EDITORIAL: Why Do GH Musicians Still Use Dollars In Their Music Videos?

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The orientation of showering money in music videos to show opulence is actually a ‘Western thing’ – largely among Hip-hop artists. They shower dollars on themselves in their music videos and say, “Money ain’t shit.” Watch a music video of American rapper Rick Ross titled ‘Bill Gates’ below:

Africans are rich too – so there is nothing wrong if an African artist shows how rich he or she is in a music video by throwing monies about. However, the wrong is using dollars to do so – it should not be so.

I don’t ever remember watching Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Rick Ross, Chingy, Kanye West, and the likes, use Ghana Cedis, Naira, or CFA, in their music videos. Have you? In fact, hardly would an American musician flaunt Pounds Sterling in his/her music video.

American Rapper Rick Ross

I have seen dollars fly about in music videos of A-list musicians such as: Sarkodie, VVIP, Kwaw Kese, Okyeame Kwame, Castro, and of course the rookies follow suit. Watch a video of Okyeame Kwame’s ‘Sika’ music video below:

Justifying the use of dollars in Okyeame Kwame’s music video, the director, award winning Ohene Djan of OM Studio, shared the view that it is purposely used in order that foreigners can also relate to the video (culled from Modernghana.com, 1st Nov, 2012). In other words, we want to go international.

Video messages and visuals play a role in shaping the way we observe and execute daily activities. The reason being that videos communicate more effectively, and their contents are easily imitated – compared to listening to audios.

Who is to blame? Two outfits come in mind – Bank of Ghana and TV channel owners. The Governor of Bank of Ghana, about 3 years ago, came out to strongly warn any institution or individual who uses dollars, quotes amounts or charges anything in dollars, to desist! It’s obvious their lenses caught those in commerce and not the creative arts industry. They may crack the whip – since the practice persist in the creative art world too.

I will not consider it a stiff on Creative License should a Ghanaian TV channel insist that one of their requirements for accepting music videos is that it should not have the display of currencies other than Ghana’s certified Legal Tender – Cedis.

Then comes the second accused – the filmmakers. Unless there’s no rich man or baron in a Ghanaian movie – but if there is, be assured to see dollars in a briefcase. Do you know of any Hollywood or Bollywood movie in which you saw them use Cedis or Naira as props? If you know of any, kindly indicate in the comment blog.

Is this practice a big deal? Should we allow it to continue? Is it high time we condemn it? Well, we at Presspeep.com think it should cease – our artists and filmmakers should use our own legal tender- Cedis as props. Share a thought if you have any.