The farthest an elder would see while sitting down, a child would not see even when standing on a hill – Akan Proverb
Nobody wants to be told what to do, even when they are knowingly cruising down the road of impending disaster. Ego and overt self-confidence could blind you into thinking whatever you are pursuing is right. When such events unfold, the only person with a speck in their eyes is often the one at the centre of the situation. So caught up are they in their own affairs that they fail to recognize their missteps or errors. It is rather those afar, armed with a panoramic view of unfolding events that could critique justly; helping the person to achieve more.
Experience is the gold of life accumulated overtime. And, sometimes placed at the doorstep of those who need them. Experience equips you with the right tools to make excellent judgements. Advice or opinions informed by experience sparkle like gemstones. I recall an interview where songwriter and singer, The-Dream told Kanye West and Jay Z to place the phrase “ball so hard” at the end of each bar during the recording session of their opulent, blistering and crowd-pulling record “Niggas In Paris”, off ‘’Watch The Throne’’ album. The “footnote” shared by The-Dream came from his wealth of knowledge and experience as a certified hitmaker and ace songwriter.
At his album listening session for “Eight Element” held a fortnight ago, rapper, singer and songwriter Trigmatic – whom we learnt is also a remarkable flute player – revealed how he forayed into the world of singing. Anyone who has heard Trigmatic (or Trig for short) would acknowledge the vocal abilities of the artist.
Across records like “Ajei”, “Motromodwo”, “My Life” and his version of Gyptian’s “Hold Ya”, Trig had shown he could sing as equally as he could rap. (On the night, we heard how Trigmatic ended up recording “Hold Ya”. Narrating the story, Joey B had downloaded the instrumentals of the song for his personal use. Trig found himself at the studio, heard the instrumentals and laid his verses to it).https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
Like it happens to most rappers, Trigmatic became friends with Tinny at a time when Tinny was, arguably the ‘best rapper alive’. Their love for music and appreciation of each other’s talent led to Tinny picking Trig as his hype man. Despite his rapping skills, Tinny never shared his stage with Trigmatic, let alone a feature on any of his records until later. According to Trig, the only condition he needed to satisfy to land a placement on a Tinny song was to switch from rapping to singing. But, this was not a condition Trig was ready to accept without a fight.
“I give praise to Tinny because, what most people don’t know is that I used to stay with him. And, i used to be his hype man. Tinny will tell you, ‘me I don’t share my stage’, so, I used to hide backstage. So, Tinny will always say, the only time I’ll feature you is when you start to sing… I’m not saying you are not a good rapper. All I’m saying is add a little bit of singing, and I know you can sing… I realized there was some truth when I tried” – Trigmatic.
Trigmatic, accepting the challenge from Tinny to develop his singing gifts despite the initial belligerence was his way to getting a spot on a Tinny record. That ambition was fulfilled when Tinny put him on the remix of both “Ringtone” and “I Need It”, the latter featuring Donae’O.
Tinny, the rapper – and now an elder statement was able to challenge, inspire and mentor a talent like Trigmatic to discover another layer in his toolbox that is serving him and enriching his music.
This Trigmatic – Tinny story cast a full beam on Tinny’s own career trajectory. Before he released his famous single ‘Makola Kwake”, Tinny was an upcoming rapper who wanted to follow the old template of rapping in the twi dialect. His desire was however, dimmed after Hammer (Last 2) advised against such a decision. In Hammer’s estimation, Tinny, a Ga, could not out-trap “born and bred” twi rappers who battle in the Last 2 colosseum like Obrafour, Dogo, Okra and more.
In an interview on Joy FM’s “Rhythms A-Z, Hammer revealed how difficult it was to convince Tinny, who then had recorded a full album in Twi to switch to rapping in his mother tongue of Ga. According to Hammer, Tinny, supported by his parents considered that decision like taking a plunge off a clip: a career suicide. The resistance against Hammer’s suggestion stemmed from the fact that Tinny had identified Hammer as the producer to shape his career and make him a superstar. So, imagine the shock when the producer told him to switch to a language that was just popular to a small group of people compared to the widely spoken Twi language.
Hammer would be vindicated in the end, following the successful reception of “Makola Kwake” – both as a lead single and an album. Tinny’s mastery of the Ga language soon brought him nationwide regard. He would go on to become the face of Ga music, handing the language a wider reach and noticeability.
One of the cardinal principles of life is the
never-ending act of learning. And out of the lessons learnt, one is able to
make sound judgments, impact others with lessons learnt and make life a little
better. Trigmatic might have struck an acquaintance with Tinny with the
intentions of getting a feature and kick-starting his own career. Little did he
know he’ll get something more than just a feature. Tinny, like Hammer, was like
the old man who inspired Santiago to go find this treasure in Paulo Coelho’s
masterpiece ”The Alchemist”. It’s interesting how history continues to
itself in many other ways.