SLIM BADEK EXET, HIP HOP ARTIST WITH A DIFFERENCE
Interviewed by Ghanatta Ayaric (editor of BULUK)
Buluk: Slim, thanks for agreeing to do this interview. It’s the first of its kind and Buluk is particularly delighted to be getting some insights into your life and career for our readership. Now, tell us about yourself. When, where and into which family were you born?
Slim: I was born September 26,in Fumbisi, to Madam Gifty Afoko, making me an Afoko. I moved to Sandema before I was even a year old, so I am, basically, a BULBIIK, hahahaha
Buluk: How did you get your names, Slim Badek Exet? I guess Badek is derived from Abadek (literally translated “themselves”). Explain.
Slim: Badek is a name I adopted from the name Akandlugbadek meaning "we don’t choose our destiny". As for Slim and Exet I’d leave it for another day.
Buluk: Did you go to school in the district, if yes, when and which schools?
Slim: Yea, I went to day nursery at the community centre in Sandema and moved to Navrongo to start primary school but I returned to Sandema to do primary 1 and 2 at the preparatory school which used to be at the old court.
Buluk: Do you still remember some of your teachers? Did you have a favourite teacher? Why did you like him?
Slim: I can’t remember any of my teachers from Sandema, but I remember a name like teacher Abudug, I don’t know if it was a person, but we used to sing a song, "Teacher abudug cola masa”
Buluk: What of childhood friends, school and classmates? Are you still in contact with some of them?
Slim: I didn’t have many friends that were close to me, but I had; Martin, Garvin, Willie and Jonathan as my friends and we are great friends till today.
Buluk: Do you remember any anecdotes or funny stories, incidents of your school time in the district (Sandema)?
Slim: I was much of the reserved type, loved to play but never got into trouble, but I do remember them picking me up at the police quarters because I could roam a lot. Hahhaha, and ohhh, I loved grains, especially the ones on the ground in the market.
Buluk: What was school like in your time, and what, in your opinion, has changed since then?
Slim: Life was less sophisticated but now absolutely sophisticated. School was passion, but now it appears money is passion
Buluk: You are based in Accra. Are you still in contact with people at home, and how often are you there?
Slim: No mincing of words, but I haven’t been home in about 3years, but I stay in touch with my friends and family.
Buluk: Did you have any role models while growing up? Are there any Bulsa among them? If yes, who, why are they role models for you?
Slim: Until recently I never believed in the concept of role models, so No, I didn’t, but now I do, just that the person is a Nigerian. Pastor Ogochukwu Nweke.
Buluk: What do you find good about Bulsa society today – traditional life (chieftaincy, ancestor worship, customs and traditions, Fiok festival...), modern life (infrastructure – roads, schools, hospital, health centres..... , politics, economics, educated Bulsa and their role in the development of the district...).
Slim: I love the Fiok, it appears it’s the only time people come together but when it comes to the rest, there’s too much division, but I believe my generation will fix these problems.
Buluk: What do you find bad about Bulsa society? What do you criticize about the current state of affairs in the district?
Slim: The fact that a chief died five years ago after having ruled for over seventy years and they just went about his funeral as if he was a nobody, and they still can’t find a successor. Are we serious? We can make so much noise about Azantilow and Buluk based on his funeral, but no, people sit and let power hungry elders and politicians influence their sense of judgement. Pathetic, very pathetic.
Buluk: Now lets talk about your career as a hip hop artist. You’re probably the first Bulsa hiphop artist. Why did you choose this branch of entertainment (how did you get into hip hop), and how did you start off, generally?
Slim: I naturally fell in love with hip hop, I grew up in a home where every genre of music was played so long as it was good, so I listened to a lot of genres but fell for hip-hop and started recording in 1999 just when I entered secondary school, but things didn’t work out, then I started recording again in 2002 but somewhere along the line I had to stop. So in 2009, I met one Obed Otoo, a sound engineer, and we immediately had a vibe and decided to record. That’s how I started recording again.
Buluk: I notice you keep strictly to the original name hiphop when you talk about your music, and not hiplife, the Ghanaian version of hiphop. What’s your reason for this?
Slim: I could have said hip life, but everybody is trying to come up with a genre so I decided to stick to the original genre. Hip-hop will always be hip-hop, it doesn’t matter what language you rap or sing in.
