Op-Ed
Shatta Wale in "Dancehall King" (Youtube)

The Longest Running Beef In Ghanaian Music—and Why It Should End

Breaking down Ghana's long-running feud, which has included Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, Samini and Sarkodie.

If you listen to Ghana music, even casually, then dancehall acts Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy need no introduction.

34-year-old Shatta Wale, who rose to national fame after rebranding from his former name Bandana in 2012, is currently one of Ghana's foremost and most widely celebrated musicians, a singer and producer with a simple but catchy afro-dancehall template which he repeats to score hit after hit.

Stonebwoy is a 30-year-old afropop, dancehall, and reggae artist with a quite impressive career. He made his official debut in 2012 and has been at it ever since, bagging several achievements along the way including winning Best International Act: Africa at the 2015 BET Awards. With a few lengthy albums, several international collaborations, and a couple world tours, Stonebwoy has definitely proven himself as a mainstay in Ghanaian music.

In Ghana, there has been a debate for several years on who is the "King of Dancehall," which escalated from just a debate to an intensive rivalry between three of Ghana's biggest artists. The main contenders for the country's dancehall king title are Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, and reggae/dancehall singer Samini, who is seen and recognized as a veteran in the Ghanaian music space. The competition for the title has led to high tensions between the three artists, resulting in social media jabs, diss tracks, angry rants during live broadcast interviews, and much more.

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Watch Stonebwoy & Sean Paul's New Video For 'Most Original'

We premiere the new Jamaican-shot visual for "Most Original."

Ghana's Stonebwoy is having a strong year following the release of his latest album, Epistles of Mama (EOM), which paired 12 dancehall tracks with 12 afrobeats songs.

The reggae-dancehall star is now linking up with one of the world's dancehall heavyweights, Sean Paul, for the new music video for "Most Original," one of the clear standouts from EOM.

This new video, which we're premiering here today, was directed by Jay Will. It takes place in Jamaica and follows the tale of a love story in the ghetto. It's being released exclusively through TIDAL.

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Stonebwoy.

You Need To Hear This Afro-Dancehall Playlist From Stonebwoy

The Ghanaian reggae-dancehall star also sits down for an exclusive interview about his album, Epistles of Mama.

Ghanaian dancehall and reggae star Stonebwoy dropped his latest album, Epistles of Mama, late last year. The extensive record is dedicated to his late mother, who was his biggest fan.

The 24-song album can be essentially split in half, as 12 of the songs live in the dancehall realm and 12 are afrobeats tracks. This infectious blend has been described by his team as "Afro Dancehall," a shape-shifting and loose umbrella term that exemplifies the ongoing musical conversations between West Africa, Jamaica and the Caribbean.

We talked to Stonebwoy about the album below and also asked him to select an exclusive Afro Dancehall mixtape for us, which you can stream on OkayAfrica's Spotify and Apple Music curator channels.

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