Dear Shatta Wale,
I love you. There; I said it.
Oh please, don’t get me wrong. I don’t love you in that way…like I go born for you or anything like that. I will only born for Prince – and possibly John Dumelo – but I would never born for you. No, no. My love for you is of the quality of the typical area boy/girl order. Like when they see you passing on the road minding your own business and your bottos is shaking and they grab your hand as you are carrying your basket of tin tomatoes that your mother has sent you for and they say “Oh sista! I love you!” And then when you bounce them, the boys tell you to “Komot for der! You think you be some fine gehl, eh?”
Except I am the area boy and you are the fine girl, and your music is the nice bottos.
Oh Shatta, I wish I had known earlier. Let me name drop small, eh?
I came to Ghana last year to do a joint reading of my book with Boakyewaa Glover, author of The Justice. It was a very cerebral affair, as you might imagine. There was wine and Fanta, drinks of the highest quality. One of our guests – a man who is simply known in town as KK – asked if we had any music: Shatta Wale in particular.
“Oh Chaley, you guys no get some Shatta Wale for here?” he asked. He was crestfallen when we told him no.
“Who is Shatta Wale?” someone in the room asked. KK raised his eyebrows in genuine surprise.
“Herh? Herh! Who is Shatte Wale?” KK was sputtering. His anguish was palatable. After he composed himself, he concluded his statement with a secret chuckle. You know the type of laugh your father does when he sees you playing the fool in front of the relatives who have come to visit from Kwadjokrom but he doesn’t talk because he knows he’s going to beat you later?
That was the manner of KK’s laugh. A twinkle in his eye betrayed his private thoughts. Oh you wait! You gon’ learn one day!
Well, one day has come. I have learned. I have discovered your magnificence for myself. I know the song is old kraa, but Dancehall King is my jam. Ah! Do you know I sourced six qualified resumes for my client in Amarillo, TX (some bush area bi) whilst listening to that song? It gave me such vim.
Oh Shatta. I haven’t felt this way about a reggae/ragga/dance hall artist since Shabba. It makes sense though. A Jamaican is nothing more than a Ga far from home. You are the connection between two countries, two cultures and one spirit. I’ll say it again: I love you Shatta! In fact, my appreciation for you is so deep that if my social circumstances would allow, I would emulate you in every manner. I would undergo a nostril widening procedure and stop combing my hair. But you see, I can’t…because marriage and motherhood. I can’t arrive at my PTA meetings looking like Shyaaaaatta Waaaaaaleeeee!!!!
Ok my sweet. I will see you in the future okay? I’m sure our paths will cross. Remember me in your dreams, dreams, dreams, dreams….