One of GhanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s popular hiplife artistes, Sidney, whose music and style of play has gone down well with Ghanaian and African music lovers alike has declared his intention to promote Ghanaian music on the African continent.
Sidney Ofori, also known as Rap Ninja, recently changed his name to ‘Barima’, when he released his bouncing hit track Africa Money.
He is one of the few Ghanaian artistes who have been able to cross boundaries to perform live in most African countries as well as in Europe and America.
A number of francophone countries that had witnessed his live performances keep inviting him for more live shows.
With many hit songs to his credit, Sidney has performed for highly enthusiastic audiences in Togo, Benin, Nigeria, La Cote dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Guinea, Europe and the United States.
Many music fans as well as a section of stakeholders in the music industry see him as Ghana’s most controversial rap artiste, who made a lot of impact on the music scene with hit songs like Ã¢â‚¬ËœApuskelekeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœScent NoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœObia Nye ObiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Ã¢â‚¬ËœAfrica MoneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ among others.
Sidney has worked with a number of music stars on his albums and this had helped refine his music.
He told Beatwaves in a chat that he had been able to maintain his image on the music market because he knew what music fans wanted.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I sing to educate the people about the ills in the society and to desist from acts that seek to undermine the progress of the society,Ã¢â‚¬Â he stated.
Based on his commitment to promoting Ghanaian and African music, Sidney, since the release of Africa Money, has been touring some African countries.
According to a section of music fans, Sidney is the kind of artiste who is ever ready to thrill his fans with spectacular performances, adding that he is a complete entertainer who possesses a sweet silky voice.
His latest album, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Africa Money, Oga De Chop Am Waa WaaÃ¢â‚¬Â, which caused a stir in certain quarters saw some political parties fighting to buy the right of the song to use as their campaign song for the 2008 general elections.
Sidney told Beatwaves: Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not a politician and do not want to involve myself in politics. I do not want any of my songs to be politicisedÃ¢â‚¬Â.
He noted that he would continue to use music to educate people against social vices as well as encourage them to believe that Ghanaian music has a bright future.
He hinted that he had worked tirelessly for over a decade on his career to set a standard in the Ghanaian music scene for others to follow.
A former student of West African Secondary School (WASS) and the Institute of Professional Studies (IPS), Sidney began his musical career with Native Funk Lords in 1994 before forming Nananom with Omanhene Pozo and Ohemaa.
After releasing their maiden album “Nana Kasa” which was an instant hit, Pozo left the group. Sidney and Ohemaa later released a bouncing album, “Nana nono” which also did well.
Sidney later went solo in 2001 and released the Ã¢â‚¬ËœTinanaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ album which did very well on the market.
In 2003 Sidney came out with Ã¢â‚¬ËœApuskelekeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ which was extremely controversial. The lyric became popular and was used to tease people who wore skimpy clothes.
In 2004 Sidney released Ã¢â‚¬ËœScent NoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, another controversial song which educates the people about sanitation. The song was adopted as a campaign song by the NPP, after hustling with the NDC over its rights in the run-up to Ghana’s 2004 general elections.
Sidney bounced back in 2005 with another controversial hit Ã¢â‚¬ËœObia Nye ObiaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
His 2008 release ‘Barima Bii Ba’ caused a stir with the hit song Africa Money.
By George Clifford Owusu