Music legend, Alfred Benjamin Crentsil, simply known on stage as A.B. Crentsil, has confirmed over a decade-old humourous rumour that he was nearly beaten in the north for one of his all-time hit songs ? Atia.

AB narrated how he jumped a wall  to safety in a middle of a concert in the North with an angry fan swearing to beat him up for allegedly referring to Northerners as drunkards.

For years, a story was told about A.B. Crentsil, usually in a comic setting, that he went to Bolgatanga, Upper East regional capital, to stage a concert there.`

A.B. Crentsil, at his prime, and at his best on the day, played all his known songs to thrill his fans, but cautiously refrained from singing Atia: the song that had generated huge controversy which inadvertently mocked natives of Bolga at the time.

The song talked about two guys from the area who came down south to hustle for a decent living. One took to drinking hard liquor ? akpeteshie, said to be 100% alcohol by volume ? and habitually got heavily intoxicated. His obviously frustrated and disheartened colleague advised him without success to stick to their time-tested, less volume liquor called Pito: a locally brewed beer from their hometown.

But the drunk developed a thick skin and warded off all the useful advice given him. To cut a long story short, he died of his ignoble behaviour.

Though the story has a moral footing, according to A.B. Crentsil, it was lost on his northern fans. They felt he was portraying them as drunkards.

To cap the underlining humour, one of the disgruntled fans stood out of the audience and demanded why A.B. Crentsil would not play his popular Atia song. The displeased fellow proceeded to bare his teeth at the musician and told him point blank ? whether he played the song or not he would be beaten.

What made the rumour even more hilarious was how the angry young man reportedly ?butchered? the Twi language in a way many northerners would when learning the language.

Speaking on Peace FM?s Kokrokoo Friday morning, A.B. Crentsil confirmed the story was no rumour but staggering truth which endangered his life.

He recalled on that fateful day, he announced to the audience that he was going to play one more song to end the first part of the show, that song was definitely not Atia.

The gentleman, he said, started cursing from the crowd and swore that whether that track was played or not he would not go scot free. At this point, A.B narrated that he was expecting nothing than beatings. He was scared to the bone.

He said he quickly dashed to the backstage, jumped out of a wall to safety. He left the rest of the team behind to continue the concert.

He said how he managed to come to Accra, unhurt is history now.

Addressing the moral undertone of the song, A.B said too much of everything is bad so he was advising against excessive intake of alcohol without any iota of intention to ridicule the people of Bolgatanga or northerners in general.

He was somewhat remorseful for using them, but said it could have been any other tribe without malice.


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