Archive for December, 2008

Top 100 People, Places, Events and Things That Shaped 2008

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on December 23, 2008 by ayenithegreat

Funny how time flies. Isnt it just a few months ago that we screamed happy new year? Now, it’s all of 12 months gone by. Whether we have used them well, or squandered them (like a child does a tip), is a matter our conscience will decide. But, as a special year-end treat, let me remind you of some of the moments, people, ideas, and elements that made the year what it is. Enjoy!

 

 

  1. DBANJ: dbanj-and-kelly-rowland 28 year-old Dapo Oyebanjo finally released his second full length album in 2008. and he not only got blessings from the Oba of Lagos, he had Lagos governor Raji Fashola and his predecessor Bola Tinubu on stage at the launch of Entertainer on July 25. With his characteristic sex themes and libido bragadocio, the charming singer reenacted his pact with female fans this year. And, to show he’s still on the right path, he was named best african act at the MTV africa music awards, earning him a stage collabo with former Destiny’s Child singer Kelly Rowland

2FACE IDIBIA:

true love?

true love?

 

Mr Idibia was the butt of comedians’ jokes this year – no thanks to a string of pregnancies and endless baby mama dramas. But not one to be fazed by what people say, the 33 year-old pop star kept his mind on his business: dropping fresh singles for a third album, performing from Austrialia to Russia, and playing daddy to his different kids (five, as at the last count). Oh, he performed with Akon, and got honoured by World music awards in Monaco too…

THE KEYBOARD: whether it’s the piano, organ or the computer input buttons, the keyboard has continued to be one of the most relevant tools in entertainment for countless years. And now, in the age of computer-generated graphics, digital productions and live band performances, the keyboard is coming in handy, as an indispensable tool, as far as home entertainment is concerned.

PROTOOLS: Step aside analogue studios. This is the ear of digital productions. Gone are the days when musicians stormed studios with 30-man bands, to produce a record. These days, all you need is a song book, a producer, a console, and a PC loaded with all the production softwares money can buy. Be it reason, protools, fruity loops or any other song making, editing or graphics software, they’re the reason most of the top directos and producers are still in business. Only God knows what they’ll do with softwares next year…

MUSON: The musical society of Nigeria clocked 25 this year. And the series of events to mark the milestone were a testimony to the success of the society’s goals, as well as the pride of place the MUSON centre occupies, amongst the few event venues around the Lagos metropolis

HHWA:

hip-hop-world-awards

the award for hip hop culture and urbane music entered its third year with pomp. With major sponsorship from MTN, an ambitous motive (change must change, they kept screaming), and a community of artistes hoping the awards would be a stamp of excellence on their works, HHWA reaffirmed its position as Nigeria’s number one music awards; even scoring another first by Giving out a brand new Hyundai Sonata to winner of the Next Rated category

MTV:

whose mama?

whose mama?

 

 Three years after coming to Africa, MTV base has inscribed its signature indelibly on the industry’s landscape. In 2008 especially, they took the game several notches higher – inspiring scores of Grade A videos that’ll make even Hype Williams jealous. The cable channel collaborated with Shell to help budding african talents shoot videos; and gave hitherto hopeless acts an opportunity to be heard via Advance warning. Unfortunately, the MTV Africa music awards, which would have capped a year of achievements, performed far below expectations and earned the channel severe knocks from the media and industry insiders

9ICE:

mama-pics-3

This year, he catwalked gently into the class of A list acts. Then he sashayed into the millionaires’ club, and walked down the aisle with the love of his life, Toni Payne. He was named best new act by hip hop word awards, best African act by MOBO awards, and best hip hop act at the MAMAs. He moved from the ‘hood in Bariga, to a Lagos Duplex and bought choice properties around the city. In just 12 months, the singer has moved from an obscure, struggling artiste, to become one of the most wanted entertainers of the year.

