The Film

Living the Hiplife is also a film.

This film is a musical portrait of street life in urban West Africa. It follows the birth of Hiplife music in Accra, Ghana, a mix of various African musical forms and American hip hop. Archival footage and hip hop music videos are remixed with interviews and the daily lives of rap artists. We follow Reggie Rockstone, the Godfather of Hiplife in the founding of the musical movement, as well as the Mobile Boys a group of aspiring rap artists as they try to make it in the music business. With humor and personality these characters move across the political and musical landscape of urban Ghana.


“…thoughtful and visually exciting at the same time. It is a musical documentary that gives a powerful sense of life in contemporary Africa.”
– John Akomfrah, Filmmaker

“…cleverly portrays contemporary West African expressive culture. It is especially important because it shows the importance of Pan-Africanism and African Diasporic artistic and political connections to people in Africa.”
– Chinua Achebe, Writer

“This film reveals for American and European audiences what is happening in the streets of Africa. It’s a really powerful film that documents a vibrant, yet sadly underreported part of the rap world.”
– Link Landvik-Larsen, Writer

“LIVING THE HIPLIFE captures the textures of West African music in a visually compelling bricolage. Its vivid characters have ambitions of fame and fortune that are contrasted with archival footage and the geographies of afro-cosmopolitanism.”
– Jyoti Mistry, Filmmaker

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