The Hypemen Industry In Ghana
Just so you have a fair idea on what or who a hypeman is , they are the people who host events and make it a bop for everyone . An event won’t be an event without the hypman’s energy . These people bring the vibe . These people are the vibe . They are the life of the party . They hold events down . To me , they are the event .
A hypeman in football will basically be a number 10 . They are play makers . They are the system . They play the system and get everyone going .
From basic MCing back in the day , hypemanship has become a craft in the industry . You can’t talk about artistry without hypemen . Whether we like it or not , the hypemanship industry has become a go to spot for event organizers and planners worldwide .
Even though It’s been on the scenes for a long time , it’s still a growing industry especially in Ghana .
This article is aimed at shedding light on the hypemen industry in Ghana .
Truth be told , hypemanship isn’t a valued craft in Ghana . The Ghanaian entertainment industry has numerous industrialized sectors of entertainment under one umbrella but no one makes mention of Hypemen . It’s almost like they don’t exist .
To lay men , a hypeman is just some random person or an individual called to host an event and this person is obviously expected to make the event as lively as possible . Guess what ? After holding the event down for hours , this person gets paid with food , drinks and even if it turns out to be money , it’s definitely nothing to write home about .
Take it or leave it , the hypemanship industry’s major stake holders are the event organizers and promoters . These people know what goes into the craft and they should be in a better position to understand the value of Hypemen but they rather take advantage of their position and rip off the hypemen instead and this is unfair in my opinion .
Let’s say an event organizer or promoter puts together a show and books an artist as an headliner at 1:30 am . The show is probably going to kick start at 8pm . The hypeman is supposed to be there before the show starts . The DJ starts doing his thing and the hypman’s job is to make the crowd lit and hyped enough to build up towards the headline act . From 8pm the hypeman stays on his feet and does his thing for hours . The headliner comes on , shuts it down for 30/45 minutes and leaves with let’s say 5000 Ghana cedis . Regardless of the time , energy and effort , the hypeman will go home with about 300 cedis or less .
(The scenario above is to give you a fair idea of what I’m talking about).
One can also argue that , hypemanship isn’t taken seriously because these hypemen also downplay themselves sometimes .
Being a hypeman isn’t just casually showing up anymore . It’s now artistry and should be treated as such . Class attracts class . You don’t show up some type of way and expect me to treat you like an elite .
Look good , smell good , show up on time , build an aura . These are all elements of building a brand . It’s not just about getting the party going . Build a brand as a professional hypeman . Invest in yourself and craft . Develop a character about your brand that boasts of quality .
Look into the tech side of brand growth . We’re in a day and age where social media is the bomb . People are even getting employed based on their social media following . They might not even be skilled as you are but their social media following gives them a lift you certainly can’t reach . Go on social media and boost your following .
Hypemen as a collective ought to come together and develop a working system . There should be atleast a club or an association for hypmen . Helping each other grow won’t hurt . It’s better to move together than each person trying to strive on their own . When everyone sees an hypeman he sees an individual he can rip off without any consequences . If you had a working structure maybe with that you might be taken seriously .
Hypemen should be able to stand their grounds . This brings me back to brand building and hypemen coming together to have a working structure and system .
Do everything to elevate and protect your brand and in doing so , you’ll automatically eliminate any type of disrespect . You can’t result to anything mediocre as a brand . If you have a working system , you can charge almost as artist do . You can even charge per hours or minutes so when one wants to solicit your services , they know what they’re in for .
Walk away if you feel the deal isn’t right .
Promoters bring people from UK and all over to host shows and flop and still pay them huge sums of cedis but will choose to pay a Ghanaian with item 13 , drinks and petty cash . As long as you feel you’re capable of giving an A-list service , don’t look back . There will always be that “if you don’t accept this amount , I’ll get some to do it for me cheaper” . Let them go for inferior . It’s at their own risk . You’re a top notch brand and see yourself as such . It’s business . If you don’t value your brand but you expect me to? No please . I see you how you want to be seen . As I said earlier , class attracts class.
Hypemen ought learn how to be diverse and mobile with their craft by collaborating with Dj’s and mainstream musicians . Lil Jon was a mere hypeman in the US but became a worldwide sensation due to his involvement in mainstream music . He collaborated with numerous artists and made appearances in music videos and with the blink of an eye , he was signing multi-million brand ambassadorial deals some musicians hadn’t received at the time . That’s how far you can go with this and even further . The collaboration will help elevate your brand as a hypman and atleast the recognition will be there since you are affiliated with a mainstream artist .
I’ve witnessed hypemen being solicited for by very big cooperate bodies and they pulled it off . This industry doesn’t need only the help of artist , branding and promoters to thrive . They need the entire entertainment industry to accept them as an existing brand and acknowledge their presence in the industry . It should be recognized and acknowledged as a form of artistry . Some people are hypemen for a living . They do this and nothing else .
My take on being a hypeman in Ghana is , it’s a growing industry still in its baby-step phase. It’s come a long way from the Rooteye’s , K.O.D’s and Co . Now we have the likes of Kojo Manuel and Sheldon The Turn Up doing their own thing . The future looks exciting despite its challenges . I hope this exciting industry thrives and continues to elevate from what it is now .