I’m Not Better Than Dagrin – Olamide

at 10:40 AM, 4/11/2013 (5 years ago)
(9 | Newbie) (m)



Twenty-two-year-old fuji/pop rapper, Olamide Adedeji, popularly
known as
Olamide has no doubt taken over the mantle of leadership as far
as rap
music is concerned in Nigeria.
Born on March 15, 1989, Olamide never hesitates to promote his
roots,
Bariga, Lagos, in his music. In 2010 he hit the limelight when he
dropped the
lead single from his debut album, Eni Duro, which transformed
him into an
emerging voice on the Nigerian music scene.
Overnight, the final year student of Mass Communication from Tai
Solarin
University became the beautiful bride as he was courted by
established acts
for collabos before breaking away from his mentor, ID Cabasa,
and starting
his own label, YBNL Nation .
One thing that sets this rapper apart is his ability to code switch
while on the
mic as he flips between Yoruba and English effortlessly. Olamide
has
performed live on big stages all over Nigeria and he is most
definitely a street
favorite with the release of his debut album,Rhapsodi and now,
talk about a
third studio album, Baddest Guy Ever Liveth is rife following the
success of
his sophomore effort, YBNL.
In this exclusive interview with TAIWO OLUWADARE, Olamide bares
his mind
on issues including the late Dagrin.
Excerpts:
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Olamide Adedeji. I’m a native of Abeokuta, Ogun
State. I was
born and bred in Bariga, Lagos. I’m a student of Tai Solarin
University where
I’m studying Mass Communication. I’m from a family of seven.
How did you start out as rapper?
I discovered music was in me while growing up. In 2003 I started
writing my
own lines and performing at shows and the rest today is history.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was not that rosy neither was it that bad. Growing up
in the
ghetto was quite challenging because you’re looked down on by
kids from
upscale neighbourhoods. In the ghetto I was given ghetto
orientation which
is never to look down on myself no matter what.
Tell us about your love life?
I have nothing to say about that.
Late Dagrin seemed to have influenced you a great deal. What
does he mean
to you?
He’s more like the late Martin Luther King. I call him Barrack ‘O
Grin. He is
such a blessing to Nigeria. He really paved the way big time for
up-and
coming rappers like myself back in the day. It’s not like there has
not been
other people before him but his impact was awesome! Dagrin is a
great
artiste and I respect him; he is a legend.
Lately you have become so big. How are you filling the vacuum
Dagrin left
behind?
I don’t know. It is depend on people’s perspective. I just live my
life the way
I feel and besides, I’m not the only rapper in the industry. There
are others
like Lord of Ajasa. However I’m only doing my thing. Now people
are
comparing me to Dagrin and that feels great. I see it as a blessing
from God.
I can’t say I’m the best rapper; that would be ridiculous. It’s like
saying Jay
Z is the best rapper. However, it’s not like Jay Z is better than
B.I.G but
people see the love they have for B.I.G in Jay Z. B.I.G died when
he started
making money and people were heartbroken. And Jay Z can
never open his
mouth and say ‘I’m better than B.I.G.’ The same thing applies to
me too. I
can’t say I’m better than Dagrin.
How do you get inspiration for your music?
I discovered a long time ago that rap music is all around me so I
draw a lot
of inspiration from my environment. I just feel comfortable being
a rapper as
opposed to singing. Seeing rap icons like Dagrin and the love he
had for the
art just overwhelms me.
How do you handle your female fans?
(laughter) We dey try. Behind every successful man there is a
woman. For me
it’s not just about a woman but women so I take advantage of it
positively. I
don’t sleep with my female fans; I treat them like my sisters.
What’s been your happiest moment?
God has done many things for me. I can’t tell which moment is
the happiest
but one I can remember was the release of my first album,
Rhapsodi. I was
so happy when it was released. That album registered my name in
the
annals of the history of rap music in Nigeria.
What was it like meeting I.D Cabasa?
I met I.D Cabasa when I went to record with a friend in a studio.
We met
each other and struck the right chords and the connection took
off from
there. That’s how I ended up having his support. And ever since,
he’s been
giving me that special big brotherly love.
What’s your advice for up-and-coming artistes?
My advice is that they should put God first and do less of
unnecessary hard
work.
If not rap what would you be doing?
For now, I don’t see myself leaving the rap world. I would rather
be running
a rap music label.
What is the meaning of Ilefo Illuminati ?
It is slang in my neighbourhood in Bariga, Lagos. Ilefo simply
means swag.
There is talk that you belong to illuminati. How true is this?
I have been correcting that impression in all my interviews and
I’m not going
to get tired of it. I only feel I need to keep representing my own
people and
communicating with them in a way that they will understand me.
So, I want
to tell my people that I don’t belong to illuminati or any secret
society.
What has been your challenges?
Wow! It used to be an issue of finance. Right now the major one
we are
facing is the issue of piracy. And it’s crazy men! I feel it should
stop but I
also know it can never be stopped!
What are your dreams?
I want to be a global brand that is why I’m looking up to God. It
is not by
my power but by the grace of God. I feel honoured and great that
I’m one of
the top profile rappers in town.


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