Reggie Rockstone Expresses Disappointment Over Exclusion of Hiplife from Grammy’s African Music Performance Category
In a recent interview on Joy FM’s Twitter Spaces, legendary rapper Reggie Rockstone expressed his dissatisfaction with the exclusion of hiplife from the list of genres included in the newly-created African Music Performance category at the Grammy Awards. Reggie Rockstone, known as the Hiplife Grandpapa for originating and popularizing Ghana’s version of hip hop called hiplife, felt that it was unfair for the genre to be overlooked in the Recording Academy’s provided list.
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Reggie Rockstone acknowledged his appreciation for hiplife being included in the category, but he raised concerns about the absence of hiplife and the inclusion of highlife, its predecessor, which he referred to as the “old lady.” He emphasized that hiplife played a significant role in sparking the musical revolution and preceded the re-emergence of Afrobeats. Reggie Rockstone highlighted the close relationship between Ghana and Nigeria in terms of musical influence, stating that hiplife cannot be ignored.
The rapper also suggested that the omission of hiplife may have been a typographical error, as hiplife and highlife are often confused due to their similar sounds. He proposed that people may have mistaken highlife for hiplife when creating the category list.
Reggie Rockstone further speculated that the exclusion of hiplife from the Grammy category could be attributed to recent discussions claiming that the genre is no longer relevant. However, he argued that hiplife has evolved and given rise to other sub-genres, including Ghanaian Drill.
The Recording Academy announced the introduction of three new categories, including the African Music Performance category, which encompasses genres such as Ghanaian drill and highlife. The category recognizes recordings that incorporate unique local expressions from across the African continent, highlighting regional musical traditions.
The category definition specifies a range of genres, including but not limited to Afrobeat, Afro-fusion, Afro Pop, Afrobeats, Alte, Amapiano, Bongo Flava, Genge, Kizomba, Chimurenga, High Life, Fuji, Kwassa, Ndombolo, Mapouka, Ghanaian Drill, Afro-House, South African Hip-Hop, and Ethio Jazz.
These category additions and amendments were approved at the Recording Academy’s semiannual Board of Trustees meeting in May 2023, as stated on grammy.com. You can listen to the podcast show via https://shorturl.at/wDEV7