Hiplife Grandpapa Reggie Rockstone has said he is on pension and only enjoying the benefits of what he toiled for years ago.
Reggie Rockstone (RR), in an exclusive interview with celebrated presenter Eddy Blay (EB), host of Xclusive; a television magazine program on MetroTV, also spoke on how Glo has been a blessing to Ghanaian musicians and why he insists Ghana does not have a music industry.
Mr. Rockstone, what’s new and how have you been?
RR- Well I’ve been making babies, new friends, a whole new flock of fans and reading a book on Hip Life with me on the cover (written by an international author). Hmm, what else is new? Oh yea, Glo dough!
How’s Glo treating you?
RR- Glo is great! I respect them not only for the money, but also for the fact they can look out for people like us when nobody else would.
I can sit with legends like Gyedu Blay Ambolley, Pat Thomas, Papa Yankson and the like, knowing that Ghana hasn’t really checked out for them, but someone can put money in their bank accounts and make sure they are good, and recognize them for their achievements. Glo has really done well for that.
How’s the industry now? Do you think things are going well?
RR-You still don’t have an industry, you have a music scene. An industry is “industrialized”. As it stands we don’t have our PR or royalty system worked out the way it should be.
The whole set up is still not properly defined. But I’ll leave that to Obour, the president of MUSIGA, you interview him.
Would you consider yourself an active player on the scene now?
RR-I am because I have a domicile that caters for young folks that listen to the very music that is part of the so-called industry.
I’m actually one of the first, with the exception of Gyedu Blay and Amakye Dede, to build a place where young folks can congregate and listen to this music form, be it Hip Life or Azonto, or even Hip Hop.
So yea, I’m still in the cut and actively participating to help grow our music.
Would you say this is how you imagined your career would turn out when you started many years ago?
RR-Well an imagination runs with a pair of Nike sneakers on, so of course the answer would be “not really”. Of course I imagined that I would own a yacht and probably be the best rapper ever, you know.
Nevertheless, I’ve been alive to see my children grow nicely, and Sarkodie and the rest stand on platforms to make Ghana proud.
I never thought my story would be so important to so many, and provide the opportunity for them to change their lives.
I never thought I’d be on AJ Jazeera, Wikileaks or on the cover of books.
So I have everything to be thankful for and no regrets, well except for the fact that I should have patented the term “Hip Life“, then I would have really been paid. But that’s a joke. The term is generic, and I’m just happy to have been of service.”
Hip Life” belongs to the people. I’m just happy that in the absence of my father, I’m still here, with a great family, and having a ball!
You are having a good time, aren’t you? Club owner, entrepreneur, Glo Ambassador, Living Legend, things are not too bad, are they?
RR-Things are not even half bad (laughs). Remember I’ve been through the bad times, man! I recall when I was broke as the bus brakes and my house had no electricity.
And that’s when I was most famous, if you can believe that! So I love this line from LL Cool J. He said you’ve got to “bow out gracefully”.
He also said “I will go out like an old battleship”. That’s exactly what I did, still being able to inspire these kids.
Are you happy with the way things have turned out on the music scene?
RR- Yes and no, but the good will take care of itself, so it’s the bad that we need to work on. For example “payola” is still around.
I’ve been fighting it all my life, and it still exists on all levels, we’re just on the bottom.
“Payola” is just another form of corruption, and not to be negative, but it might never go away. But we must still fight against it.
How much of a “hands on” boss are you at your club?
RR-Well I have a partner, which is my wife, and we play the “good cop, bad cop” routine. I have the people skills, and wifey’s about counting the money, making sure we’re making the right investments.
This way I’m allowed to stay being “Reggie”, shaking hands, and host my customers, etc.
What are the most important things in your life right now?
RR-That would have to be me, because if I don’t take care of me, I can’t pull these moves to look after those I love. Family is mandatory, man, it’s biblical.
You see how well I treat my friends so imagine how important my family is to me. The family tree is very big and extended, and full of love. Friendship is very important too. At my age, I have a lot of friends that are younger than me, but that’s just how my life is.
You’re very active on the Social Media, aren’t you?
RR-Well I wasn’t always a “Social Media” guy. I was introduced to Twitter by a close friend of mine, DJ Rab, and I just ran with it. It just reflects on who I am in real life.
If you talk to me, I will talk back, and that’s what I do on Twitter as well. Negative or positive, I will respond.
How do you spend your free time?
RR-Well you know, really I’m a pensioner. I don’t really do too much. All the things that I’ve invested in over the years are paying me back, so I just sit back and have fun with it.
I’ve always been a lucky guy, and I’ve got “hustler genes” in me from my father. I’ve got my highs and lows, but I’ll always walk with my head up.
Broke or rich I’ll always stand proud of who I am. It’s a blessing. Originally I was meant to be an actor, since I went to film school.
I love the movies, and someday I might go into film as well. I still remember my Martial Arts training which could come in handy in an action role (laughs).
If you have a rapper that knows Break-dance, Martial Arts and jokes, you might have a winner on your hands.