Sidney Ofori is a hiplife artiste from Ghana. He is popularly known as the Rap Ninja and just recently changed his name to 'Barima' which means man in Twi. He is by far Ghana's most controversial rap artiste, after his Abuskeleke, Scent no and Obia nye obia tracks in successive albums.
His great grandfather, Osei Kwame was the first musician in Ghana to have his works on a record (gramophone plate). He is a cousin of Reggie Rockstone (hiplife's godfather).
He was born in Accra and spent his formative years schooling there. He proceeded to Harvard College and then West African Secondary School where he finished in 1996. He also attended the Institute of Professional Studies (I.P.S) doing a did a Diploma in Business Studies, marketing (social option).
Sidney Ofori (Okyeame - Chief linguist) started out with Native Funk Lords (and with Ded Buddy) in 1994/5 before he formed Nananom (ancestors/the chiefs in Twi). He was an original member of Nananom which also included Omanhene Pozoh, and Jyoti Chandler (Ohemaa - Queen mother) who also went to West Africa Secondary School.
Their debut album, "Nana Kasa" was a massive hit and after Pozoh left the group, they released "Nana-nono" which also did well. Some of their songs were Wokyere wo ho, Ewuradwoa, Ofie ne fie, Wo ne hwan, Kwame Nkrumah hye Ghana, Everything is gonna be right, Washeda anaa, Agoo, etc. They also featured on Agoro on Rockstone's Makaa maka album (1997).
Sidney went solo in 2001. His debut album, Tinana did very well but his sophomore album, Akofna (2003) was even better. It featured 'Abuskeleke' which was extremely controversial. The word has become popular and used to describe short, skimpy or provocative dresses and is actually used to tease people who wear them. Sidney describes it as meaning 'good investment' which has also been thought to mean investing in prostitution. The title track of his 2004 album, Scent no, was also controversial as it detested uncleanliness and teased various professions. The song was picked up as a campaign song by the NPP after tangling with the NDC over its rights in the run-up to Ghana's 2004 election. Scent no was the NPP candidate's slogan and he (J. A. Kuffour) rode it to victory.
Sidney doubled up the controversy in his 2005 album. Obia nye obia struck a timeless debate about equality in society while Wo kunu kotebea encouraged citizens to support their leaders and partners supporting each other but the chorus had a profane twist. His 'Barima bii ba' album is due in 2008.
Sidney has also been involved in various educational campaigns. “Give Them the Pen, not the gun” is a single song dedicated to all child soldiers in the world especially in Africa; it features Dr. Kaunda, his lyrical mate and King Ayisoba (a traditional singer).
Some of his songs are Africa money, Kyere me, I see you cher, Monhye nkom, Africa Money, Ma sweetie, Paanoo shew, Colour TV, Piti odo nsuo, Ehye mu, Mind da gap, Obaa kokoo, Ibi so, Hu me mobo, Child Soldier, Adukrom nsuo, Nkwaraa yi, Underground, etc