Artist : Reggie Rockstone
Genre : Hip-life
Born in the U.K. on April 11th in the late 1960's, Rockstone attached himself to the Hip Hop movement in the early 80's as a dancer.
Travelling on a tri-continental basis (ie Accra, New York, London), he broadened his Hip Hop scope. A natural performer and trained actor, he grabbed the mike with no problem when his calling came in 1991.
His first "fifteen minutes of fame" came as a dancer in Accra, Ghana in the early 80's. His second chance of fame came in 1992-93 as member of one of the top rap groups from London, England.
He belonged to PLZ (Parables, Linguistics and Zlang) with Fredi Funkstone, Jay (both from West Africa) & DJ Pogo of the U.K. Number one hits from PLZ included "If it Aint PLZ" and an EP entitled "Build a Wall Around Your Dreams" released on an independent label called "Go For the Juggler."
1994 became the watershed or turning point in his entertainment career. The rap scene in London was not rewarding enough. He returned to Accra to encounter a whole generation of people grooving to African-American rythms, all heavily influenced by the same elements of Hip Hop that he knew all too well.
He had an ingenious idea! Use the hip hop beats with authentic phat production and lace it with true African dialect; The Akan language of Twi.
It became the tool to make such butter classics as "Sweetie, Sweetie", "Tsoo Boi", "Nightlife in Accra" and "Agoo" from his debut album in 1997 entitled "Makaa! Maka!" - translated as "I said it and that's that!".
Launched on an independent label called KASSA RECORDS that he partly owns, Reggie Rockstone has reached Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians across four continents.
The pioneer of rap music in local dialect in Ghana. His specialty is Asante Twi. He is well-versed in English. He has international acclaim and has performed in many places such as West Africa, UK, France, USA & Switzerland. His videos are aired as far as South Africa on M-Net's 24 hr music television station, Channel 'O' which has an audience of millions across a large part of Africa (44 countries!). He has his own extensive website with Realaudio and MP3 files which includes a guestbook with hits from all over the world. His new album was released in July 2000. It is called "ME KA (I will Say!). This is a 7 song EP, with a second part due at the end of January 2001. The official Rockstone site will be updated. (See bottom). The majority of his tracks were produced by veteran Hip Hop trooper; Rab 'The International' Bakari
The album 'Makaa, Maka!' featured members from the PLZ crew (see down this page). The singles from this album did well on the local market and received international attention. Its follow-up, the single 'Plan Ben?' in Twi language was released as a cassette/cd single and features Root-I who's into ragga. Hot singles off his 1st album Makaa Maka (97): 'Tsoo Boi' ('Choo-bu-eh', similar to hey, ho!), Agoo! (ah-goh) (a Twi call of announcement); Nightlife In Accra; 'Anigye Be Fie' (ah-nee-jeh-beh fee-eh), 'Sweetie, Sweetie' and 'My Turn To Burn' which featured Fredi Funkstone
Hot singles from 'Me Na Me Kae' (1999): 'Keep Your Eyes on The Road'; Eye Mo De Anaa (eh-yeh-muh-deh ah-naah); 'Plan Ben?'(What Plan?) 'Different you, Different Me', 'Ya Bounce Wo Visa';(They have bounced your visa). Songs like 'Eye Mo De Anaa' (Is it Sweet to Y'all) cleverly sample Fela's 1977 hit - 'Shakara' and 'Keep Your Eyes On The Road' uses a very famous 1970's highlife tune by Alhaji K. Frimpong. English cuts like 'Walk Like an African' and 'Where I'm From' showed the true versatility of Rockstone's skills. The lyrics are deep. He even touched on the issue of abortion, where he supported the birth; Triple S wanted the abortion and her homegirl (C.A.B.) coaxed her to 'get rid' of the pregnancy. Of course this is not true; but it was cleverly acted out on record by these three talented emcees.
PLZ (Parables, Linguistics and Zlang) was the UK based group that Reggie Rockstone was in before moving on to a solo carreer; other members were Dj Pogo and Fred Funkstone. Number one hits from PLZ included "If it Aint PLZ" and an EP entitled "Build a Wall Around Your Dreams" released on an independent label called "Go For the Juggler." PLZ contributed to the PANAFEST festival in Ghana in 1994. UK magazine HHC reported: "As they performed their turntable set-up broke down. They decided to continue to perform with live percussion provided by highlife-group Marriots International. Then they started to freestyle in Twi, something that was totally new to them. The way in which the crowd reacted to the use of their native language, made them think of incorporating more 'African' elements in their music".
Unfortunately; his popular website at www.webstar.com.gh/rockstone was recently shut down due to a company buyout of the hosting server in Accra. They are currently looking for a new server to upload his updated website which probably will be: www.reggierockstone.com. The website was a wealth of information for Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians across the globe. Most people were probably introduced to the Hip Hop movement taking place in Ghana through this portal. It had a guest-book which became a battle ground for player-haters and supporters of Rockstone. He had free MP3 files; RealVideo clips; lyrics and even a page to order his merchandise such a CDs; cassettes; posters & T-shirts.
If you heard some noise about 'The Mapouka Dance' or him sampling Manu Dibango's 'Soul Makossa' then that's some hits from his new album.
For the full update on 'Me Ka' please click here!