Audio
Gyedu Blay Ambolley. Photo courtesy of Multi Culti.

Highlife Meets Rap In This Classic Track From Gyedu-Blay Ambolley

The hiplife precursor track, "Simi Rapp," is being newly reissued by label Multi Culti.

Gyedu-Blay Ambolley has been releasing his entrancing blend of Ghanaian highlife, Afro-funk and hip-hop since the late 1970s.

His inclusion of faster dance rhythms with quick vocal delivery, as heard in classic records like Simigwa, made him one of the main precursors of Ghanaian hiplife—and of hip-hop across the world.

Today we're premiering "Simi Rapp," a 1996 classic from Ambolley that showcases his infectious mix of highlife rhythms with rap. The song is being reissued by label Multi Culti with additional remixes by Red Axes, Johnny Aux, Dreems and Thomas Von Party.


"It is an honour to shed further light on the influential work of Ghana's Blay Ambolley," Thomas Von Party, the co-label head of Multi Culti, tells OkayAfrica. "Four years before The Sugarhill Gang unleashed rap music on the world, Ambolley had released Simigwa, and started on a career that would blend highlife with hip-hop."

'Simi Rapp represents, to us, the pinnacle of this style known as hiplife—a gem originally released in 1996 which we are thrilled to share with the world, highlighting different facets of this track with versions by some of our favourite producers, including ourselves :)"

Get into "Simi Rapp" below and pre-order the reissue, due September 25, now.

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Photo: Aisha Asamany

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