Whether you like it or not Blakk Rasta is, perhaps, one of the most talked about entertainers on the Ghanaian reggae music scene now. With sharp wits, easy humour and even sharper lyrics, Blakk Rasta has carved his way into the show business from humble beginnings.
Often embroiled in controversial situations, feuds, and attacks for his violent and lewd lyrical content, Blakk Rasta is also one of the renowned finest radio presenters at Hitz FM. In 2008, Blakk Rasta rose to international acclaim when his single ‘Barack Obama’ hit the top of the local and overseas reggae charts which also made him grab interviews spots on BBC and CNN.
He was nominated for Reggae Song of the Year at the 2009 Ghana Music Awards. Nii Atakora of Ghana Music.com caught up with ‘loud mouth’ reggae artiste, Blakk Rasta to chat about coming up album in the scene, life as a reggae musician and what’s next for him. This interview also covers a wide range of topic about Blakk Rasta.
In the interview, Blakk Rasta was asked why he adopts to use the word ‘fire’? Blakk Rasta said, “More fire is calling on Jah to let the spiritual fire burn all evil and cleanse the evil-doers so they shall turn a new leaf. It is not a physical fire. It is more powerful than that. Read on for more.
Ghana Music.com: How did you come by the name ‘Blakk Rasta’?
Blakk Rasta: It all happened at the University for Development Studies where I schooled for a trimester in 1996/97; everyone knew I was a rastaman. A Whiteman came to our campus one day, spotting dreadlocks and drinking alcohol in the campus bar. My friends said my colleague rasta was around. Upon seeing the white rasta, I said, no, I was a Blakk Rasta and not this alcohol-drinking one. From that time, all my friends called me Blakk Rasta.
Ghana Music.com: Give us some background on your phenomenal new CD?
Blakk Rasta: My new CD is called BORN DREAD, meaning, rastaman born to be feared. It has a wicked combination of serious reggae songs and a couple of afro tunes; Soca, Kwaito and Calypso. It features collaborations with Rita Marley, Knii Lante, D-Flex, Kaywa, Fiifi Selah and more. It covers a lot of themes vis a vis, love, blackness and corruption.
The album was recorded by Zapp Mallet, Kaywa, Dan Grah and Wazumbi. It has 15 dangerous songs and poems. Already, music people are talking to us about doing business.
Ghana Music.com: Would you say you are happier performing live on stage (or on a sound)
or in the studio?
Blakk Rasta: I will never perform with sound system.It is not my thing. I don’t do DEAD music. I do LIVE music. An artiste uses sound system as a learner. You don’t stay there. Move up and feel the vibration. Even hip-hop artistes are playing live now. I see lip-sink artistes as jokers. Move up!
Ghana Music.com: And how do you prepare yourself mentally before a show
Blakk Rasta: I pray the whole day, drink juice and have a good rest in the evening just four or five hours before the concert. I do not have sex before any concert. It takes away energy. I do not talk so much before any concert, just meditation and studying other artistes on stage. I burn a lot of herbal incense before the concert. I do not eat at all before I go on stage.
Ghana Music.com: This may be a silly question but is Africa more your home than anywhere else?
Blakk Rasta: Haahaaa…of course, I love Africa and that is my home. It is paradise for me in Africa. Nice, sexy women, herbs, mountains and food. I can never see myself living outside Africa.
Ghana Music.com: Which parts of Africa have you visited? Where have you performed?
Blakk Rasta: I have visited a few countries like Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Ethiopia and Niger. I have performed in Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. These were great performances. I love Ethiopia even though I get so tired on stage very early because of the altitude. They have such beautiful sceneries and great-body women…hmmmm.
Ghana Music.com: Why do some Reggae artists keep burning fire on homosexuals, especially in light of all the other human strife on earth? Why do you guys labor this issue in your music?
Blakk Rasta: Because it is not the normal concept of life. Every man must sex a woman and not otherwise. Homosexuality is a mental/genetically disorder, in my opinion. I do not incite violence against gays and lesbians. I believe, it is a disorder which we must empathize with and not otherwise. I will never take human life.it is a sin against Jah. We burn fire on homosexuals to cleanse them spiritually because fire signifies purity. It is not a physical fire.
Ghana Music.com: Do critics still bother you about this issue?
