Highlife legend Alfred Benjamin Crentsil goes home at the age of 79. The news was announced by sound engineer Fred Kyei Mensah (Fredyma) in a Facebook post on Wednesday, July 13, 2022.
Any lover of high-life cannot but recall feet-sweeping high-life pieces such as “Moses,” “Atia,” “Obi Baa Wiase,” “Angelina,” “Papa Samo,” and “Yewo Adze Oye.” All these wonderful tunes are ascribed to this legend, A. B. Crentsil. His “Moses” was a particular hit because of how beautiful and controversial it was at the same time. The sexualizing of the moment of the whole exodus of the Israelites (narration begins after time stamp: 0:10:45) at the Red Sea in such a crafty worship song-like rhythm is what has kept the controversy around this song alive and well up to date.
Listen to the song here: https://track10.net/downloads/830/ab-crentsil-mosesgyae-su-ni-nkomo or watch him perform live at the end of this read.
Abraham Benjamin Crentsil was born in 1943 (just around WWII) and began his musical career in Takoradi with State Aboso Glass Factory’s El Dorados and The Lantics. He joined Sweet Talks in 1973, along with Eric Agyeman, Smart Kwaku Nkansah, and Pope Flynn. This band was the house band at Tema’s Talk of the Town nightclub, which was owned by Jonathan Abrahams, the younger brother of Highlife singer Joe Mensah.
Crentsils’ Sweet Talks, later renamed Super Sweet Talks, released albums in the United States such as Adam and Eve, Mbesiafo Nto Nsa, Kusum Beat, Spiritual Ghana, and Hollywood Highlife Party. The group disbanded in 1979. While their lead guitarist Smart Nkansah formed Black Hustlers and then Sunsum, Crentsil formed Super Brains, who released the song “Atia” with guitarist Smart Nkansah. In 1982, Crentsil formed Ahenfo (Kings), which released Tantie Alaba and the controversial erotic song “Moses”.
Crentsil still performs occasionally, for example at the Highlife festivals and parties regularly organized in Accra by Slip Music’s Mark Okraku-Mantey.
He was a man full of life right until his demise. Fare thee well, thou gallant soldier of the high-life genre. The Fanti land will miss. Ghana will miss you and the world will miss you.
Click on the link below to have a listen to his most controversial song “Moses”