COBHAMS:

cobhams

The visually-impaired song-writer, producer and singer continued to show us that he is not handicapped. Fresh from producing Asa’s debut album, Cobhams Asuquo opened his studio in Ikeja, Lagos; opening his doors to hundreds of talents (including Omolara, Darey, Rooftop Mcs) and clinching the Skye bank and Zain ad deals. Now, he’s set up a full production company (Cobhams asuquo music production , CAMP) and we can’t even start to imagine what he’ll dabble into in 2009

OLU MAINTAIN:

olu

 His former bandmate Tolu has gotten married and settle for life out of public glare. But Olumide Edward Adegbulu, the Ondo-born singer carrying on the Maintain flag is not about to slow down. Armed with only one major hit (yahoozeey), Mr Olu has changed his fortune and that of his family. He has recruited fans from Lagos to London and Los angeles, and even gotten Nigerian President Umar Musa Yar’adua and former US secretary of state Collin Powel to rock his sound.

ASA:

asasoul2

For years, a strong questionmark hung over the future of her career, following a bitter dispute with her Nigerian label, Questionmark records. But in 2007, the songbird flew away and pitched her tent with an independent French label called naïve records. The result is the eponymously titled album that topped the charts for months, moved amazing units, and established her a one of Africa’s most promising talents in 2008. A gallery of awards, sold-out concerts all over Nigeria and europe, and an income that ontinues to skyrocket, the young musician has so much to show for her hardwork, and now, she may just have commenced work on a new set of materials

NMVA:

Nigeria’s premiere honours event for music videos rolled out the green carpet for its second edition on November 30. and, although a majority of the young pop and hip hop stars were nowhere to be found, top veterans (including Victor Uwaifo, Bisi Olatilo, Patrick Doyle and Bongos Ikwe) added colour to the do…

NAETO C:

naeto-c-on-red-carpet

Naeto C’s parents wanted him to study Medicine & Surgery. He ended up studying Biology; which he soon dumped for –of all things – music. But, it’s just a few years down the line and his audacity is already paying off. U know my p, his debut album not only spawned off a string of hits, it endeared him to a new crop of hip hop followers, and showed everyone around him that music can also put good  food on the table after all. If you hear young people around you chanting kini big deal, yes boss!  or using words like P and  swagger, now you know who to hold responsible.

MI:

mi

Just like Naeto Chikwe, Jude Abaga locked down the underground for several months in 2008. With a refreshing style and incredible word bank, the Chocolate city rapper eventually found his way to the mainstream, dropping one of the most anticipated albums of 2008.

MODE 9:

mode-9-21

The year started on a slow note for the master lyricist. And after he parted ways with his label Questionmark, many thought not much would come forth from his quarters. But Modey rearranged and shocked us all. First he floated his own imprint Red eye records, teamed up with Banky W for a covert diss track, and eventually dropped his new album, Paradigm shift. Now, following the vocal punches at rival Ruggedman, we’re all talking about Mode 9 again! Gimmick? Well, only time will tell

PASUMA:

pasuma-wonder

last year, he took part in Celebrity takes 2, and almost won the top prize. This year, Pasuma Wonder appeared on countless collaborations and continued in his quest to take fuji music to a hitherto reluctant, pop-loving audience. Thw 40 year-old act has won more converts to the genre than any other in his class, and despite cultivating a new league of fans, he retains a firm hold on the streets.

SAHEED OSUPA:

saheed-osupa

One of Fuji’s most remarkable talents got into the headlines for the wrong reasons this year, following lingerng superiority battles with Sule Malaika and Pasuma.

RHYTHM UNPLUGGED: Flytime promotions’ Cecil Hammond continues to use daring hypes to draw our attention to his annual muti-city concert series. And we’re not about to start complaining. This year, Unplugged went to Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos. And, the ratings are still soaring, making it look it if you’re an artiste an you’re not on the gig, you may as well fire your managers…

ANNIE MACAULAY:

annie-uwana

 very dramatic year it was, for Miss Annie Uwanna Macaulay. She kicked started her movie career, finally started recording for her TV show (unwinding with Annie), got pregnant for longtime on-and-off lover 2face Idibia, lost the pregnancy, and got pregnant again! Now, on December 10, she delivered a baby girl – finally joining the association of 2face Idibia baby mamas

PERO ADENIYI:

pero-adeniyi1

 She grabbed headlines in April, after it was reported she had delivered a set of twins for 2face Idibia in Barbados. The news was later confirmed to be false, and Ms Adeniyi later delivered a boy, her second child for the singer. But she spent the better part of the year feuding with Idibia, and his mom Rose. Only later in the year did reconciliation occur, with the new baby officially named in 2face’s ‘hood FESTAC town, Lagos.

