The Meteoric Rise of Supa, Ghana2Pac

This year everything deliver fresh, from nature God. In the first minutes of the year 2015, a highly optimistic man wandering the streets of Osu granted an impromptu interview to a TV station that was hungry for a news item on the new year. Unbeknownst to him, the over a minute interview would catapult him into the pantheon of overnight stars who unfortunately, lost their fire too quickly in their sojourn to Ghanaian fame. Two Thoozin, as he was christened after that video went viral, was more accurately a beneficiary of Ghana’s stale comedy scene which rewards anyone who is unabashed about his or her English rhetoric and comprehension. If you think this is not true, curate all the “funny videos” circulating on Ghanaian Social Media spaces and you will find that over 90% of them are either of a Kumawood actor struggling to pronounce an English word filled with Rs and Ls or a JHS student being asked about the esophagus.

After a song released and some interviews here and there, Two Thoozin fizzled out and Rashida Black Beauty popped up. Just like Two Thoozin, Rashida’s rise to “stardom”, so to speak, was also short lived. Her jilted lover diss video was funny but not hilarious enough to keep us cheering bemused for more than 3 months. She however tried making a comeback with a nude video but the houseflies which buzzed all around that video were symbolic of what had become of her “stardom” (so to speak once again).

Over night social media celebs come and go in this republic. Some refuse to bask in the glory as the “Achilles” to Manasseh’s “heel”, Nana Kwame, did. And others soak it in and milk everything out of it. But one thing that remains true in this world of hyperactive access to information is that you need to maintain a steady supply of content if you want to remain relevant on social media. To be worth someone’s mobile data, you need to make them laugh for as long as you want to keep popping up on top of trends. But if you are just going to be the one and done type, make sure you milk the system while you are at it.

On the back of the somewhat long line of social media celebs, Supa, the almost toothless free styling sensation from Nima has etched his name in that circle of overnight stars. But Supa’s rhyming dexterity pre-dates today. For anyone from a Zongo community or with the contact of a Hausa speaking friend who is attuned to the trends in Zongo communities, Supa has been doing what he currently is doing for some time now. Fuck Gariba, the now ubiquitous phrase which punctuates Supa’s rhymes seems to have been strategically adopted by Supa to get people listening to him (for those who do not know who Gariba, he is arguably the hardest hitting Hausa rapper in Ghana). But people seem to appreciate Supa for more than the Fuck Gariba taunts. His basic rhymes, even though meaningless at times, have a Dr. Seuss scheme that would leave you cracking up. Add to that the hilarious image presented by his almost empty buccal cavity save for his tongue.

With a Sarkodie tweet catapulting Supa to the point where his man a gyalis phrase is being used by Wizkid with adequate referencing and credit, Supa’s life seem to be making a turn over to something much better. Today, he is no longer the man who used to ask for a cedi or two before dropping rap lines. He is continuing the long line of music celebrities to come out of Nima. Oh wait, is he a musician yet?

That is the perplexing thing about Supa. There is no doubting the fact that he can rap, at least by Ghanaian standards where people with lines like coming to school with dirty camboo are considered rappers. To become this popular while being identified as a rapper without a single song to your name in this country is quite impressive. But the question remains how long would people remain impressed? How long before someone coopts and rides on the “man a gyalis” phrase and drops a banger?

The Instagram videos, Snapchat stories and Facebook Live streaming sessions are fun and all but if the quick rise and burn story of Two Thoozin is anything to go by, content matters. Well-structured and commercially viable content matters. The meet up promised by Sarkodie on twitter has still not happened as at the time this article was being penned but that needs not be a stumbling block. Supa’s act needs to be cleaned up if he is going to continue being relevant. For starters, a good PR job is needed to wean him off the junkie tag. Then scaling up to a judicious publication of his content in a more commercial manner. What Supa definitely does not need right now is “Likes” and “retweets” hungry folks who randomly stop him on the streets of Nima, and repeatedly ask him for freestyles where he ends up saying F**k Bhim or F**K Shatta Wale!

 

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