SarkCess Music Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sarkodie has in a rap freestyle addressed concerns by fans regarding why he is not signed to a record label.
Some fans of the rapper, alias Sark Natives, and critics argue that signing to an international label, like some popular Ghanaian music acts have done in recent times, would expand his international audience and enrich his marketability.
The Tema rap star thinks differently, however, and he gave a response in his new rap song called ‘Fraud [Man] In Suit’.
First, he gave the impression record label deals often cheat the artiste and take away from of their freedoms.
“There’s always going to be some fraud [man] in suit, trying to give you some money to stay mute. Always been part of the game, this is not new,” the Ghanaian music superstar spat [Hiphop term for rapping].
“How many be real owners? Just a few,” he highlighted the phenomenon of many artistes not owning their masters or having as much as they may portray to the public.
Michael Owusu Addo, alias Sarkodie, who has in the past featured on Forbes’ list of richest African musicians pointed to what is most important, in his view, for an artiste.
“Buy a beautiful house, trust the view,” he said and warned: “Don’t trust nobody, my [man], trust you. There’s nobody real in the game and that’s true.”
The label business is “a game, [man],” he stressed and noted making one’s own money gives them power to avoid the label scams he earlier mentioned: “We have the money now so [forget] you.”
A rapper who is proverbially the poster boy for the grass-to-grace saying, he, in the typical boastful stance of a rapper proclaimed: “I did it from scratch, I had patience.”
“I had a couple of meetings in Roc Nation,” he revealed.
He proceeded to send “big shouts” to rappers “B Rel and B High,” who gave him “the clues and the right vibration – the blueprint [Jay Z album pun].
“Aside that,” the businessman continued, “they showed me one or two things.”
Disclosing what this advice was, partially, he stated it is important for a rapper to invest in their looks.
“First cheque, you have to buy a few blings [jewelry]: you have to put some diamonds on your cube links. [Forget] what you think,” the two-time BET award-winner matter-of-factly informed.
At this juncture, he openly acknowledged the concerns of his fans regarding signing a record deal.
“You know the fans keep talking, they want me to go high. Come and see me if you want to know why,” he stated with his artistic flair and reminded his fans that even though he is currently an independent act, he has signed record deals before: “This [thing], I’ve been doing it my whole life, so my [man], I’ve been in it for long enough and have tasted both sides.”
Africa’s most decorated rap act, he decried record labels some more.
“All this hype, I’m grown, I’m not moved. Everything is a lie, I swear I have proof,” he said on the 3 minute 16 second freestyle.
“All these record labels are just sucking” up to artistes, Sarkodie further charged and warned label executives are opportunists: “They just want to ride a wave, and that is the sad truth.”
Nicknamed King Sark, he proclaimed: “[I’m the] real definition of a self-made man.”
“How the [heck] did I do it? I have game [highly skilled],” he said and revealed his priorities and inspirations: “I came for the money and not fame. Back to back since the day that I came; get the money like Jay [Z], be a boss like Dame [Dash].”
Much of the song was delivered in Ebonics and Pidgin.
Recently, on a Kalyjay Twitter Space, Senegalese-American record executive Akon revealed his label, Konvict Music, had signed Sarkodie but he “got away” and “we realised that we really couldn’t work with him yet because he just wasn’t mentally ready to go on that level. We just allowed him to continue moving the way he was moving.
“Unfortunately when you have an artiste and you can’t control the artistes or you can’t control the asset to them, it’s hard for you to do what you need to do with them if you don’t have control over him.”
He also said: “Sarkodie was the first artiste that we signed out of Ghana. We had plans to make him so much bigger but I think at the time his agenda was more focusing on Ghana, which worked for him. And I think that it was a plan that worked. I mean, arguably or arguably not – but I know for sure if had he followed our plan, he would have been a global artist without a doubt.
“It is understandable that he was a bit sceptical about going on the global. He had not even really conquered Ghana yet and must have thought he needed time to fully establish himself here. I think the response would have been different if the same opportunity had presented itself a few years or even now. And in any case, it is not as if Sarkodie’s career did not blossom. Without such support, he has still built a solid brand. We must commend him,” he ended.
In 2009, rumours had it that Sarkodie had been signed by Akon.
The 2019 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Best International Flow awardee’s latest album is ‘No Pressure’. He has announced a follow-up to be released on Friday, November 11, 2022.