Interview
Image coutesy of Black Sherif.

The Irrefutable Reign Of Black Sherif

The breakout Ghanaian talks to us about his meteoric rise, his use of drill beats, and wanting to tell the true story of Accra.

“I wanted to be a beast before I broke out. I knew that people would hear of me so I wanted that when they heard of me, they would never go back.” Black Sherif says to me with assured confidence when we meet at one of his favorite pubs in East Legon, Accra. It's with a similar gripping beast-like rage that Black Sherif commands attention on his 2021 break-out single, "First Sermon," a hard-hitting drill-influenced ghetto gospel about the survivalist themes of life in Accra.

“Madonna, my manager, and Jamjam shot the First Sermon video,” Black Sherif continued, before pointing out that the clip which has grossed over two million views on Youtube was shot down the road from the pub where we currently enjoyed beers.

At 20-years-old, Black Sherif is one of Ghana’s youngest superstars but Blacko—as he is often called—has long had hankering for musical success, starting his music career at age 17. “I have loved music since I was a kid. I just didn’t know I was going to make a career out of it. I am a Muslim, did you know I am a Muslim?” he asks frankly and I shake my head innocently “My name is Mohammed Ismail Sharif. In Islam, music is more like sin, you shouldn’t make a career out of it if you are a Muslim. The music was chasing me but I was always dodging it. Although, I was popular for dancing in senior high school”

Determined to pursue music as a career, Black Sherif took a gap year after finishing high school to understand music. During this period, the artist attended auditions of talent shows such as Mentor X and MTN Hitmaker that powered the rise of Ghanaian artists like Kidi and Kuami Eugene, among others. He did not make it past the auditions and, shortly after, released his first-ever single, "Cry For Me."

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Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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