After Chance The Rapper landed in Ghana in January 2022, he and Vic Mensa developed one mission – to get others to experience what he had.
The nation and its people enamoured him. Their welcoming smiles, lifestyle, and embrace had him enthralled. To cap it all off, he found out his ancestor had journeyed to Ghana like he had and the traces he found was the highlight. He found a second home.
So deciding to make a mark in Ghana and inviting many of his colleagues on this journey was a seemingly easy decision.
In that same month, he announced he would host the Black Star Line Festival alongside Vic Mensa with whom he had explored Ghana. For Vic, he knew his roots. Koforidua was his hometown and he had already decided to make an impact on their lives there.
Fast forward, on November 21, he dropped the link for fans to apply for the tickets. Perhaps that was when it hit, the Black Star Line Festival was becoming a reality.
Yes, he may have revealed the list of acts prior – starring Erykah Badu, T Pain, Jeremih, Tobe and a host of others – but nothing is cast in stone and certainly there needed to be an incentive for people to perhaps trust in this dream.
So when stars started arriving ahead of the event, Ghanaians were ready for the showdown on Friday.
Start off with the entrance. Getting to the entrance was all well and good until you are met with a crowd of people all with valid tickets waiting to go in. The team had challenges validating tickets and that left a long line out of the square. Patrons were too close together – almost packed like sardines and sweating – waiting for their turn.
Revellers were willing to sweat, but certainly at the venue watching their favourite act perform, and not in a queue waiting to validate tickets. Eventually, they came up with a show-and-move method to keep the line moving faster.
The stage was a huge set up with two huge screens set up on both sides of the main stage aimed at making the show enjoyable for the audience that were as far back as the entrance of Independence Square.
Firsts up as advertised was rapper M.anifest from performing hits like Me Ne Waa, Clean and Pure to No Short Cuts to heaven and he never carried the audience with him throughout.
Meanwhile, there are always a number of artistes people underestimate – be it their craft or their influence. The power Asaaka Boys hold on many people was perhaps witnessed when they graced the stage in the ‘Okomfo Anokye’ gear.
From Jay Bahd to O’Kenneth, City Boy to Kwaku DMC every single individual in that group had something to offer. Perhaps their highlight was when Jay Bahd – seemingly rewarding the fans – threw his jacket to the crowd and the scuffle that ensued to see who would win felt like the survival of the fittest war.
Tobe Nwigwe may be a solo artiste but truly he’s a duet. The rapper is known to feature his wife numerous times and they have performed together so many times. The two had audiences who may not have known them until January 6, 2023, impressed with their show. Even six months pregnant, Martica ‘Fat’ Nwigwe was rapping and performing dance routines with squats.
RnB singer/songwriter came on stage with two dances in risque red outfits dancing on a stripper pole. Fans who know Jeremih were not surprised but the twerks and sexy dances plus the Jeremih hits got fans in their feels.
Vic Mensa, one-half of the headliners, was a fun act to watch. Fans had been anticipating his entrance hours earlier and were glad to have him on stage. Also, he dazzled many with his vocals, stunning the audience who had no idea he had such powerful vocals and could play the guitar as well.
Sarkodie always has the crowd go wild and his set at the Black Star Line Festival was no different.
T Pain was one of the acts many were anticipating. Nappy Boy, Buy You A Drink, 2 Step, All I Do Is Win, Booty Wurk, Bartender and all the classics
His occasional dance routines, – moonwalks, pop and locks and the 2000s dance style – were a delight to watch.
Erykah Badu was also praised by many as one of the best performances of the night, entertaining the audience with her best hit.
Co-headliner Chance The Rapper was the last act to make an appearance, treating fans to a delightful show.
Surprises? Yes, there were many. M.anifest first got fans all excited when he introduced the legendary Obrafour as part of the ‘No Shortcut To Heaven’ performance. Dave Chappelle came on stage to address the audience.
Popular American radio show host, Sway In The Morning also made it to the stage. He was ecstatic about his time in Ghana, eating Ghanaian foods, meeting different people among others.
Vic Mensa pulled up with Kwesi Arthur midway through his set and also Stonebwoy at the latter part of his performance. King Promise and Darkovibes graced the stage as well. Olu of Earth Gang performed with Tobe and Martica.
Highlife veteran and founder of the famous Okukuseku International Band, Abrekyireba Kofi Sammy was honoured at the #BlackStarLineFestival. The 82-year-old happens to be the uncle of the festival’s co-founder.
Aside from the delays in changing sets for artistes among other minor challenges, Black Star Line Festival delivered one of the best show Ghanaian have witnessed.
Many of the artistes including Jeremih, NSG, T Pain and Tobe were not only moved by the welcoming cheers of the audience but thanked Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa for giving them the opportunity to perform at the festival.