Kumerica: What is it and is it Worth the Hype?


Kumerica is America in Kumasi. Living the life of a black American in the streets of Kumasi, Ghana. Kumerica stems from the love of young black Americans for music, fashion and the ‘never give up’ hustle-hard lifestyle adopted by creative young folks in the capital of the Ashanti region of Ghana.

Kumarican Flag
The Kumerican Flag

What is Kumerica? The Ideology and Message

Kumerica is literally an ‘Americanised’ Kumasi.

If there’s ever an ‘America Dream‘, Kumerica is the ‘Kumasi Dream’ for many young people in this amazing city.

It is more of an ideology than just a combination of two names. It is a mindset. And Kumerica is the message. 

Oseikrom is a land of possibilities. In Kumasi, we create our version of everything. Just about anything you can think of.

Also Read: Oseikrom: What’s Story Behind the Name?

And don’t get it twisted, It is.

Let me explain.

First, let’s look at the American Dream:

This is how the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the American dream:

“: a happy way of living that is thought of by many Americans as something that can be achieved by anyone in the U.S. especially by working hard and becoming successful with good jobs, a nice house, two children, and plenty of money, they believed they were living the American dream.”

This is how I define the Kumerica Dream:

“Because it is a great way to live. You get to choose your life. The Kumerica dream is the individual vision for how life could be. Call it the pursuit of happiness as written in the faces and attitudes of Kumasi People. You can choose your career, the lifestyle you want to live, where you want to live, one of the three, two of the three, or three of the three. There is no guarantee you will get everything you want but at least you get the chance”.

This is a variation of the American dream by a Quora forum contributor, Thomas Harvey and I’ve tweaked it to fit the Kumerica bill. Perfect, and I love it.

For those who don’t know the Kumerica ideology, there it is for you.

What is the meaning of Kumerica? The Story Behind Kumerica…

Kumrica vibes
Welcome home to possibilities

Kumasi and America – these two words make “Kumerica”. 

Kumasi is the Capital city of the Ashanti Region in Ghana.

During the Covid lockdown in 2020, social media and for that matter the internet was everybody’s refuge. That was where the news was. That was where everybody converged to console ourselves of a dreadful pandemic.

And then BOOM!

Unknowingly, the “Yɛbɛ sɔree – yɛn wu” sound hit us like a rocket.

A hip-hop genre ‘drill music’ from a group of young men mostly from Santasi (Santamerica) a suburb of Kumasi hit Twitter.

It was raw but deep.

It was sensational and full of energy.

It was the Kumasi creative spirit on steroids.

“Yɛbɛ sɔree – yɛn wu” translates as “We’ll rise – we won’t die”.

What a timing for such an empowering message! You couldn’t stop yourself from enjoying it. It came with some surreal feeling inside of you.

Most importantly, they were not scared to sell their background to the world. We are from Kumasi – we are Kumerican – we are Ghanaians and we’re proud of ourselves and our music.

The original which is associated with the now popular “Yaw Tog” who was in high school by then was done in a ‘drill music – rap’ format with a few other young men “Asakaa Boy”.

That was their journey to fame.

And that was the world’s acknowledgment of part of the Kumasi lifestyle, the depth in creativity, the care-free-never give up spirit, the Kumasi Dream exhibited through music.

Who are the People behind Kumerica?

Good question: Kumerica is an ideology and a message, not just a movement.

In fact, there’s no such thing as people behind Kumerica. It’s the attitude of a group of people – call it the Kumasi Dream.

Of course, as alluded to earlier, it became an internet sensation after Yaw Tog and the Asaka boys ‘Yɛbɛ sɔree’ song. But the lifestyle has always existed and metamorphosized a number of times over the years.

It was “AKATA” then, it is “KUMERICA” now.

Notable Names who championed the Kumerica rave

This list is not limited to these names, there are many I might not know or have forgotten. In fact, most of the groups are young people from Santasi, Tafo, Krofrom, Ashtown, etc. Here are some young musicians and groups who shared their creativity with the world the Kumerican way:

  • Yaw Tog
  • O’Kenneth
  • Jay Bahd
  • Reggie
  • Ypee 
  • Oseikrom Sikanii
  • Kwaku DMC 
  • Kawabanga
  • Blaq Foreigner
  • Phrimpong
  • Armani Sossa
  • Bra Benk 
  • David Germain 
  • Obey
  • Portfolio MC
  • GAK 
  • Phaize

Kumerica Groups

  • Oseikrom Migos
  • Akatafuo group (Akata Boys)
  • City Boys 
  • Asakaa Group

Who started Kumerica in Ghana?

Nobody started or founded Kumerica – it is a message.

However, the name Kumerica was adopted by a number of young people from the city of Kumasi who continue to exhibit their music prowess and talent with raw videos on social media.