TONI PAYNE:

9ice-and-toni1

blogger, stylist and businesswoman Toni finally said ‘‘I do’’ to her heartthrob this year. The US-based lady exchanged vows with singer 9ice on Thursday July 17 at a quiet ceremony attended by close friends and colleagues. She immediately stepped up her involvement in his international management, an brokered a summer US tour for her spouse.  And on December 4, she delievered the couple’s first baby at presbyratian hospital, Southern California.

BELLA NAIJA:

bella-naija-2

if a contest were ever to hold, there’s no doubt Nigerians all over the world would vote bellanaija their favourite blog. The regular online destination, for those keen on keeping up with happeinings in fashion, music and movie circles, the blog eventually metamophorsed into a full-blown e-magazine this year, the brain behind it all, 24 year-old Uche eze also finally revealed her identity, through an interesting interview with Chude Jideonwo.

NAYO:

nayo-blue-smile

Daughter of late ‘‘pillar’’ of sports Dokun Abidoye, Nayo got fans hooked on her music from Europe to America. And this year, she took the necessary trip back home to reconnect and establish her career. Did Nigerians love her soul sound? Yes. But soon she was off again, flying from London to the US, as she put pen to paper for a major deal with Starbucks coffee

PROJECT FAME: Endemol partnered Ultima studios and MTN Xtracool to deliver the first ever Project fame West Africa. On a continent where raw talent abounds, without the necessary structures to nurture them, the talent hunt was an opportunity for thousands of wannabes within the sub-region to attempt to get their voices heard. And for the TV viewer, it was a whole three months of home entertainment…though still a far cry from its rested continental version, the effort.

BBA: For all of 90 days, we followed the third season of big brother africa show; taking sides, monitoring our favourite housemates and voting non-stop. And, thankfully, there was no Richard-Ofunneka scandal to mar this year’s edition. 21 year-old Angolan Ricco was announced winner on November 23, winning $100000. Nigeria’s Uti Nwachukwu was voted out mid-way into the show (exactly day 42).

DAN FOSTER: The American broadcaster washed off his cassanova image when he finally settled down this year. Then he shocked us all when he threw in the towel at Cool FM. He has since been with Inspiration FM, where he continues his morning show, and regular Sunday gospel shows.

KENNIS: Nigeria’s foremost record label showed it still has the magic when it launched a hitherto unknown Kelly Hansome into the mainstrem within months. A fresh romance with 2face Idibia is also glaring. And, with Kennis TV shaping up, it’s looking like theres no stopping the 10 year-old company

RUGGEDMAN: With the likes of Naeto C, MI and Ikechukwu chasing so closely behind, Ruggedman is not slowing down at all. The rapper has his feet on the pedals, moving on at full speed and knocking obstructions out of his way: e.g. Mode 9, whom he dissed on Banging. And, he still holds the title of ‘best rapper’, according to hip hop world awards 2008.

COOL FM: Things got heated up at the Cool station this year. Key members of staff departed in quick succession, including Olisa Adibua, Dan Foster, Ibrahim Abubakar and Chris Ubosi. Then an attempt to rework the Dan Foster formular using Keith Lane failed woefully, causing the station’s management to look inwards and settle for DJ Manny as lead anchor for the Good morning Nigeria show.

SWE BAR: located inside the City mall, Onikan, Lagos, Swe has transformed from a lunch spot for business executives to a major hang-out for some of showbiz industry’s finest. So, it’s not surprising that some of the year’s major events held at Swe. And, also, where do you go to if you want to enjoy rich, live music from bands such as Godbless’? it’s Swe!

