by: michael eli dokosi/ghana
Long before Pappy Kojo emerged with the realer-nu tag, there was C-Real the hip-hopper and em-CEO. Hip-hopper because that is the music genre he opts for and em-CEO because he aside rapping operates Osu based Mixdown studios which undertakes music production and execution of jingles for clients including Accra Brewery, Fidelity Bank, Tigo among others.
Although he might not be a household name, C¬-Real, birth name Cyril¬ Alex Gockel is a creative force and one who won’t let his gifts be caged. He is a Hip¬hop recording artist, voice-over artist, copy writer, entertainer, writer, poet and record producer. Even though being a hiphop artist in Ghana can be tough, C-Real believes he has made inroads given the genre he champions and use of English as his chief medium of expression on his tracks.
On his em-CEO album, Real reveals his multiple sides. On the ‘Radio’ track, Real indicates that he can leave folks shocked more than tragedy and very much at ease to employ words to great effect, he adds “I stay spitting sick but I never call an ambulance….hit you with a cool rock like an avalanche.”
He urges fans to listen to the realest show on the radio as he tires not seeking for better days despite sharks tiptoeing.
On ‘It’s a rap’; the em-CEO informs that hiphop comes straight from his core. Real blends impeccable English with Pidgin English to great effect indicating that he seeks to put Ghana on the map. He declares that he is a lyricist and once there is a beat be it ‘azonto’ or hiphop he was bound to deliver.
He rams into rappers who laze around not undertaking their 3rd verses stating that there is a reason why he dazzles and amazes anytime he mounts the stage.
C-Real shows his soft side on ‘Chill with me’ featuring Chase. The Mixdown boss notes that although he newly met his lady love they can’t stay separated stressing that there would be goodies as long as the love remains pure.
J-town features on em-CEO where Real mentions that haters are on his tail like the CID but he’s got shades so pays them no heed even as fans continue to scream em-CEO
On D.T.A which features EL, C-Real sprinkles doses of local languages Twi and Ga on the track as EL provides smooth as ice performance.
‘Kneel, pray, rise, conquer’ sheds light on C-Real’s poetic side. Acknowledging the presence of a supreme being Real offers a stirring performance:
I pray, I kneel, I rise- I conquer
I need to feel this pain- no longer
He’s been my saving grace-no wonder
I live to see this day
I pray, I rise- I conquer
Believe his ways are hard- to ponder
Believe the faith will guide the one that kneels to pray and rise- I dey conquer
Pouring his heart out, Real acknowledges that he’s had misplaced priorities putting premium on smoking, drinking, acquiring blinks and rims just to get another fling but now seeks those who love him honestly and earnestly as he is tired of the war, fights and bloodshed.
Mastering to mentally handle stress effectively the Project Hiphop Mixtape 2 soon followed and ‘Vantage Point’ featuring Stargo, Kojo Cue, Shaker, Gemini and EL is one for keeps.
Realizing that life was a blessing with many lessons, the Reigning Season mixtape was offered and on it, C-Real used the ‘It’s over’ track to address certain pertinent issues in the industry. According to Real, the industry is asleep, coiled up in the sheet with no idea of what really is going on in the streets contending that promoters try to get smart by scheming.
“Our music ain’t evolving, our lyrics ain’t involving, what we do is to celebrate mediocrity, mediocre recordings, miming and stand on stage doing the same thing and wonder why the fans ain’t amazed” he adds.
Real laments that while music folks in Ghana attempt to compare our music to the Nigerians, CD sales have fallen pitifully but since hiphop is on his shoulders and born to be a soldier, it ain’t over till it’s all over.
The ‘Opeimu’ hitmaker observes: “They say hiphop no get future, doug hiphop producers, do some azonto lets booze and dance but they listen to Jay Z, Drake, Lil Wayne and Birdman.”
On ‘Ayeeko’ C-Real touches on hardships in the system while applauding the industrious and ethical ones. He lambasts greedy relations, dishonest preachers, decries the high unemployment being experienced, corrupt practices and individual lapses while urging citizens to be patriots. He further decries improper waste disposal leading to the twin tragedy of the fire-floods on June 3.
One of the leading hiphop proponents in the country has some good videos to his credit. On ‘Opeimu’ featuring Manifest, Director Nana Kofi Asante with his NKACC unit do a decent job by capturing simple citizens engaged in their routine be it the barber, roasted plantain seller, fufu and soup provider, coconut seller or mechanics.
The video has a Gold Coast feel and the choice of the Republic Bar is most appropriate as photos of iconic statesmen including Nkrumah is captured. C-Real and Manifest do justice to the track and video.
On one of his greatest hits, features EL on ‘Hewale’ initially titled ‘Through the fire’. Director Pascal AKA opens the visual with an open space with men of fire beholding fire cans and a magician eating fire. Amid bonfires C-Real let it be known that even though he’s passed through fire he is still here. EL shows his class and does justice to his inclusion on the track with sublime singing.
The hustle guy scene involving C-Real in shorts and singlet pulling a truck and eventually discovering a buried microphone after digging makes for captivating viewing with crisp day shots, efficient night shots and appealing silhouette scenes.
‘In shine’, C-Real plays the part of a captured rebel who is whipped and publicly embarrassed to deter others from emulating him. Mixdown studio, Dreamweaver Entertainment and M.O.N.K films collaborate on this one. Panned shots involving Jamestown and the ocean are impressive.
Utilizing the disused fort/dungeon effectively a masked man who has the fate of Real the captured rebel in his hands orders that he be dished some beatings. Masked bulky men and fierce ladies play their part as chains are shackled to the ankles and hands of the rebel.
Real states his case: “Different mc, the kind that sees the future, the kind which respects producers, the kind you are not used to” he asserts. Naa Kwarkor provides support with her soulful singing.
According to C-Real he favours working with producers/artists such as Meek Mill, Rems, Jtown, EL, Dreed, Magnum and Slimbo because they appreciate his style while mentioning Jay Z, Nas and J-Cole as folks whose work he respects outside Ghana.
The 30 something year old man who has numerous 4syte music video nominations to his name noted that having been in the game for 5 years he knows success breeds enemies but he is very much on guard and that in another 5 years his name shall become a household one. Folks better watch out.
Enjoy ‘Hewale’ from C-Real: