Thursday, December 8, 2022
Home Music Memory Lane: Letter O by Ragga Dee

By Dennis Asiimwe

Letter O is a representation of Ragga Dee’s carefree approach to his music career. I first noticed his forays into the music industry when he started freestyling at Angenoir Discotheque, back when the world was young and we were kings. His freestyling sessions were hugely popular and garnered him quite a following. He used dancehall and basically went with whatever crossed the chaotic landscape of his fun-loving mind, reinventing himself as a bona fide ragamuffin of sorts.

Seeing the way he worked the crowd, it must have crossed his mind that he might have a music career somewhere in him. Sometimes, a fellow who we later got to know as Emperor Orlando also performed either before or after him on those cameo freestyling nights. Orlando, of course, was later famous for a radio hit you might know, called Angela.

Letter O was almost certainly born on the dance floors of Angenoir. Structured like a call-and-answer tune, Ragga Dee does his own answering, and somehow manages to manufacture a song about the 15th letter of the alphabet. The song is insanely humorous, but more importantly, it was catchy, with a sing-along vibe that made it a hit.

Irreverence works, especially if you sell yourself as a means for people to let their hair down and let off some steam.

Of course, he then dropped it in the club, and even went and made a music video, which also worked because his comic element transferred well on screen. It would not be accurate to say Letter O launched Ragga Dee’s musical career. He had released some material before that, insane stuff like Bamusakata. Letter O simply cemented his position as a recording and performing artiste. Heck, he even started performing at one or two events. However, his carefree, happy-go-lucky style was not one that could last long – Ugandans like it if you take your music seriously. He may have also had his interests elsewhere – a sleek businessman, Ragga Dee also seemed to have political ambitions, as his failed mayoral attempts showed. But politics and music are jealous mistresses in Uganda, and both require a single mindedness that is exhausting. For instance, ever since Bobi Wine went down the political route, he has not released anything noteworthy, musically speaking (heck, even the COVID-19 song was awful).

Eventually Ragga Dee fizzed out, taking his happy grin and antics with him. But for a while, his whole shtick worked – Letter O is proof of that.

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