UNRULIES: when a couple of young, upwardly-mobile people come together to form a loose coalition, it’s not likely it’ll take long before we notice. And, true, it didn’t take long before we realised the Unrulies were in our midst. Made up of BBN alumnus Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, singer-writer Tosyn Bucknor, Newscaster Lamide Akintobi, On-air personality Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi, Marketing communication executive Noble Igwe, Designer Muiyiwa Oshindero, Journalist Chris Ihidero and few others, the young men and women are building a cause, from what started as fun, and they’re inspiring many in their generation to ‘rewrite the rules’. Now, they’re even up for team of the year, at the Future awards next year.

KEKE AND D-ONE: The Primetime partners are stuck like siamese. And they’ve become globally known, hosting their famous show and covering events all over the world. But, really, what they’re most respected for within and outside the entertainment industry, is their portrayal of showbiz as a bankable industry, and the remarkable successes they’ve recorded – for themselves and for talents- in an industry hitherto ignored by government and the corporate sector.

DJ T: He was named best director at hip hop world awards and best editor at Nigerian music video awards this year. What more proof do you need that Tokunbo Odubawo is on top of his game? The cinematographer is leading the pack of directors who are providing the redefinition of standards, when the subject is music videos. And does he get paid in full!

CLARENCE PETERS: 2008 WAS Mr Peters’ year. He shot some of the best videos for the year, got named as best director at NMVA, and signed rappers Kel and suspect to his record label.

KEL: Step aside Sasha, Bouqui and Weird MC, Kel is the new kid on the block. We received the Lagos-based rapper with open arms when she dropped her debut single waa wa alright. Now, she’s worked with Sound Sultan, Ill Bliss and others, convincing us she’s ready for her own full album

DON JAZZY: The president of Mo’ Hits records is one of Nigeria’s most gifted producers. Driving his business to the top three cadre in less than three years, the young entreprenuer is lighting the way for millions of youths strolling closely behind…

TY MIX: many didn’t know him until he appeared as judge on Project Fame West Africa. But the Abuja-based producer laced the beats for some of the greatest songs this year. E.g. Kini big deal. He’s worked with everyone that counts already; and together with Dr Frabs, ID Cabasa and Terry G, the beat-maker is plotting a take-over in 2009

THISDAY MUSIC FESTIVAL: The annual music extravaganza organised by Nduka Obaigbena’s Leaders and Company, stormed four cities this year: Abuja, Lagos, London and Washington. Driven by the mission to canvass for investments for Africa, instead of aids, the tour commanded global attention, and was supported by top international models, artistes and leaders.

JOICE IZE IYAMU: The CEO of Rogue entertainment has since parted ways with 2face Idibia. But she remained relevant all through the year, partnering with international labels Tantrum records, and Grafton entertainment. And, she got plenty thumbs up when she teamed up with Hamzat Subair&Co for ‘Understanding Showbusiness’, a one-day seminar that held in Lagos.

HIP TV: The syndicated TV show, produced by Smooth Promotions, brought a lot of life to TV, when it appeared al hope was lost. 2008 is the year the show got on a dozen more stations, entered the UK, and staged an all-white exclusive gig in London to comemorate its first anniversary.

NIGEZIE: From day one, they’ve told us what they are: Extremely Nigerian. Kwame and his team stayed true to the dream all through the year, providing home-made entertainment for viewers on terrestial and cable TV.

SOUNDCITY: Nigeria’s number one all-music channel has a firm grip on the pulse of urbane youth culture. And, with a new set of ambassadors, a monthly glossy magazine, and the annual Soundcity blast concert, they more than kept us all on our toes all through the year

ETCETERA: Just Like Asa, Modele, TY Bello and Nayo, the cool rocker made us heave a sigh of relief when he released his self-titled album. Brilliant to the last beat, the X3M music act made talent fashionable again – and now, he’s reaping the benefits!

ID CABASA: The Coded Tunes head-honcho has mastered the language of the beats. But instead of selfishly keeping it to himself alone, he’s blessing almost every artiste with it, cooking up beats that produce hits. From Ruggedman to 9ice and Banky W, they’re all giving him kudos.

GODFATHER: if you shot a video in South Africa this year, you most likely would have crossed paths with Godfather. Everyone, from Psquare to Faze, Weird MC and the Mo hits crew, ha worked with him at one point of the other. With top of the range film equipments, the South Africa-based director is the other factor luring musicians to Jo’burg – apart from the beautiful scenery, that is!

