Michael Owusu Addo, known by his stage name Sarkodie, is a Ghanaian hip hop recording artist and entrepreneur from Tema.He won the Best International Act: Africa category at the 2012 BET Awards, and was nominated in the same category at the 2014 BET Awards. In 2015, Sarkodie was ranked the 19th most Influential Ghanaian by e.tv Ghana. He is considered one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance.
Sarkodie is often named as one of Africa's greatest hip hop artists. MTV Base ranked him 6th on its list of the Hottest African MC's in 2014. In 2013, Lynx TV ranked him 1st on its list of the "Top 10 Ghanaian Rappers of All Time". In 2015, AfricaRanking.com ranked him 3rd on its list of the "Top 10 African Rappers of 2015". In 2015, The Guardian listed him as one of its top five hip hop acts on the African continent.
Sarkodie, the fourth of five children, was born and raised in Tema to his mother Maame Aggrey. Sarkodie started rapping at a very young age and continued throughout his educational career. He attended Tema Methodist Senior High School. He earned a degree in Graphic Design from IPMC. Sarkodie began his instrumental career as an underground rapper; he appeared on Adom FM's popular rap competition Kasahare Level. It was through rap battles that he met his former manager Duncan Williams of Duncwills Entertainment. He also met musicians Edem and Castro who introduced him to Hammer of The Last Two, an established record producer. Hammer decided to feature Sarkodie on two songs off the Volta Regime album after being impressed by his rap flows. After this exposure, Sarkodie recorded his debut album Makye. His first single "Baby", featuring Mugeez of the duo group R2Bees, became an instant hit and made Sarkodie a household name within the Ghanaian music industry.