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Although nicknamed “The Godfather of HipLife”, Reggie’s contribution to the game isn’t solely that he pioneered the Hip-Life movement (which flares debate as to whether he invented Hip-Life or not) but rather a humanitarian course.

He has worked his way up by all standards and earned his seat in the music industry.

The year is 1992, young Reggie had touched down in Ghana for panafest,

he saw a musical gap in the industry and the need to fill the void. Reggie with the help of his father, Ricci Osei( late), his friend Rab Bakari, his Manager among others started a movement that will later be crowned Hip-Life(A unique Ghanaian musical Genre).

In 1997, he gave us his first album MAKAA MAKA meaning ‘I Said What I Said’, a popular political statement. The album was licensed under KASA Records where he owned all the publishing. The album featured artists, like Nananom, Fredi Funkstone his long time partner and friend, Cy lover, the Legendary Zapp Mallet, Talking drums and other music giants at the time. The album, Adowa and Hip-Hop blend was well received by music lovers and instantly became a classic! With an intro song like ‘AGOO’ a local slang meaning ‘Hello’ or ‘Hi’ and other songs like Sweetie Sweetie, Nightlife in Accra (featuring the legendary Cy Lover, Chocolate and Sammi B), Tsoo Boi, Nananom Kasa among others. Makaa Makaa Pt. 2, an interlude where he cautions the youth to not feel pressured by their parents in choosing a career for them but rather strive to achieve their dreams.

“ Don’t let your father put any pressure on you

Talk about being a doctor, be a lawyer

Be who you want to be”

A message which came strong and resonated with many in the African setting. Parents burden children with exorbitantly high expectations, dictating their career paths causing immense pressure on the children leading to depression and in worse cases suicidal thoughts.

He also advised the youth to avoid drugs that may ruin their lives in the course of attaining their goals.  “Drugs…Give it up if you doing it

Don’t touch it if you not doing it.”

Reggie’s major musical success in the early 2000s in Ghana was ‘Keep your eyes on the road, Off the album ‘Me Na Me Kae’ (It was I who said it) a follow up to MAKAA MAKA released Feb 1, 2000. The song was a sample of Alhaji K. Frimpong’s ‘Kyenkyen Bi Ado Me Wu’. The song was a massive success and turned up every radio, club, bar and spot. While people partied to the song, the message of the song was about safe driving. Reggie that year was appointed brand ambassador of Guinness Ghana Brewery Limited to create awareness and sensitise drivers to not drink and drive. 

In the song, he touched on other pressing issues in Ghana and Africa at large. He spoke about how deeply rooted the people have been westernised, how rapidly Africans are imitating the western ways of doing things. Describing what race he thinks Jesus Christ is,  ‘Obibini’ a Twi name for negro.

“Economical competition before the crippling

The biggest crime in Africa

Skin bleaching, jerry curls babe

Now that’s a sinning

Jesus Christ was Obibini, what I believe in”

Reggie put together a rap group dubbed MOBILE BOYS in the mid-2000s and helped put them on a few shows. Although the group didn’t attain musical success, he always sheltered and encouraged the members to keep chasing their dreams.

As known by many, Reggie as an industry man coordinates talented producers, singers and rappers onto tracks/platforms and then slaps a couple of free promotions on his socials. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s recently extended his benevolence to promoting businesses and commending entrepreneurs.

Reggie opened the Rockstone’s office, an ultra lounge to create an ambience for creatives to perform and also vibe. The lounge has since hosted several industry artists and events. Being the mastermind behind the viral ‘Waakye in a jar’ A.K.A ‘Jar-Waakye’, Reggie expressed the need for Us to contribute to sustaining the environment, particularly regarding waste management.

In 2013, Reggie took to his Twitter page to announce he wanted to join the famous VIP group after a Promzy left(a member of the group).  “Just read bout my brother Promzy leaving da legendary VIP group! I shud apply to replace him! Always wanted to be in that group! Lol! Chance”

He disclosed that he was stunned by how receptive fans were to the tweet. A few months on Reggie was announced the new member of the popular group VIP and renamed VVIP. The duo(Prodigal and Zeal) revealed that Reggie has been a long time friend and it was a privilege to have him join them. Their first track “Skolom” featuring Just Sena Dagadu made a hit and was later followed by Dogo Yaro, Alhaji, Selfie and many bangers.

As a multiple music award winner both locally and internationally, he has performed on several stages with international artists like Shaggy, Beenie Man, 2face Idibia and a bunch of others. 

In recognition of his contributions to the industry, Reggie was selected as a Judge for the maiden edition of the Glo X factor musical show. Reggie made history as the first African judge for the United Arab Emirates(UAE’s) ‘The One’ musical reality show in 2019.

Amid the fame and recognition, Reggie uses his massive following on social media to support new talents, creatives and throw spotlights on their works by reposting and doing purely humanitarian works, like donating to the orphanage with his wife Zee (daughter of the 3rd president of Ghana Dr Hilla Limann), helping the homeless to be enrolled in rehabilitation programs.

It is for no reason that Reggie is known as Grandpapa and you’d agree he’s lived up to all standards as a pioneer, and continues to pave the way for the younger folks sorely on humanitarian grounds.

A great philosopher once said, “life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘what are you doing for others’ ?

whilst folks keep debating whether Reggie invented Hiplife or not, that doesn’t really matter when the bigger picture is his humanitarian deeds.

Writer/Research :  Naa Atswei Afi Mawufemor

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