YINKA AIYEFELE:

aiyefele

The Ibadan-based musician had an elongated tour of the US this year; and he was away for so long that his protracted absence fuelled rumours that he had been arrested in America. Of course, it was all lies. He hit back at rumour mongers, returned home to honour engagements and set out again…

KWEEN:

kween-onokala-7

Ms Onokala had it all coming on so fast. But soon, she was running off to the UK without any explanations. It was only later in August that word leaked out she had taken in, and was hibernating in london, to avoid the prying eyes of the press.  Those close to her predicted she would get married to her lover Dotun before year-end, and return to face her career. But, while we still wait for that, the singer’s new single Jowobiko is entering the charts already

AY: The fast-rising comedian eventually tied the knots with his long-time lover Mabel, at a celebrity wedding in Lagos. The entire industry trooped to Kris Okotie’s Household of God church, on November 29, aas the couple exchanged vows. Done entirely in an interesting style, the ceremony marked the final ‘arrival’ of AY, who, until recently, was a personal assistant to top comedian Ali Baba.

 

  1. FACEBOOK: Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and his guys, the way we now live has changed so rapidly that we cant remember the wat we used to live. All through the year, artistes used the portal to spread new songs, promote upcoming shows, correspond with fans, and circulate videos. And when we say artistes, we mean every artiste still breathing oxygen – including KWAM 1, Pasuma and Tunde Kuboye. If the blackberry is the most revolutionary mobile business tool, then facebook would be the most revolutionary social networking site.

 

PSQUARE:

psquare-crew-peter-and-girlfriend-in-middle-2

Truth be told, the year did not start on a good note for the hardworking twins. After a trailer load of nominations, they went home empty-handed from the hip hop world awards. And their reaction (The brother-manager Jude told a journalist the awards should be called yoruba hip hop world awards) generated a bitter controversy that split the industry into two. But the months that followed were fruitful for the Anambra-born entertainers. They headlined countless gigs across the continent, earning more fans than any other act in their category; They escape a couple of car crashes and Peter even survived a domestic accident. Then they were named best group at Channel O music video awards and the MAMAs. Oh, did we also tell you that Peter got a gift from his lover Lola Omotayo? What? A cute baby boy.

 

TO BE CONTINUED 

 

THE RAPPATAINER BOUNCES BACK!

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on December 22, 2008 by ayenithegreat

The storm is now over and da weird one is ready for a nu dawn

The storm is now over and da weird one is ready for a nu dawn

 

 

Like a cat with nine lives, Weird MC is back again, nearly two years since she dropped any new promotional or commercial materials.

 

Very little has been heard of the Lagos-based act, since she released the first single off her third album on July 9 2007. And although she promised that videos, and a full album were on the way, fans heard nothing. The longer the wait, the more it seemed Weird was on another long hiatus – remember it took her almost 10 years to come back with Ijo ya, the cut that re-established her career and helped her return home for good.

 

But the energetic performer has told me that she’s ‘‘not waiting’’ anymore. Two new videos, a fresh set of songs, a new management, and contagious excitement – that’s what she showed, to convince us.

 

‘‘We’ve dropped the video for ri ran wo. And  I want fans to watch out for the Step up  video. They were both directed by DJ T. We’ve really taken our time, cos I usually don’t like taking fans for granted. And from the feedback we’ve received so far, I think we’re on track’’, she told ATG.

 

A full album, already titled New Dawn, is expected to follow within the

next few months.

OMOTOLA READY FOR 2ND ALBUM

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on December 22, 2008 by ayenithegreat

There's no stopping this mother-of-four...

There's no stopping this mother-of-four...

 

Actress-singer Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde has told ATG exclusively that she has finished gathering materials for her second studio album.

 

The 30 year-old mother-of-four, who surprised us all with her 2006 debut Gba!  says there’s ‘‘no way I’m quitting music’’, as if responding to those who feel she might be considering folding her songbook and facing her movie career (just Like Genevieve whose experimental album One logo logo line earned her more whips than props).

 

‘‘I’ve learnt a lot about the music industry. And I’ve been recording’’, she told ATG. ‘‘I just returned from the US where I mixed and mastered the album and now, we’re in discussions with partners, marketers and directors so we can fix a date for release and start shooting videos’’.

