Michael Owusu Addo, known professionally as Sarkodie, is a Ghanaian rapper and entrepreneur from Tema. His contributions to the Ghanian music industry have earned him numerous accolades, including the Vodafone Ghana Music Award for Artiste of the Decade. He was announced the first winner of BET’s Best international Flow act at 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards. He is also considered one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance.
Sarkodie was born and raised in Tema and is the fourth born of five children. He attended Tema Methodist Day Senior High School and proceeded to IPMC. where he earned a degree in graphic design. Sarkodie began his music career as an Underground rapper, participating in Adom FM’s popular rap competition “kasahare” Level. He met his former manager Duncan Williams of Duncwills Entertainment while participating in the aforementioned competition. He also met musicians Edem and Castro, who introduced him to Hammer of “The Last Two,” an established record producer. Impressed by his rap flows, Hammer allowed Sarkodie to record two tracks for his album Volta Regime.
Following his collaboration with Hammer, Sarkodie recorded his debut album “Makye”. Its production was primarily handled by killbeatz and Jayso. The album features guest appearances from kwaw kese, J Town, Sway, and Paedae of R2Bees. “Makye” received positive reviews from critics and fans. It was supported by a concert held at Holy City Gardens in Accra. On 16 September 2009, Sarkodie performed alongside Busta Rhymes at the Busta Rhymes Live in Ghana concert. In 2010, his “Push” and “Baby” songs were ranked ninth and thirteenth on Joy FM’s Top songs of 2009, respectively. The albums’ lead single “Baby” became an instant hit and gave Sarkodie exposure.
Sarkodie’s second studio album Rapperholic was released in 2012. It features guest appearances from Efya, Chidynma, Mugeez of R2Bees, Obrafour, Jayso, and EL. The album was supported by five singles: “Good Bye”, “One Time For Your Mind”, “You Go Kill Me”, “Living Legend”, and “Onyame Nhyira.” It received positive reviews from music critics.
Sarkodie went on a nationwide tour to support the album. Rapperholic earned Sarkodie his BET nomination and Subsequence win. Sarkodie was also featured on the “BET Hip Hop Awards” cypher alongside Talib Kweli, Jean Grae and Ab-Soul. He was the only African act featured on the cypher.
On 7 July 2012, Sarkodie kicked off his tour of Canada. He toured the United States in August 2012, performing in cities and states such as New York City, Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Atlanta, Chicago, Texas, and Massachusetts. After releasing Rapperholic, Sarkodie embarked on a tour to promote the album. On 27 August 2012, he performed alongside R2Bees, Fally Ipupa, and Iyanya at Africa Unplugged Music Festival. In 2012, Sarkodie performed “How Low” with Ludacris at the 020 Live concerts.