What is freestyle; Who is a ‘freestyler’ and is there any in Ghana?

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368303246_113291Since social media became the second world to internet users, it is not difficult to follow proceedings of any Celebrity, especially when they are in the studios of radio or TV stations. Thanks to Facebook live as well, almost all interviews are either telecasted live either on the Celeb’s fan page or the media’s.

What is worthy of note is that, anytime an Artiste is in the studios of any radio or TV station, is it required that he/she ‘spit’ some bars; that is either miming their own songs or they are asked to spit on a popular instrumentation.

What I have wondered over the years since I became a Publicist is the realization that, anytime an Artiste is asked to ‘freestyle,’ he is either rapping his own rap lines which are known and anyone who is a fan can rap along. “Is this the meaning of freestyle?” I have asked myself countless times because from Sarkodie to the Artiste in Sekondi-Takoradi who is looking for a chance to further project his/her talent on the national stage, anytime he/she is dared to freestyle, the fans can rap along.

It is not a freestyle if anyone can rap along or they are rap lines from a known or yet-to-be released songs. I am confident to say that because according to the origin of freestyle, in the book ‘How to rap’;

J-lyric and Myka 9 iterated that “in the 2000’s when we said freestyle rap, that meant that it was a rhyme that you kick that was free of style… it’s basically a rhyme just bragging about yourself.” Myka 9 adds, “back in the day freestyle was bust[ing] a rhyme about any random thing, and it was not a written rhyme or something memorized” Divine Styler also says “in the school I come from, freestyling was a non-conceptual written rhyme… and now they call freestyling off the top of the head, so the era I come from it’s a lot different” whereas Kool Moe Dee also in his book ‘There’s a god on the mic’ mentions that “There are two types of freestyle. There’s an old-school freestyle that’s basically rhymes that you’ve just thought of on the spot that may not have anything to do with any subject or that goes all over the place. Then there’s freestyle where you come off the top of the head.

So from these definitions and origin of freestyle, anytime a Broadcaster asks an Artiste to freestyle and he/she mimes from his/her own songs, the Artiste should be called to order.

By this also, is there any freestyler in Ghana?


Author: Nana Kwesi Coomson (www.233times.com) @nkcoomson on Twitter

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

[email protected]

An Entrepreneur, Corporate Communications Executive and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). In 2015, he won a £35,000 postgraduate scholarship to study MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow who studied at Clark Atlanta University in USA on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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