The internet in its response refers to them as Kumerica or Kumericans due to their mannerisms mimicking those of the rap musicians in America.

Why is Kumasi called Kumerica?

After the internet sensation of young people showing up and exhibiting their music talent in videos, especially on social media, the term Kumerica was born. And by the law of association, people referred to Kumasi as Kumerica.

These are young men and women who notwithstanding constant internet trolls and shaming produced decent and innovative sounds.

And they never hid where they came from. We are from Kumasi. And if that makes you want to puke, listen to good music.

Also Read: Kumasi Definition: What’s the Meaning of Kumase?

The Kumerican Lifestyle

Almost every young man who grew up in Kumasi knows about ‘Akata’.

Akata over the years has gone through a lot of branding. Some good – some not so great. So the idea of living in the hustle mode like a black American in Kumasi is not new.

Kumerica rave started online – on social media, Twitter to be precise. And it started with one of the strongholds of the ‘Akata lifestyle’ – music.

This time round drill music.

At a time everybody was getting used to the never-ending, fear-mongering and boredom of COVID19 and its accompanying lockdowns and social distancing.

What is Drill music

It is a hip-hop genre that is more relatable and tells a story. Normally a group of young people rapping with stories or a message in turns.

There are two areas that have championed Drill music extensively over the years. There is the original “Chicago drill music‘ and the ‘UK Drill‘ on the other side.

This is what a Quora contributor has to say about the appeal of drill music and I think he does justice to it. Let’s listen to Dave Setchell a former Programmer’s perspective:

Question: What is the appeal of drill music?

“I imagine it’s much the same as any music tbh, some people like Jazz, some hate it. The same goes for pop, rock, glam rock, punk, classical, etc, etc…

I think a lot of the appeal for those that like it, other than the beats, etc is the fact that the lyrical content is reflective of their lives on the streets of the cities in which these people live. I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about it, but from what I’ve read is that it was started in the US (Chicago) by a new generation of rappers who were still living in relative poverty. Whereas the mainstream rap of the time tended to have lyrical content that was focused on being wealthy, and having made it in the music industry, etc.. and no longer reflected the struggle of living in the poorer areas of US cities, and the life that comes along with that – drugs, violence, prostitution, etc…

When looked at like this, it should be easy to understand why a homeless, or not-so-well-off rapper living in a poor neighbourhood isn’t rapping about having a private jet, and a luxury lifestyle. It’s just not what they see, and deal with. It’s not relatable to them, other than in their dreams may be – the life they ‘want’ to have. With youth violence, gun and knife crime on the rise, and poverty levels at the highest they have been for decades it’s no wonder it’s being reflected in the music of the youth from those areas that are affected the most.

After all, musicians generally write songs about their experiences, their lives, etc. Rap went mainstream, many artists became wealthy, and the music changed direction, so it seems that drill is a response to this. Times have changed as well though, there are different laws now, different drugs being consumed and different attitudes in society regarding many things. These people are simply writing lyrics that reflect what they see, hear, feel, and deal with on a daily basis.”

Dave Setchell a former Programmer

So if you don’t know drill music, that’s the best explanation I can give you.

Kumerica songs: What are some kumerica songs

Most of the mainstream rap songs are about drugs, violence, and yes sex. however, most Kumerica songs are drill music talks about their life, attitude, and hustle on the streets of Kumasi.

The Kumerica hype: Is it worth it?

The Kumerica hype is all anyone can talk about! Is it really worth it, or is it just a bunch of hot air?

Well, the Kumerica message is clear. It’s a certain Kumasi Dream. And it is worth every bit of the hype.

Ambition is infectious and that is how many see the Kumerica vibe. It’s the ambition.

Some people believe that Kumerica is a new, emerging powerhouse brand, while others are more skeptical. To many, Kumerica and for that matter, Kumasi is a place of opportunity, and you can help make it happen.

Don’t let the name fool you, there are plenty of opportunities for people from all walks of life in Kumerica. The music industry is booming in Kumerica with the likes of rap, drill music and hiplife, etc… the city is the home and manufacturing hub for great Gospel musicians. 

There are plentiful opportunities for actors, comedians, innovation and just about any art professional in Kumerica. Kumerica has made its mark as a home to many talented people, and we would like to make yours!

Also Read: Where is Kumasi Ghana: Explore The Historic Landscape Of the Garden City

Conclusion

In conclusion, Kumerica is a powerful symbol that represents the strength and unity of all Kumericans. It is a reminder of the sacrifices made by our ancestors and the opportunities that are still available to us. 

It is more of doing not talking. 

We should all be proud to be ambitious and remember that we are all part of the Kumerican family. Let’s work together to make sure that Kumerica remains a land of opportunity for all its citizens.

So what is the Kumerica Dream for you? Let me know in the comments area.

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