The Ghanaian music scene is mourning the loss of a true artiste, rapper and actor Andy Nii Akrashie, better known as OJ Blaq or ‘The Biggie Boy Lover’ who passed away at the age of 40 on Wednesday, August 16, 2023.
Leaving behind a legacy that transcended his musical contributions and time on the silver screens, the Gospel artiste impacted the lives of all who met him.
Here are 5 things to know about him.
1. A Double-Edged Sword of Talent
OJ Blaq was more than just a musician; he was a master of two captivating worlds – acting and music.
His ability to seamlessly transition between these realms set him apart as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment landscape in Ghana.
Known for his style and positive aura, OJ Blaq exuded a charisma that drew attention wherever he went.
This natural magnetism was nurtured during his high school days at Achimota, where he seized every opportunity to showcase his talents and captivate audiences.
2. Rising Beyond Challenges Yet Starting Young
Growing up as the only son of a single parent, OJ Blaq defied stereotypes and avoided becoming a pampered child. Instead, he embraced challenges, carving his path to success through merit and hard work. His journey after Achimota School led him to the spotlight as Marlon ‘T’ in the hit TV series “SUNCITY,” captivating audiences across continents.
The show’s popularity reached far beyond Ghana, capturing audiences across Africa, Europe, and the USA. This marked a pivotal moment in his career and showcased his ability to resonate with diverse cultures.
However, amidst his rise to fame, OJ Blaq revealed a darker chapter of his early life. He first experimented with smoking at a remarkably young age – a mere eleven years old.
This initiation was spurred by observing the security personnel at his boarding school indulging in the habit.
This initial encounter sparked curiosity and led to an unfortunate association that would shape his adolescence.
Building on his curiosity, OJ and his friend developed a rapport with the security men, inadvertently cementing a connection rooted in the shared activity of smoking.
This companionship perpetuated his involvement in smoking, eventually leading to more harmful substances.
3. Entertainer in Every Form
OJ Blaq’s musical talents shone through Sydney’s ‘My Sweetie’ track on the famed ‘Abuskeleke’ album.
His debut marked the beginning of a journey towards musical excellence. He unleashed his masterpiece album ‘Galanja,’ featuring collaborations with prominent artists such as Okyeame Kwame, Tinny, and Asem.
OJ Blaq proved to be a versatile entertainer, not only as a rapper but also as an actor and radio deejay.
His artistry extended to various platforms, captivating audiences with his charisma and talent.
Equipped with a certificate in events management and public relations, OJ Blaq aimed to elevate his showbiz endeavours through new ventures.
According to Lynxx Entertainment, he was the first Ghanaian artiste to record his track in their studios at the onset of the brand over 15 years ago.
OJ Blaq gained prominence in 2009 with his hit song ‘Chale Wote’, collaborating with Captain Planet and former label mate Asem.
Despite his success in secular music, OJ’s life took a transformative turn. After what he describes as miraculous healing, he transitioned to gospel music. In August 2022, he released his debut gospel album ‘Show Dem’, marking a profound shift in his artistic expression.
4. Battling Kidney Failure with Determination
OJ Blaq in recent times was candid about his fight against double kidney failure caused by binge drinking and smoking.
His courage to address his past choices served as a wake-up call, inspiring others to prioritize health.
He embraced a new lifestyle, quitting smoking and drinking, and adopting a diet rich in vegetables. In a plea to the youth, OJ Blaq urged young individuals to be vigilant about their health. He emphasized the importance of mindful eating, regular check-ups, and researching the right foods.
His words echoed a desire to spare others from the consequences he faced due to ignorance.
5. An Advocate of Dialogue and Learning
In his leisure time, OJ Blaq engaged in discussions with friends, exploring diverse topics to broaden his horizons.
His commitment to expanding his knowledge reflected a determination to overcome life’s challenges.
Andy Nii Akrashie, OJ Blaq, may have left this world, but his message of resilience, health, and artistry lingers on.
Let’s remember him not just as a musician but as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring artists and individuals striving to lead healthier lives.