Legendary sound engineer and producer, Zapp Mallet has clarified issues relating to the creation of hiplife by stating that the name came from him and not Reggie Rockstone.
This hiplife originator debate and controversy has been ongoing for a while but has in recent times become very strong with various personalities who feel the need to correct history for the sake of posterity coming to voice out their feelings and correct some few misconceptions.
From time, we’ve always recognised Reggie Rockstone as the creator/ originator of the hiplife genre. He never at any point acknowledged anyone as helping him form this movement so everyone thought he did it by himself. This notion has however been overruled by two artistes who were there during the formative stages of hiplife, Berima Sidney, a cousin of Reggie and Root Eye, a dancehall artiste who was with Reggie during that time.
In an interview with Flex Newspaper, Zapp Mallet who was mentioned by both Berima Sidney and Root Eye as the one who coined the name HIPLIFE, has stated emphatically that he came up with the name hiplife and not Reggie.
According to him, he coined the name during an argument in the studio over the new music genre. He said even though Reggie was present at that meeting, he didn’t come up with the name.
He further stated that he’s not coming out now to gain popularity or fame but to set the records straight for the sake of the future.
“When Reggie Rockstone came down from UK, he came with his partner and they both had the hip-hop culture which was sweeping all over the globe as it were at that time and some of us thought that we could go to our root, our heritage and do something Ghanaian, more African and merge hip-hop with our identity, an identity that will project the Ghanaian culture.
So Michael Kuku who was an instrumentalist then and I decided to name that class of music hip-life and it worked.
I have been silent on this issue for this long even though I knew it will come out one day. This was in 1994. It is a long story to be told now but a lot of us were behind generating and promoting this hip-life course and it is just fair we give them some credit, indeed Reggie Rockstone founded that genre, made it commercial but a lot of people gave a helping hand and he was not the one who introduced the name hip-life,” he added.
We believe that this puts to rest all the arguments and controversy.