Buluk: Do you have big names in hip hop which you can say influence (d) you?
Slim: Most of the hip hop acts I listen to don’t do mainstream hip hop, but I can say, CANIBUS, IMMORTAL TEKNIK, TALIB KWELI, NAS and WU-TANG are my main influences.
Buluk: What’s the hip hop scene in Ghana like? You are an insider and I guess you know more about it.
Slim: Hip hop in Ghana is getting better, but for my sudden switch to doing Christian Hip-hop, I don’t know how its going to go down, but I do believe my God wont let me down. Hip-hop is perceived as a devilish culture
Buluk: You rap mainly in English, but you’ve done a tune in Buli, too. Do you plan doing more tunes in Buli?
Slim: Yea, of course I want to do a lot more in Buli, but like I said it would be Christian based now.
Buluk: What do you rap about, and who do you address in your tunes?
Slim: I used to rap circular but now that I am in Christ, I guess you know what I would mostly be rapping about.
Buluk: Most hip hop videos focus on the bling bling world; money, riches riches, flashy cars, gold chains, frivolously dressed big-busted butt-shaking girls, sex..... Why do you think these subjects are popular among hiphop stars?
Slim: It’s a perception to think that hip hop texts have to be profane, no profanity no hip hop, but I am going to make a difference.
Buluk: Do you do live concerts? Where do you do these? Do you have a manager or do you do everything on your own?
Slim: I haven’t done any concerts, I was planning a concert for the Fiok but my faith suddenly changed and I decided against doing circular music, so am sure to be on stages as soon as am done with the gospel album.
Buluk: How has the resonance to your music and concerts been so far?
Slim: Well, lets wait for this album.
Buluk: Would you say you are a professional hip-hop artist in the sense that you live on your music?
Slim: Hahahaha. No I work 2 jobs and go to school, I also do some part-time farming, so I live on what God supplies me. Maybe someday hip-hop would bring money, but I don’t need money, I need to see all of mankind embrace God amidst plenty to eat. So if I make money, trust me, more than half would be for charity.
Buluk: What, as a hiphop artist, are some of your objectives? Simply put, where do you want to get to in hip hip music?
Slim: Music they say is a developmental tool, right? Ok. Then I want to use skill and good lyrics to change the world.
Buluk: What are some of the problems that you face in your branch of entertainment?
Slim: For now I can say it’s all about money and people expect too much of you and the girls just won’t let you breathe, they assume you are like the other guys. But there’s so much God in me I seek righteousness.
Buluk: What has been your greatest success so far as a hip hop artist?
Slim: I will say to have recorded 15 songs and thrown them away for God.
Buluk: Which Bulsa songs do you know (or like)?
Slim: Hahahahah. I can’t sing them, but the folk songs we used to have during stories.
Buluk: Are you conversant with the music of Bulsa musicians like Charles Taylor (one of the Wiaga blind singers), Apolnya, Kwame Aboalik......? What do you think about their music?
Slim: I know Kwame Abolik and listened to a lot of Apolinya. I like Apolinya’s music, but I think I would have loved Kwame’s songs if he fused a little traditional Bulsa rhythms in it. I don’t know the rest but I’m going to find them.
Buluk: Apart from hiphop what other kinds of music do you like and normally listen to?
Slim: I love very good lyrical content, so I listen to any song with good lyrics, it doesn’t matter the genre.
Buluk: What else do you do apart from music (working, studying....)?
Slim: I work as a video editor with a TV station and a real estate company and I’ve just started some farming, whilst pursuing a degree in strategic communication at African University College of Communication
Buluk: What are your plans for the future?
Slim: Three months back I would have said, commercial school, law, and politics, but now its GOD, GOD, GOD.
Buluk: What are the three most important wishes in your life?
Slim: To see Buluk turn into a paradise, to see the whole of Buluk accept Christ and to just be a blessing onto the world.
Buluk: If you had one free wish, what would you wish?
Slim: Let no one be hungry in Buluk
Buluk: Is your music available on youtube or on other internet portals? If yes, which ones?
Slim: Yes for now, but I’ll be taking them off soon. Just type Badeksandema on youtube.
Buluk: Slim, we thank you for this interview.