Archive for June, 2007


Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA, Uncategorized on June 6, 2007 by ayenithegreat

mode 9… lyricists’ lyricist  

If you want to know who’s the best rapper in
Nigeria, there’s a compact disc that makes the job easier for you. Especially if you’ve trimmed your search to the generally believed top three: Mode 9, Freestyle and Ruggedman.

On ‘Tribute to Jay’, a Tunde&Wunmi Obe song dedicated to the late Jaiye Aboderin (1971- 2004), the three rappers poured out their hearts, eulogizing the virtues of their late colleague, through well written verses of poetry that clearly showed each rapper’s wit and lyrical direction. The song, produced by Rymzo is, unknown to many, on TWO’s third album ‘4 Real’ which was recorded in 2005 and relesed last year, well before the public enmity between Ruggedman and Mode 9 germinated.

On the truly emotional song, Jaiye’s elder sister Wunmi is at her vocal best, rendering the rhetorics-laden chorus with such tangible pain you’ll be pushed to tears. She kills the chorus, ad libs and bridge effortlessly, ably assisted by her hubby Tunde. But Mode 9, one of the finest emcees to ever grab the mic is not at his best on this track, though he manages to come correct, dropping lines like… ‘gave him my CD…he was like Mode you gonna blow…my eyes went red, looked in the sky/ cry/ but why/ the good have to die… I miss you badly…that’s why I wrote this song…’

What Modey failed to deliver on Tribute to Jay, Freestyle brings in excess, armed with impressive verses like ‘Death is a door we all gon pass through…how come your moment of silence is something that seems so loud… you’re up there/ but damn you broke a hole in the roof… you’re giving tips to angels up in the sky/ inspiring them like you did to me…’ Wicked. Yet he claims he ‘aint trying to be lyrical/Just speaking my mind…’

Taking his turn after Freestyle, Ruggedman often criticised for his pidgin lyrics and dance tracks, shows he still has all the elements of his poetry in place. How about this line he delivered on ‘jay’? ‘My jaw drop/ head hot like meter wey blow fuse…people die everyday/ but it still surprises you… death comes… stabs you in the heart and leaves a hole in you… /out of body experience you never come back from… some see the remedy but its just too late…’

A lagos-based radio station is already asking listeners to vote for their favourite of the three, using ‘tribute to jay’ as case study.

All rappers however, have critically-acllaimed new albums.

Jaiye Aboderin, son of Olu Aboderin, the founder of Punch Newspapers, died on December 3, 2004, after he slumped inside federal palace hotel, Lagos, where he had been hanging out with friends and business Partners. Before his death, he was married to celebrated actress Stella Damasus with whom he had two daughters, Angelica and Isabella.

And, as the third anniversary of his death approaches, friends and family are already planning ways to keep his memories alive. The producers have dedicated on-going talent hunt Nokia First chance to ‘the memory of Jiaye Aboderin…who gave many people their first chance’. And at the recently held HipHopworld awards, Weird MC and Mode 9 topped the list of winners who dedicated their awards to the late enterprenuer-entertainer. Now, Tunde and Wunmi Obe appear to be planning to release the video for ‘tribute to jay’ in commeration of his third memorial anniversary. And, despite pundit’s pessimisic predictions that it’ll be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for the showbiz couple to get Mode 9 and ruggedman together on set for a shoot, both rappers have agreed to sheathe their swords momentarily and shoot the video in honour of Jaiye whom the entire industry held in great esteem and whose memory many continue to cherish.

Though details of the shoot are still sketchy, sources close to the couple assured us all is set for the shoot and that the rappers have given their consent. Wunmi be herself confirmed that ‘yes, we are planning to release our video CD and we will be shooting the video for Jay, with all the rappers that featured on the song’

The bitter rivalry (called beef in the rap industry) between Ruggedman and Mode 9 started with speculations that Mode 9, who had before now, cleverly stayed out of controversy, was recording a song on DJ Jimmy Jatt’s upcoming mixtape where he ‘dissed’ ruggedman, apparently because it is believed the latter’s ‘ruggedy baba’ was directed at him. Both rappers have denied the beef. But they do not speak kindly of one another, according to sources close to them. But Ruggedman is not new to controversies. Infact, he rode on it to fame and fortune, after finding favour with fans and the media, following the 2001 release of ‘Ehen Pt 1’ where he took Eedris abdulkareem, Black Reverendz, Maintain and Rasqui to the cleaners. Seeing that the song worked magic and instantly soared his ratings; causing his engagements to skyrocket, he recorded yet another controversial song ‘Peace or War’ where he boldly insists ‘ you either like me or hate me, it’s peace or war’. And then, claiming some figures were carrying out an NTBB campaign against his songs, he recorded and released ‘ Big Bros’- climaxing a long-running battle with the nation’s most successful label Kennis Music and its head honchos Keke Ogungbe, Dayo Adeneye and those loyal to them.