 

She left for the US on Sunday November 9 and returned last week.

 

On Friday December 19, she had a private listening session attended by close friends and associates including Kemi Adetiba, Ayo Animashaun, Dj Bombastic and Victor Udeh.

 

The new set of songs were produced by Paul Play and Del B at Playground studios, Lagos.

The full album, containing tracks like missing you, never let you go, lose the war, harmony and feel alright, is scheduled for release early 2009.

 

LAGBAJA, CHORDWEBS, OTHERS DAZZLE AT LAGOS BOOK LAUNCH

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on December 22, 2008 by ayenithegreat
lAGBAJA and Ego, during a performance

lAGBAJA and Ego, during a performance

There were no backlines. No drum sets, keyboards or tambourine. No grandfather piano, twin konga drums or the bata percussive set of drums. Nothing on the vast, elevated stage prepared guests for the colour of music they’ll be splashed with.

 

Nothing suggested to them that although they were all seated at the Agip Recital hall of the MUSON centre to witness a book launch; they were also in for a concoction of musical skits that’ll cause them raise their brows, open their mouths and wonder aloud, as they shift to the edge of their seats – knowing fully well they may fall down and ruffle their dresses, but not giving a care in the world!

 

Truth be told, the several star cameo appearances at the launch of Steve Ayorinde’s Masterpieces – a critic’s timeless report took us all by surprise.

But what else would you expect at the public presentation of a compendium of classical concert reviews? Music, more music! Especially sounds fit to travel down the narrow road of classical music – the elevated genre to which the existence of the MUSON is dedicated. So while there were speeches upon speeches, a wide range or remarks, and a very profound, discourse-stimulating review, what most guests took home at the end of the day (apart from copies of the boo, of course) was the memories of short but brilliant sketches from Ego Ogbaro, Dupe Kachi (also known as Ige), The Chordwebs and veiled mystery musician Lagbaja.

 

Ego, who was until December 2006, the lead singer in Lagbaja’s band, took time off preparing for her debut album to deliver a national anthem that’ll momentarily make you forget Nigeria’s myriad problems. When she returned to sing Never faraway, guests gave her thumbs up and asked each other why her album was taking so long…

steve-ayorinde

(Steve Ayorinde, author of Masterpieces; and editor of  The PUNCH newspapers)

When the MC  Gbenga Adeyinka introduced the next performance, it was a pregnant young lady that stepped out of the audience to grab the mic. The uninitiated wondered what was happening. But those who had ever tasted of Ige’s sonic pudding sat up on their seats, rolled up their sleeves and focused on the stage like it was a national assignment. Backed by Chordwebs, Ige delivered an excellent version of Anita Baker’s Sweet love; and many who listened were moved to tears. Wielding an unwavering confidence, she displayed an austounding vocal range; weaving through verse after verse in a manner even maestros would envy.

How can one lady be so gifted, yet so un-celebrated?

 

Ige’s prowess, and the unrestrained applause everyone showered on her did not in anyway rob Chordwebs of their shine. The acapella group of Five had not performed together in about five years. And it was worth everything, when members abandoned primary obligations to reunite for the epoch launch of Masterpieces. Darey, Nnamdi, Ben, Kenny and David ran through a repertoire of reworked classical tunes, dwelling more on Obidinmpa – an igbo folk song later arranged by Laz Ekwueme. The quintet delivered more than an acapella set.

Theirs was a mixture of song and drama; and the demeanour on their faces betrayed a satisfaction no words can describe.

 

And so it was, that Chordwebs set the stage, for what would be one of the most confounding, yet intriguing cross-genre collaborations this year. Accompanied by two anonymous Hausa instrumentalists (one, armed with two talking drums, the other with a goje), Lagbaja hit the stage, just before the book unveiling, soprano sax in hand.

No usual Lagbaja signature tune. No protocols. Just a bow directed at the high table, and the veiled performer launches into a routine that’ll seem like a freestyle to the casual observer. But to the trained musical ears, this was a performance that must have been painstakingly rehearsed. Directing a robust call-and-response with his horn, Lagbaja fuses the traditional with the urbane, mixing elements of western high art with African rhythm and percussion.

