Climbing from underground music to mainstream music is a herculean task that has eluded many great music talents. But Rudebwoy Ranking is one of the few who have chalked that feat and has even gained recognition as a king in the dancehall fraternity.
He wears a fearful image that hides his face and in this exclusive interview, he talks to NEWS-ONE about his career, management and other attention-grabbing revelations about himself.
Why are you called Rudebwoy?
Because my lyrics are somehow rude sometimes. So I am a bad boy with my lyrics but I am also climbing and I am ranked as a king; that’s why I am called Ranking, which means ‘Ranked as King’. I am not that rude; just some of my lyrics. I am called Rudebwoy because of my lyrics.
But why should you write rude lyrics?
It is a dancehall thing. Not extremely offensive but the normal vibes in our dancehall thing.
You look fearful.
That is my brand. It makes me easily recognised so that when you see my image even in the dark you can easily make me out. My music needs to have an easily recognisable face to it and my looks help me achieve that. I have planned for this from day-one because I knew from day-one. I have always known I would get here and go further so I decided to start something that would make me stand out.
How long have you kept this?
Five years. No razor has touched my hair since then. I maintain it very well and I costs money.
About 400 per month.
Do you smoke?
Yes, I smoke.
What do you smoke?
I smoke anything ‘smokable’.
Why do you smoke?
I don’t know why but it is the system. That is what we see around. Once there are ‘smokable’ stuffs in the system and I see them, I smoke them just like all others are smoking what you see them smoke.
Are you a Rastafarian?
I can say so. I am truthful, simple, clean-hearted and I wear dreadlocks. I am positive.
How do you control your female fans who fall in love with you?
I do my best but my female fans know who I am and they know they cannot fall in love with me because I am Rudebwoy. They know I am not ready for them because I am concentrating on my career.
So you don’t bonk?
I do. I have good s*x. I have side chicks but they do not fall in love with me.
How many side chicks do you have?
How long have you been in music?
For a while now but I took it seriously six years ago. Before that I was still learning.
Six years with no breakthrough song you can brag of?
I can brag with almost all my songs and I am proud of what I am doing. I am proud of my works and I can mention ‘Don’t Cry’ and ‘Smoke My Sorrows’.
You are big in the ghettos and on the streets; when are you getting on the big stages?
I am there because I am playing the big stages. I have played Tigo Unplugged, the S-Concert, Saminifest, Alkaline, Sarkodie’s album launch and several other big stages. But I agree that my songs need some more radio play and I think the radio presenters and DJs can support me in that regard. I agree I need that support.
Are you signed on to Bullhaus?
Yeah, somehow. We have been working for a long time so signing or not signing does not mean I am not under Bullhaus. I have been under Bullhaus for a long time and the support they have given me has been great.
What are you doing under Bullhaus when all the past artistes walked away from them? Shatta, Nii Soul, IWAN, Natural Face, VIP…
Different people make different choices. The names you have mentioned made their own choices. I am different from them and I have made my choice to stay. I was in the ghettos when the Chief Executive of Bullhaus came to me with a proposal that they wanted to manage my talent and I jumped at it. So far, it has been very great and I can see the work they have put in me. If we keep on working this way, I can’t see myself parting ways with Bullhaus.
What has changed in your career since you started working with Bullhaus?
A lot. I have shot videos for my songs. Before then, I did not have a music video. I have also had opportunities to work with big artistes like E.L, Shatta Wale, Episode, I Wan, Ras and others and it is because of the Bullhaus platform. My fan base has increased and my image has become more visible all through Bullhaus. I am also learning more about music and in the future, I may have to even drop ‘Rudebwoy’ and maintain just Ranking.
What is this rivalry between you and Shatta Wale?
It is not real and it is just at the fan base level because I do not have any problem with Shatta. When Shatta and Bulldog had a problem, many people took sides. The fact that I am working under Bulldog made some of Shatta’s fans to dislike me and that was how it started. But as artistes, we are okay and that perception is also changing. I am doing my best to do good music to appeal to all.
Have you started making money?
Yes. Since I started working with Bullhaus.
But I hear that company cheats artistes and uses the money for Togo jeans.
Hahahaha. What is Togo jeans? …I know about jeans and we can wear any jeans so I am not sure what Togo jeans is. We have not had problems with money. Music is all I do and that is where I get my money from. I have never lacked and complained. I am satisfied.
What has helped you back from being at the top? Let’s say among the top five dancehall artistes in Ghana.
When you talk about dancehall artistes in Ghana now, I am among the top five acts. Samini, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy, myself and I would say big ups to Episode. We are talking about artistes working hard and dropping songs but not those who drop one song per year. We need busy artistes like Episode is doing now and I would say big ups to him and Samini, Shatta, Stonebwoy and myself. Top five.
What are you working on now?
My album, Real Dancehall Elevation Time. We hope to launch this year. It has songs that talk about the youth, corruption and songs you want to hear forever. It has very major hits.
Any message to your fans?
Let’s be positive and peaceful.