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In the eagerly awaited “Hennessy South Africa Cypher 2024,” Ghanaian rap legend Sarkodie delivered a scathing verse criticising the increasing power of big record labels in the African music industry.

The eight-minute-long cypher features six of Africa’s best rappers. Maglera Doe Boy (South Africa), Didi B (Ivory Coast), Young Lunya (Tanzania), Khaligraph Jones (Kenya), and Ladipoe (Nigeria).

When Sarkodie took his turn on the cypher, he proved his rap dexterity delivering an impeccable rap with a narration of his humble beginning of his music career.

The rapper also mentioned how record labels take advantage of musicians declaring his freedom and independence not to be under any label.

“I did this thing myself, I never messed with mages. They gave me documents like a thousand pages. I want my freedom because most of my homies are locked in cages. It’s been a decade, I’m rapping, I’m like the rock of ages,” Sarkodie raps, affirming his disapproval of signing on to record labels and highlighting the restrictions artistes face under label contracts.

The ‘Otan’ hitmaker further criticised how some record labels impede collaborations between artistes noting the cumbersome process and operations of record labels.

“It’s kinda strange how this music has changed from how it was. I need a verse from my bro, a couple calls. But now I need to speak to some dude cos he’s the boss. Split the publishing before we hit the stores,” he rapped.

However, Sarkodie acknowledged the accomplishments major labels have had in promoting African music throughout the world.

“I can’t hate cos it’s working, I see results. African music was buzzing but it couldn’t cross as soon as we signed the paperwork labels opened the doors.”

Finally, he likens the activities of these big international record labels to “fraudsters”.

“Now I see how y’all really move. Cos the same thing that fraud people do. Throw a couple dollars, cage you in a zoo.”