplife and not Reggie Rockstone who was the first to release a hiplife album Maka Maka.
“When Reggie Rockstone came down from UK, he came with his partner and they both had the hip-hop culture which was sweeping all over the globe as it were at that time and some of us thought that we could go to our root, our heritage and do something Ghanaian, more African and merge hip-hop with our identity. An identity that will project the Ghanaian culture so Michael Kuku who was an instrumentalist then and I decided to name that class of music hip-life and it worked,” he said.
“I have been silent on this issue for this long even though I knew it wiould come out one day. This was in 1994. It is a long story to be told now but a lot of us were behind generating and promoting this hip-life course and it is just fair we give them some credit. Indeed Reggie Rockstone founded that genre, made it commercial but a lot of people gave a helping hand and he was not the one who introduced the name hip-life,” Zapp Mallet added.
However, Reggie Rockstone in a tweet queried Zapp Mallet's claims.
Hiplife artiste, Sidney and host of TV3’s Music Music, Mr. Root Eye earlier indicated that though Reggie Rockstone was the founder of hiplife, he was not the creator of the term.
“Before Reggie came down to Ghana, there were groups such as the Native Funk Lords (NFL) which had Eddy Blay Jnr and myself as members and the Taboo group. Azigiza Jnr. and the likes of General Marcus were all doing rap music before Reggie came down in 1994 during the annual Panafest. It took Reggie two years to release his Maka Maka album in 1996 which featured Nananom’s Panyin Na Obenye bi da. The only good thing Reggie did was to record an album which none of us had done and that is where the whole trouble started. I want Reggie to come out and tell the whole of Ghana how the name Hiplife came about. Was he the originator?” Sidney queried in an interview with Showbiz.
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Mr Root Eye has also argued that the term came from Zapp Mallet after they had debated on which name to use for the genre during one of their evening studio sessions in Combine House of Music (CHM) Studio at Mataheko in Accra.