The road to VGMA 2018 is already well underway and as usual the big boys such as Sarkodie and Stonebwoy made the cut and had several nominations. However for the first time in almost 4 years, we have had the holy trinity of artistes in Ghana, being Stonebwoy, Sarkodie and Shatta Wale all getting nominations to be part of this year’s awards.
Shatta Wale for the last four years had been the noticeable absentee from the annual event after organisers, Charterhouse bared him from partaking in the awards over a misunderstanding that degenerated into a public fight and landed in court.
For the last couple of years, Shatta Wale had done everything possible to be reinstated for the awards but all his efforts proved futile until this year when the two sides decided to let sleeping dogs lie and let the artiste be part of the 2018 VGMA.
One artiste who could suffer from this decision and settlement is no other person than BET Award winner and rival dancehall artist, Stonebwoy. For the last three years, Stonebwoy has basically won all the dancehall categories at the VGMA, largely due to the lack of competition resulting from Shatta Wale not being nominated during those years.
Stonebwoy just like Shatta Wale managed to get at least four nominations, including Dancehall Song of the Year, Dancehall Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Artist of the Year. However with the introduction of his biggest rival, Shatta Wale, there is a silent concern among the Bhim nation fans that their hero may end up with so many nominations, but no award on the night just like it happened to Medikal a year ago.
All the build up to this year’s award has been about two artiste battling it out for the ultimate prize of artist of the year. The two being Shatta Wale and Ebony sends a message that Stonebwoy is out of this category unless the VGMA board decides to hit us with a surprise.
The Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the year has Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale, Ebony and MzVee. This category would have been handed to Stonebwoy on a silver platter as it has been the case in previous years but with Shatta Wale in, the chances of Stonebwoy picking it up looks too slim for comfort and hope.
Same can also be said of Reggae/Dancehall Song of the year and Artiste of the Year. All these categories have the name of his eternal rival in them and looking more favourable and likely to be mentioned as the winner on the night of the award.
In fact the only category Stonebwoy finds himself in without the presence of Shatta Wale to haunt him is the Afropop song of the year and album of the year, but then again there is the presence of arguably the biggest artiste of 2017, Ebony in both categories and it looks so much unlikely that Stonebwoy will emerge as the winner in the those two categories.
The VGMA is known to always pull the biggest surprises when no one expects it, as can be witnessed in last two years when EL and Joe Mettle won Artiste of the Year in 2016 and 2017 respectively but all things being equal, unlike previous years when Stonebwoy had walked home with at least two awards every year, he is very much unlikely to emerge as a winner in any of his categories being it Artist of the year, Dancehall artist of the year, Dancehall/Reggae song of the year, Afro-pop song of the year or Album of the year. Not that Stonebwoy did not work hard enough during the year under review to deserve an award, it is simply a matter of Shatta Wale and Ebony having a better year than him musically.
Will Stonebwoy then be the Medikal of VGMA 2018? Only time will tell.