There’s no denying that Scientific is hugely talented and prolific rapper. For over a decade, he’s been delivering bankable verses, with songs that carry strong social messages. He continues to show that he still has passion he started out with, and seems relentless in showing the world just how good he is. I caught up with him to find out more.
What have you been up to lately?
Scientific: I’ve been away touring in Liberia. I just got back in October. I’m still working on new music, and I’ve got quite a few shows lined up. I’ve just been putting in my regular work. It’s always business as usual for me.
What’s the hip hop scene like in Liberia?
Scientific: It’s very big. They have their own brand of hip hop going on out there. The industry out there is growing. They have been asking for me to come out there and support, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been speaking to some ministers and senators out there to see what they can do to help. They are doing a great job.
What are some of the differences you noted between the music scene in Ghana and the one in Liberia?
Scientific: Out here in Ghana, people are making much more money. Ghanaian artistes are more respected. The scene in Ghana is more structured and we tend to produce higher quality material in Ghana. But hip hop is much bigger in Liberia. They have a bigger love for the genre over there, I think.
You’ve been doing your thing here in Ghana from the onset. What are some of the advancements that hip hop in Ghana has made over the years?
Scientific: In the beginning, hip hop wasn’t really accepted. It had to be fused with other genres and local dialects before people could actually listen to it. It was a tough time. A lot of people started but then fell off. Some of us chose to believe and keep pushing on. We had that vision that one day things would change, and they have. I’ve always figured Ghana to be the gateway to hip hop in Africa. Hip Hop has given a lot of young people a chance to do something positive with their lives. It has put food on a lot of people’s table. We are thankful.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career over the years?
Scientific: There was a lot of sabotaging back then. The fact that I’m Liberian was a problem to some, even though I grew up in Ghana. I often felt that many things that I deserved were not given to me because of that. Those things actually motivated me to do more. Plus my fans have always known my worth, even though the industry might have snubbed me. It’s just one of those things in life that I choose to accept, and use to fuel my success.
If you had a chance to go back in time, what would you do differently?
Scientific: I probably would have explored more in my music, like what I’m doing now. I would also start other businesses aside from music. It would be a different ball game now, had I done that. I would probably own an empire by now. But I have no regrets because everything has a purpose, and I’m grateful for the fact that I’m still here, and being able to do what I love.
What are some of the problems you see facing artistes in Ghana today?
Scientific: I’ll say unity is a big problem. A lot of these guys are not happy to see the next man be successful. We hear about all kinds of beef among artistes. It’s ok if it’s just some healthy rivalry in music, but once it starts to get violent, then it becomes a problem. We need to be united and be happy for the next man’s success. The successful artiste should also open doors for upcoming artistes. That’s how the industry can grow and flourish.
Is there any money in the industry right now?
Scientific: In terms of record sales, I’ll say no. Most artistes make their money from shows and corporate endorsements. Artistes now have the chance to travel around the world and get paid decently for it. Corporate bodies have also recognised the artistes’ value and are paying well for endorsements and brand ambassadorship.
Do you think artistes in Ghana are doing enough to crossover and penetrate the international markets?
Scientific: I feel they are trying, but sometimes they feel too comfortable. Many seem to be content with being huge artistes in Ghana. Shout out to Fuse ODG and Sarkodie who keep pushing that bar higher and are gaining international recognition. The world is paying attention to Ghana. Azonto gave us a lot of exposure. It has opened doors for a lot of people. Any music that comes with its own dance is a hit.
How difficult is it for rappers who rap in English, such as yourself in this part of the world?
Scientific: Well, it has to be fused with local dialects if you want to hit all around Ghana. But I’m looking to reach people in Afghanistan, where I’m sure they still listen to 2Pac. Rapping in English doesn’t change anything, because people still feel my vibe.
What’s your plan for the year?
Scientific: I plan to drop an album, do more shows and just do what I do best. It’s going to be a great year for me, and I can’t wait to give my fans what they need from me.
A message to your fans?
Scientific: They’ve been supporting me from the start! I got so much love for them! They even came to pay me a visit when I was hospitalised. Thanks so much for the love, guys! Next year will be fantastic for all of us!!
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