The event took place in the Ghanaian capital of Accra on Friday (January 6) and saw the performance of Chance and Vic, whose father is from Ghana, who got a big reaction from the audience when during his performance he announced that he had come home, that BBC reports.
“I had a dream to connect the African people of the world – to unite us as one people,” he later told the audience.
One of the event’s extra performers, T-Painwas reportedly overcome with emotion when he took the stage and took several breaks to express how grateful he was to be there as he performed hits including “Buy You A Drink” and Kanye West’s “Good Life” on despite the controversial artist’s absence.
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) 8 January 2023
Others on the bill include American artists Erykah Badu, Jeremiah, Tobe Nwigweand Talib Kweli, which was introduced by Dave Chappelle; as well as local stars including Sarkodie, Manifest and The Asakaa Boys. Tens of thousands of fans stuck around until the early hours of Saturday (Jan. 7) to catch Chance’s set, which included a live performance of “Cocoa Butter Kisses” with Vic Mensa.
That two Chicago natives announced Black Star Line Festival in July 2022who explains that the event’s name was a tribute to Pan-African activist Marcus Garvey’s shipping company.
“Founded in 1919 and run by black people [Black Star Line] would connect the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa to global shipping and tourism opportunities,” explained a press release from the festival. “The Black Star Line was a symbol of pride not only for Africans but also for black people in all ports of call. After nearly 40 years, the Ghanaian government launched their fleet of the same name as a tribute to Garvey and even added a black star to the country’s new flags.”
Prior to the announcement, Vic Mensa and Chance The Rapper spent a week in Ghana with eight students from Chicago in an effort to teach them about their roots. The two revealed their plans for the festival at Free The Youth’s flagship venue.
“When Vic and I started our careers and started touring, we did shows all over the United States,” Chance said at the time. “Eventually we started touring Europe, we did shows in Asia, South America, Central America, but we never had a chance to play our music to the people who support us the most.
In addition to the concert at Black Star Square on Friday night, the Black Star Line Festival included a week of special events and panels, including a fiery chat between Chance The Rapper and Dave Chappellewho discussed bringing new awareness and business to local comedy clubs and his dream of one day living in Ghana, inspired by a conversation with JAY-Z.
In the days leading up to the festival, Vic Mensa launched an initiative to provide clean water to over 200,000 residents. The rapper told TMZ Hip Hop that he became emotional when he saw the living conditions in Accra, which included polluted water, and joined his father to bring clean water to three villages.
“We are building three boreholes in different communities in Ghana to provide clean drinking water; the first is Asokore Zongo in Koforidua, where my family lives, which has already been built,” Mensa said. “The other sites are a nearby community called Effiduase and then our ancestral village in the Volta region, Amedzofe. Most people in communities like this in Ghana experience constant waterborne diseases.”
Drilling for the wells will reportedly take about three to four weeks to complete and will include 10-15 days of on-site drilling, followed by pipe and cable installations. The water in question will also be tested in a laboratory prior to consumption, and TMZ was informed that the cost of the bores was about $45,000.