What do you get when you combine hip hop music with black consciousness? Emperor Seize Fyre!
If it’s not true that this music act is in a class of his own, then it is true that there are very few like him. The songwriter, rapper and poet infuses Rasta and African consciousness into his own blend of a pensive kind of hip hop which questions the misdeeds that abound in the world, and which is disconnected from the frivolities of the superstar life that many contemporary artistes embody.
Emperor Seize Fyre whose real name is Ellis Mfodjoe Torku, is a product of St Augustine’s college in Cape Coast, and started working at building his talent back in the day after his high school education, by performing on the few hip hop shows around at the time.
It was then that he discovered music as his career and turned to freestyle rap, studying African culture and history, and learning from the realities of life.
He was a founding member of the hip hop group Black Shaolin Monkz, who were probably the first group to release a hip hop album in Ghana called Mama Africa. That was somewhere around 2003. Seize Fyre’s presence and vibe on the 10-track cassette album, gave him his real introduction to the game.
He has since collaborated with artistes like Shasha Marley in the soundtrack ‘Cease Fire’ in which they both lament the decay, wars and power struggles that have engulfed the world and left many people dead and many others seeking shelter as refugees in other countries. In essence, Shasha and the Emperor call for peace and a ceasefire around the world as the song title says.
According to Emperor Seize Fyre, his music is about these seven principles: truth, righteousness, justice, order, balance, harmony and reciprocity.
“As the righteous African speaking truth always (RASTA), I use hip hop music in reconciling all the rivalry and gangs in the various genres of the music industry, to make it one strong voice for Africa: RAP or what I call Real African Power.”
As a conscious African, Seize Fyre is also involved in building bridges between Africans at home and in the diaspora. He is the leader of the group Holla Blak, a Ghana-based group of Africans from the motherland and the diaspora, mainly the United States of America.