If D-Cryme had given up music after his nationwide hit “Kill Me Shy”, Ghanaians would still have remembered the Tema based rapper with reverence as we do Jay Dee of “Alampan” fame. D-Cryme’s stake in today’s music has not been as resolute as many would have hoped. He was tipped for greater things after earning his breakthrough: first off a feature and subsequently, a career defining single for which he would forever be remembered.
But, before the applauds, excitement, critical reviews and expectations for D-Cryme following the release of his ageless single where he beckoned ‘fellas’ to ‘sing this song to the one you love”, D-Cryme had shown his mettle on the rap show “Kasahari Levels” on the then Tema based Adom FM. (I think we should one day talk about the impact of Dr. Duncan and Kasahari Levels on the rap scene in Ghana). Despite being a talented battle rapper, the light-skinned rapper earned nation-wide recognition thanks to D-Black.
Prior to putting D-Cryme on, Desmond Blackmore aka D-Black, had achieved success off ‘’Target Practice’’, his joint collaborative album with Kwaku T; a pioneering figure in Ghanaian hip hop in 2008. The two had won awards and crossed over into other African countries, notably South Africa following the release of “Breathe” and “Move’’.
For all the criticism one would heap on D-Black (for his rapping abilities even though he has stated on numerous platforms that he is not a rapper in the sense of the word), we cannot deny the fact that he is one of the best A&Rs in the music game. The list of artists he has helped put on is quite impressive: D-Cryme, Joey B, Dee Money, DJ Breezy, Gafacci -to a degree. Granted, his rapping skill is not as impressive as his other colleagues, one thing is clear: he is good at identifying talents.
This attribute was demonstrated on the commanding “Get On The Dancefloor”, the song that announced D-Cryme to, as we say “the world”. You may be forgiven if you don’t remember D-Black’s rap performance on the E. L produced hip hop track. But, it would be a travesty for you to not remember that worthy performance by Darlington Kwasi Agyekum. He came off the blocks to prove himself: wow the listener, lyrically flex and showcase his ability to bend the beat to his own whim.
Not only did the diminutive rapper surfed over the beat, his delivery was classy: his ability to talk and rap at the same time was incredibly. He was confident; almost cocky in his delivery. His posturing on the record emitted that ‘I can do this rap thing in my sleep’ as he flip flopped on the beat like he was Simone Biles. D-Cryme also saw the opportunity presented as a way to forcefully sell Twi Pop, as a variant of hiplife he was championing. Unfortunately, the sub-genre lacked the impetus to survive largely to the short-lived career of its proponents.
“Get On The Dancefloor” was a hip pop-sounding record with an electrifying feel. The “to the fellas” chant bellowed by D-Cryme on the hook was an instant charm. The success of the record was not surprising considering the calibre of people who worked on it: E.L was arguably the hottest producer around 2011; D-Black was on a good run; and D-Cryme was the newest sensation. One cannot also discuss the success of the record without acknowledging the significant role of “Peer Pressure Boys” at that time. The “Peer Pressure Boys” consisting of D-Black, Kwame Fakye, Eddy Blay, Benny Blanco and more were prominent media guys who used their influence in both radio and TV to help their fellow member.
D-Black helped unhinged D-Cryme on us. The young rapper seized the opportunity to formally launch his own career with the infectious “Kill Me Shy”. Unfortunately, the bar he set for himself turned out to be his undoing. Sustaining the newfound fame through consistent and great music was a hurdle that the now 34-year-old rapper could not comfortably scale.
Despite releasing a couple of songs in recent times including the Sarkodie assisted “Koko Sakora”, D-Cryme is looking forward to that huge wave to surf. As time ticks and the years roll, and D-Cryme still dabbling in music- and a search for another national hit, we shall continue to remember him for his excellent, refreshing performance on “Get On The Dancefloor”. He got us all repeating his “rala lali o” ad-lib.