‘I pray to God that I make it to heaven, for going through hell, let my success shame the devil’ – Olamide (Jesu o’kola feat Aduke, YBNL, 2012)
Before I start, can we agree Nigerian rapper Olamide Adedeji (not to be confused with the Soundcity TV exec) is the hottest Nigerian rapper right now? With over 10 hit collaborations in less than a year, chart topping singles from a critically-acclaimed album, ubiquitous guest appearances and cameos; it’s safe to say he is. No?
It didn’t start this way for ‘Badoo’ though – Olamide’s early days can be traced to many years back when he was still called G-Dog and would visit veteran urban sound producer ID Cabasa’s studio in Bariga, in his secondary school uniform.
With the CODED Tunes dynasty falling apart, (9ice had just left, Lord of Ajasa left to work with K Solo for his third album, 2Phat kind of stopped making music, Reminisce and Jah Bless signed with EDGE Records), the young energetic rapper was signed and re-christened ‘Olamide’. He also signed a management deal with Toni Payne and released a premature debut album ‘Rapsodi’ in 2011, thus his journey to absolute power began.
It’s 2013 and a lot of things have changed; what we can tell you is that Olamide’s career would have gone down the drain after his debut release if he hadn’t made power moves – the kind of moves only a boss (or a boss in the making) would make. Nigerian Entertainment Today details all these in a few points below…
1. GET YOURSELF A KICK ASS MANAGER
First thing Olamide did was fire Toni Payne whom he felt wasn’t doing much for his career right after his debut album release. The two parted ways controversially when Payne reportedly accused Olamide of performing and collecting performance fees without her knowledge. Olamide was then managed by 2Phat of CODED Tunes. After parting ways with ID Cabasa, he hired the services of Tony Nwakolor. Nwakolo, a very popular 30 something-year-old manager had failed with a now defunct Yes Records years back but in the process gained a lot of experience. Olamide is currently being managed by Nwkolo’s 1805 Entertainment.
2. AVIOD BEEF AND CONTROVERSY
Even when Olamide parted with Toni Payne and eventually CODED Tunes, he kept his thoughts on the matter on the low, never speaking to the press about it. He also didn’t discuss his partying ways or throw disses at them on his songs. He also has united with other Yoruba speaking rappers especially Reminisce (who seems to be his toughest competition), Base One and others. No stories of getting drunk, knocking any girl up or being photographed while sleeping with a university student. And oh yea, he stopped dissing 9ice too.
3. BUILD YOUR OWN EMPIRE
Olamide is currently building his empire – starting with setting up his own label – YBNL (Yahoo Boy, No Laptop which relates to a hustler, whose work ethics matches that of an internet fraudster), merging forces with rappers Kida Kudz (winner of the Peak Talent Show, season 2) and 2Kriss. He has also got for himself a new producer Mr Pheelz who is credited with giving him the new sound on his ‘YBNL’ album.
4. DO IT BIG
Why buy a 9mm gun to kill a 20 feet giant when you could buy a rocket launcher? Olamide didn’t leave any stone unturned when recording his sophomore album YBNL– sticking with a little known producer Mr Pheelz (with some help from big brother Samklef), Olamide tightened his guest appearance list, featuring the likes of A-List acts Tiwa Savage, Davido, B-List acts Kayswitch, Dammy Krane and street-appealing acts rappers Reminisce, BaseOne, Minus and Aduke.
5. APPEAL TO THE STREETS
Since Dagrin’s death in 2010, there’s not been a rapper who has appealed to the public with street music, more than Olamide and Reminisce (mega props to Illbliss, Vector, Erigga and Seriki). With street appealing songs like ‘First of all’, ‘Ilefo Illuminati, ‘Voice of the Streets’ and ‘Young Erikina’, Badoo has won the hearts of the streets again.
6. APPEAL TO THE FEMALE FAN BASE
We can’t leave the ladies out. Olamide also knows this, so with tracks like ‘Unite’ and ‘Stupid love’, he keeps gaining their attention as the DJ and radio stations keep spinning those singles.
7. WORK OVERTIME
Truth be told – Nigerian rappers are very lazy, or how would you explain a popular rapper releasing only two singles in a whole year? (Although A&Rs would explain he/she is trying to push and penetrate the market). Olamide is going the old fashioned way (and most secure route), by working his ass off (like 2pac, Notorious BIG, Lil Wayne, Drake, 50 Cent), recording and releasing multiple materials. A week after dropping his successful YBNL album, Olamide dropped a new song ‘Rayban Abacha’, announcing the release of his new mixtape ‘Still on Streets’ dropping in 2013. He has gone on to drop two other singles.