Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa launched the inaugural edition of their Black Star Line festival in Accra, Ghana over the weekend with an all-star concert featuring sets from Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle, T-Pain, Jeremih, Sarkodie, Tobe Nwigwe, Asakaa Boys and M.anifest.
According to a release, Friday night’s festival drew 52,000 fans to historic Black Star Square, the monument to Ghanians becoming the firs Sub-Saharan African country to free itself from colonialism in 1957.
“The Black Star Line Festival is more than just a celebration of Black culture and music, it’s a chance for the Diaspora to come together as a community and remind ourselves of the power that lies within us,” Chance said in a statement.
“It’s an opportunity to honor the legacy of those who came before us, and to inspire and uplift each other. It’s a historic event and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the Black Star Line Festival.”
The festival’s title was inspired by civil rights leader Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line, which was founded in 1919 and operated by Black people who helped link global shipping and tourism opportunities between America, the Caribbean and Africa.
The weekend of events included conversations with Mensa and Chance, skate sessions and other art and cultural gatherings around town, as well as the jam-packed concert that had the acts performing on a stage featuring a gigantic black star front and center.
Garvey also inspired Chance’s music video “YAH Know,” featuring King Promise, and his upcoming album Star Line Gallery, which is expected for release this year.
It was an epic night of hip-hop music as American music stars rocked the maiden edition of the Black Star Line Festival held in the capital of Ghana, Accra.
The free open-air music concert was the climax of a week-long festival that saw Chicago-based Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper hold a series of activities to rally the diaspora to contribute their skills and capital to the development of Ghana and Africa.
Grammy-award-winning rapper T-Pain was one of the top performers on the night, having dazzled the crowd with his intriguing dance moves as well as some global hit songs.
Some of the songs T-Pain performed on the night included “Buy You a Drink,” “Booty Work,” and “Bartender,” among many others, but it was his famous chorus on DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” that sent thousands of fans banging up and down.
American singer and songwriter Jeremih, a 2016 Grammy winner for Best R&B Performance, delivered a masterclass performance with some soothing vocals that kept the massive crowd lively with his dancers thrilling patrons with some wild dance moves.
American rapper and singer Tobechukwu Dubem “Tobe” Nwigwe stepped on stage with his six-month pregnant wife Martica as they both lit up the Black Star Square with some intriguing performances.
Sarkodie made sure Ghanaians were not left out of the party as he demonstrated his ruthless rap vibes on stage.
Ghana’s most decorated rapper and the self-acclaimed “Landlord” of Ghana music had little to do, as the crowd kept the energy alive by singing most of his songs verbatim.
Vic Mensa, who was one of the brains behind the festival, also wowed the crowd with some amazing tunes as he brought Ghanaian reggae and dancehall artiste Stonebwoy and Afrobeat star Kwesi Arthur on stage as surprise artistes. Stonebwoy, as usual, did his thing on stage with a thrilling performance as he amped up the crowd with some banging tunes, likewise Kwesi Arthur.
Performances for the concert, which started around 19:30 GMT on Friday and ended around 5:30 GMT the next day, witnessed performances from the likes of M.anifest, Obrafour, King Promise, Darkovibes, and the Asakaa Boys, who brought a different vibe to the stage, dressed in the beautiful traditional custom.
American singer-songwriter Erykah Badu, who was the last but one artiste to mount the stage, treated patrons with some soothing vocals while Chance The Rapper finished the show with some good performances.