From the US and UK, drill has spread to Ghana, where it provides a voice for the excluded. On the streets of Kumasi, the scene’s MCs tell their story
Ahead of a music video shoot on a leafy street in Kumasi, Ghana’s second city, Yaw Tog and his friends lounge on a kerb. Passersby approach the teenage star for pictures. “Fame is crazy, it came almost overnight,” he says. “I’m proud because I had a vision of what I wanted to do and I did it. Now we’re here.”
A year ago, the 18-year-old could move between classes relatively unnoticed around his high school campus, but his thin and unassuming figure is now impossible to hide. Yaw Tog, currently finishing his exams, is one of the most popular MCs emerging from the city’s booming asakaa scene – a Ghanaian take on the drill subgenre of rap that has earned the city’s young artists thousands of fans around the world.