A promising young Ghanaian rapper has become an internet sensation with a hit song that proclaims, “I’m the goat!” and features in a BBC Africa news clip that has gone viral.
“I am 20 years old and I have been doing rap since I was in my mother’s womb,” says A Y Poyoo. “Before I became popular people didn’t believe in me.”
The clip for his song “GOAT” has hit over one million views on YouTube and earned him international attention, not only online but from international broadcast media, including the BBC.
Born Emmanuel Yeboah, A Y Poyoo was featured by the BBC as he talked about his humble background, his journey as a rising rapper, breakthrough, work as a philanthropist, the impact of the coronavirus crisis on his career and his determination to become the face of modern Ghanaian music.
All about a vibe
The young rapper, who describes himself as a full-time entertainer, rapper and actor, admits that he did not expect to earn global attention, but he has become a social media star regardless.
In the interview making the rounds on social media, A Y Poyoo reveals that he was intentional about his lyrics because he “needed something that will let me blow”.
“I needed something catchy for people to vibe with the ‘GOAT’ song. I was like, ‘I’m the goat, I’m the goat.’”
He says he went into a meditative state as he asked himself: “Should I add something like ‘maa’? Because a goat is an animal and it bleats ‘maa’ … Ooh, that was fire,” he said.
Bleats per minute
Having become an internet star, he admits that the journey to fame has not been easy. He told the BBC that he comes from a poor background and that, like many who start very small, “people didn’t believe me”.
Detractors discouraged him when he first started, A Y Poyoo said. He says that he “didn’t expect to be at [this] level, but right now it has automatically changed my life because I have gotten international recognition”.
“When people ask me for money, I just show them the picture. I don’t have money but I have Snoop Dogg’s comments on [Instagram]. I’m overjoyed. I’m hoping for [coronavirus] to go and then we start touring,” he said.
The “GOAT” hitmaker is relishing his success and claims: “Right now, I am the face of hip-hop music. Whatever artist they are, if they don’t take their work seriously, I will take all and I will be the face of music.”
From solo to pro bono
And as his “GOAT” video hit the big time on YouTube, A Y Poyoo shared his achievement on Twitter with the caption: “GOAT JUST HIT 1 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE!!!’’
This was a breakthrough, as he received his first payment for his work. Coming from an economically deprived background, the “GOAT” star at once reached out to the less privileged, visiting an orphanage to donate provisions to the children.
‘‘I just came to this orphanage home and we donated some stuff to them,’’ he told the BBC. “After my video reached one million views on YouTube, I decided to share the revenue generated with the needy.”
The coronavirus crisis has compelled the cancellation of major events and a ban on travelling to many countries. In this way, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the earnings of even the biggest-name performers and musicians. But budding acts like A Y Poyoo have been hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis.
Speaking to the BBC, he revealed that his trademark chains are a representation of the African continent as he is hoping to obliterate all the challenges that have limited his career.
‘‘You see this heavy chain?’’ he said. “I am breaking through all the barriers.”
His story of resilience coupled with determination to achieve his aspirations despite all impediments.
From one of the poorest communities in rural Ghana, A Y Poyoo has become a global sensation and the potential face of Ghanaian rap.