The trio gave life to Onari Duke’s earlier statement about evolving an African dimension to an otherwise western classical music. Lagbaja may no have uttered a single word throughout his brief set, but he spoke volumes.

 

And the audience didn’t have to strain their ears to get the message.

MODE 9 ATTACKS RUGGEDMAN AGAIN

Posted in MUSIC NEWS FROM AFRICA on December 22, 2008 by ayenithegreat

ready for battle

ready for battle

 

 

Okay, people. Mode 9 is in the news again. Not exactly because he recently released his new album, Paradigm shift. Or because he got a slot on the Star megajam train for the second time running. No. The rapper has got the entire industry talking again, with his umpteenth dis track where he takes arch-rival Ruggedman to the cleaners; spitting out all the venom he’s been keeping or years.

 

It was just a few months back that he dropped talking to you (ft. Banky W) where he covertly attacked Ruggedman saying ‘you gat intellect myopia/so/if I dis a baba/it’s not ethiopia…’.

 

Not one to run away from a good fight, Rugged replied with Banging where, amongst many other things, he alleged that Modey is a broke rapper and a coward, for refusing to mention his name.

 

Now, on a bonus track on Paradigm shift, titled Death Blow pt 1, Mode 9 stops at nothing to rip his enemy apart, calling him unprintable names and threatening to expose his secrets. ‘you must be out of your gaddemn mind/I didn’t wanna do this/now, see what you did to you…/you claiming you gat dough but you still skinny/Cocoyam head, long neck like a guinea fowl/Now you’re bound to commit suicide…’

 

With sarcastic ad libs and very daring insinuations, the song convinces you that the rapper either hates Ruggedman so much and will stop at nothing to pass his message across, or he’s just trying to get us all talking about him again – especially as it’s obvious other emcees have taken the baton from him, taking hip hop to the mainstream and the most unlikely audiences.

 

‘‘Right now, I’m more interested in M.I’s album. Ikechukwu and Naeto C are more relevant than Mode 9 and Ruggedman now. So for me, I think they’re just looking for relevance. The whole beef thing is baseless. Hey don’t need it. They don’t even have a share of the market. Do you think they’ll name any hip hop act if they’re listing the top 10 acts in Nigeria? No!’’, says Bayo Omisore, hip hop head and editor of Soundcity Blast magazine.

 

When ATG spoke with Ruggedman on two weeks back, he was in the studio working. Is he hurriedly putting together a response to Modey’s diss? ‘‘I don’t have time for that’’, he told us. I haven’t even heard the song. But, did he mention my name on it? I have no time for a coward that’s not bold enough to mention my name. This is about the ninth song he doing against me, and he’s still scared o mention my name. My brother, I have more important things to do’’.

 

‘‘I don’t care about negativity. I have a business. And I’m uplifting other artistes and producer. When he has the balls to mention my name, then we can start talking’’.

 

True, Modey may not have mentioned Rugged on the beef track, but made derogratory and caustic references to his company 20th September wear and ‘’Ehen’’- the title of the diss track tht earned Ruggedman a place in fame land. He even says Rugged is as wack as Rasqui (on of the victims of Ehen pt 1) and that Daddy Showkey – who is not a rapper- ‘‘took you to the nursery/not you wanna kick rhymes with me?…/ I’ll put your head warmer over your eyes/take it off/ehen’’

 

 

He goes on: I’m bigger than you lyrically/forget about size/I heard your third album is gonna be your last/Bye bye/You’re hustling to sell it to shoe makers/dem no buy/Ojb raps better than you/you need help…/I know your secrets but I wont hit below the belt.

 

Contrary to Ruggedman’s current disposition, pundits believe it won’t take long before he retaliates.

 

‘‘I don’t think they both hate each other as much as they’re portraying it’’, says Cool FM OAP Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi. ‘‘They’re doing the 2Pac/Biggie; Jarule/50 thing. But we’re tired of it. Let them change their strategy. I’m cool with both rappers; they’re both okay guys, but I mean, what are they really fighting over? A girl? A car? Money?’’