It’s throwback Thursday and we’re throwing it back to the late 90’s when rap was still relatively new to Ghana. Hammer of The Last Two is our focus for today. We’re not sure if Thor lost his favorite toy, or Hammer was an emcee but no one can touch him when he grooms an artist or goes in on production. (I know you see what I did there. Find it before you continue)
Born Edward Nana Poku Osei, Hammer is a record producer who doubles as founder and CEO of The Last Two Music Group. He began his career with a friend; Yaw Opare Anoff who was a gifted keyboardist and the other ‘One’ of The Last Two. They started producing in 1999, and together, they produced Obrafour’s ‘Pae Mu Ka’, which won many awards and is widely acclaimed to be the best hip-life album ever made. Yaw Anoff later left to the United States, while Hammer continued to produce here in Ghana.
Hammer has played a vital role, not only in production, but also brought rap music enthusiast in Ghana together under the umbrella of hip-life. The celebrated producer was in to make Hip-life cut across all the local languages in Ghana. After Obrafour who raps in Akan (dominant in Ashanti Region and spoken widely across Ghana), he got Blitz the Ambassador (formerly known as Bazaar) who raps in English. He also produced Tinny, who raps in Ga (which is dominant in some areas in the Greater Accra Region) and Ayigbe Edem who raps in Ewe (which is dominant in the Volta Region). Kwaw Kese, one of the rappers to come out of Hammer’s camp does his rap in Fante (dominant in the Central and parts of the Western and Eastern Regions).
Hammer has released three compilation albums to give the artists in his camp a chance to be heard, without having to drop their personal albums. The first is ‘The Execution Diary’ released 2003. The second is ‘Sounds of Our Time’ (2004) and the last being ‘The Crusade of The Lost Files’ (2006).
Hammer has groomed quite a number of the best hip-life artists Ghana has seen. This is never hype. Obrafour is still celebrated by some as the best rapper to ever do it. Aside production, Pae Mu Ka had enough catchy proverbs with sing-along hooks. Some music lovers in Ghana believe that Tinny, who was musically nurtured by the Last Two, is the doppest Ga rapper till date. He had everybody wanting to be a mouse in Makola, with his hit song “makola kwakwe”. Kwaw Kese made the charts and news with his music and had all the high school kids in Ghana dancing to ‘Abodam’ , especially its remix. If you never danced to this song in high school, then you are a smooth “jon”. It’s not rocket science. Edem is doing it big with his funky Ewe rap style, and has had his non Ewe fans rocking to his music without understanding a word of what he says. And Sarkodie, who is Ghana’s darling boy right now in the rap game. After winning so many awards here, he raised the bar for all Ghanaian artists by winning BET’s Best International Act: Africa award in 2012 and is currently a nominee for the same award this year this year. Sarkodie has also been nominated for World Music Awards under the categories; World’s Best Male Artist, World’s Best Entertainer, World’s Best Live Act and World’s Best Album, which speak volumes of his success.
Hammer has indeed, put in the ‘nails’ in to strengthen the hip-life industry with his awesome producing skills and his talent grooming. We need more Hammers in our industry to take the genre to a higher pedestal. To Hammer of the Last Two, we say big ups man. You’re an inspiration.
LISTEN TO PAE MU KA, PRODUCED BY HAMMER HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU-GfoHdqXg&list=PLBHe9WQ_lIeDqcKIKuVzNTCCCoSvjBlSq
BY: FRANKLIN DIGBER
PHOTO CREDITS: ghanandwom.com, http://nydjlive.com/ , loudsoundgh.com , ghanacelebrities.com ,