You Don't Know The Hip Life Thing!
These days it seems you can’t go anywhere without hearing D’Banj on the radio or Atumpan in the clubs. The music scene is getting a huge injection of African talent that is going global. With the signings of Dbanj to Kanye’s GOOD music label this year and Sarkodie to Akon’s Konvict in 2010 it's definitely a Hip Life and Afro Beats takeover!
One of the pioneers of Hip Life and Afro Beats in the UK is West Coast Entertainment. Eric Tetteh of Alordia promotions, Choice FM’s DJ Abrantee and Emmelio Tetteh make up West Coast Entertainment. West Coast have been bringing stars like Castro out to Europe for many years now. I mean who can forget their Ghana 54th Independence party earlier this year...ehhh it no be small oh!!! With the Hip Life Festival West Coast continued to set the trend bringing the biggest names on the scene to the O2 once again. Artists like Castro, Ruff n Smooth, Stay J, Tiffany, Kwabena Kwabena and Atumpan. The event was the first of its kind to bring Hip Life acts of this caliber to one stage. Epic!
The hm team went along to meet the stars and find out all about Atumpan's 'Thing'. As at most West Coast shows the queues just about took over the O2. It was gonna be another roadblock by the looks of things. My Ghanaian sisters of course were rockin' their finest African attire. I had to represent my Ghanaian roots, thanks again Geometric Designs for the hook up.
The show started at 9.30pm but we were having so much fun interviewing the stars we only made it to the second half. Thankfully it was just in time to see Stay Jay and Tiffany perform one of my faves ‘Shashee Wowo’. Tiffany followed it up with her hit ‘Fake London Boys’, Castro then joined her on stage and they launched into ‘Last One’. As Tiffany left Castro to it he gave the crowd what they wanted ‘African Girls’. The audience went wild as Castro commanded the stage. He needs no hype man, driving the crowd into a frenzy! Men were wining hips I never knew they had! Don’t think I’ve been bumped so much in my life, that’s how hard people were shockin’ out.
Kwabena Kwabena was next and took it down a notch with a smooth serenade for the ladies that showcased his silky velvet voice. Man this Ewe girl needs to learn Twi so I can understand Kwabena’s song, his voice is too sweet! To close the show, all host Abrantee needed to say was ‘De Thing’ and the crowd were deafening! Atumpan is a heady mix of reggae and hip life that hypnotises the body.
The audience went wild as Castro commanded the stage. He needs no hype man, driving the crowd into a frenzy!
Representing Ghana in a svelte tailored African print jacket he definitely had us shaking a tail-feather. He hit us with a slowed down version of ‘The Thing’, which segued into the full version. ‘Small girl, you don’t know the thing, I am teaching you the thing’. The song is too infectious days later and I’m still singing it although slightly remixed... “You dun know the Hotminute thing!”
One thing’s for sure West Coast know ‘The Thing’ and with more and more promoters cottoning on the African invasion is well underway. So get ready people! Right I’m off to Shashee Wowo! LMAO
Check out:West Coast UK Online
Words: Enam G
Photography: Okito Gonzales & Ernest Simons