Blakk Rasta: Yeah, The Gay Society of Ghana decided to get my employers sack me and also, to persuade my sponsors to quit but they realized that they had misread my motives and judgement, so the reasoned up. First of all, this homosexuality is a terrible offence in Ghana and a lot of other countries in Africa, so you do not expect sympathy from any such countries afore-mentioned. I do not hate homosexuals; I hate the act because Jah says it is wrong.
Ghana Music.com: Could you say what you actually mean when you say “more fire?” on your radio show?
Blakk Rasta: More fire is calling on Jah to let the spiritual fire burn all evil and cleanse the evil-doers so they shall turn a new leaf. It is not a physical fire; it is more powerful than that.
Ghana Music.com: Which city in Ghana or abroad have you received a glorious reception when performing?
Blakk Rasta: Amsterdam in Holland. My god, they love the vibes. I have been well-received in Addis Ababa, Bolga, Accra and several other places like that. I hate big men shows, they just sit there and flex/pose and never even clap. They are too fat to clap.
Ghana Music.com: You are known to many music enthusiasts as Blakk Rasta. But what is your original name?
Blakk Rasta: I love to be called Blakk Rasta. It makes me avoid tribal and religious questions which set us back.
Ghana Music.com: It just seems to me that there is no big effort by the promoters and the people involved in putting on reggae shows to bring the message to the communities and people that truly need to hear it?
Blakk Rasta: Of course, how can an evil-doer promote reggae? They know you will sing against the very bad habits they stand for, so they will not promote it. They prefer profane music to Jah music which is spiritual music. But, nobody can stop reggae. It brought Obama to Ghana and it will soon bring unity to all Africans.Ghana Music.com: What is your greatest wish for reggae music in Ghana?
Blakk Rasta: Wish reggae music was played on all stations in Ghana. They use reggae music for test transmission and that is all but it won’t be long, the sone that the builders refused shall be the head corner stone.
Ghana Music.com: Does Blakk Rasta have a love song?
Blakk Rasta: Yeah, I have long songs such as sweet ‘Sandra’, ‘Sylvia’ and on my new album, ‘Miss Right’ which is a chart buster. The album will be released early march.
Ghana Music.com: What do you think about your brothers, Rocky Dawuni and Black Prophet? They do so well in the diaspora but not in Ghana?
Blakk Rasta: Yeah, they are doing their part. I do not think they are doing so well as you put it. I was in Amsterdam with Black Prophet and he was just doing his part. It is the same with rocky. Charity begins at home. They need them to flood Africa with their music. My bredda, every failure tells you he does well abroad. How many of us go abroad and hear about them?
Ghana Music.com: Do you think your music transcends generations? Do you think in twenty
years they will be still talking about Blakk Rasta?
Blakk Rasta: They will talk about Blakk Rasta forever. I was born to be a legend. Legends don’t fade away, they live forever. That is why I refuse to be called a STAR. I am the SUN. Stars come and go at nite and even borrow their shine from the sun which stays forever. You understand? Let those who want to be stars be stars and let me be the sun.
Ghana Music.com: Is Rastafarian is commercial?
Blakk Rasta: It is spiritual. Commercial rastas exist but they only for a while.
Ghana Music.com: How do you deal with the hype that is surrounding your Barack Obama song and the coming of Obama to Ghana?
Blakk Rasta: Well, that song brought Obama to Ghana and it was known worldwide. Give thanks to Jah! The feeling was great. I was in America last month and Americans knew the song apart from those born just today.jah live! I hate hype because it is fake and lives for just a flicker. I prefer recognition and fame. You cannot buy that with money, no! Jah gives that. This I still have and enjoying it big time.
Ghana Music.com: What’s the concept on the new album?
Blakk Rasta: It is an album the shows the versatile Blakk Rasta with good melodies and positive vibes. It is a magnet that will attract everybody. Who knows, it will bring Obama to Ghana again…hahaaa.
I have a song on it called, ‘I CRY FOR OBAMA’ which is just lovely. It is a prophetic album. I worked very hard on it and Jah will certainly let the message reach all four corners of the earth. RASTAFARI.
Ghana Music.com: Why did they ban your music video in Ghana sometime back?
Blakk Rasta: They banned it because the hate the truth. They are a bunch of ignorant, block-headed fools with excessive power but no brains. That was the GANJA SWEET. Is Ganja a drug? Then Kontomire is a drug because they are cousins. I do not smoke. I have never smoked but I know the benefits of these herbs we have in Africa. One day they will be wise when the white man teaches them the importance of these herbs.
Source: Nii Atakora Mensah/ghanamusic.com