blaqbonez

Best Rapper In Africa Or Nah: What’s Next For Nigerian Hip-hop?

Immediately Blaqbonez crowned himself the best rapper in Africa, all hell broke loose on Nigerian hip-hop. The  100 Crowns rapper first made this audacious claim in the maiden edition of the AKtivated Sessions titled ‘Best Rapper In Africa and the reaction was volcanic.  The hip-hop community quickly spiralled into long polarising debates over the validity of Blaq’s claims. While some admired his confidence and assertiveness, others dismissed him as a nuisance and an attention seeker who had nothing to back such daring claim. 

If attention was the goal, Blaqbonez definitely got it.

The debates further diffused into claims and counterclaims, diss tracks flying around with not-so-subliminal shots, directed at the rapper and his associates. After a couple of weeks, the pink-haired rapper reaffirmed his claim in his latest release ‘Best Rapper In Africa’ where he took aim at rappers like TenTik, Holyfield and also called out some of his colleagues for being craven. This, in turn, generated swift responses from Payper Corleone, VaderDavid Meli and many others. Even the OGs aren’t left out of the frenzy as a video surfaced of AQ, Loose Kaynon and SDC’s Ghost in a heated debate on who was a better rapper. 

And all this just mean one thing to the fans, excitement. 

The last time Nigerian hip-hop got its fans this elated was in February when the scorching LAMB-Martell Cypher dropped. The culture has always thrived on competition and with projector missiles flying all around,  fans are ravishing in euphoria right now. It’s a common saying that when two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. But in hip hop, when rappers square against each other, the only true winners are the fans.  But sadly, the euphoria is going to wear off soon. People are bound to move on. And when they do, what is left?

Nigerian hip-hop has been in a sorry state for years now and despite the several efforts being made for its rejuvenation, the future isn’t looking too bright yet. And this is not for a lack of talent – after all, we can boast of some of the best rappers on the continent – or creativity. Regardless,  it seems Nigerians have just moved on to drown their pain and realities in afrobeats. Enough has been said on what hip-hop needs to get itself on its feet again. Multiple articles have been written, plans drafted, discussions had and more. 

If not optimized, this excitement and attention Nigerian rap and rappers are getting at the moment will fizzle out back to where we started. But some things can be done to sustain some of the eyes and ears that have been captured in this whole episode for the good of the culture. 

To start with, Nigerian rappers simply need to put out good music. That’s where it all starts from, the music. The problem is that many are still stuck in the ‘golden days’ and as such have refused to evolve with the times. Each age has its demands. Some are stuck on 90s-type boom-bap beats all in the name of keeping it real, and then turn around to guilt-trip the fans and media for lack of support when the record simply doesn’t pop. This was what Blaq had in mind when he rapped “If the music ain’t good it ain’t moving/ Your aesthetics will not replace the music.

Snap out of your obsession with the past. Listen, research and understand the sonic demands of the times and let that influence how you make music. The music world today is big on bending and fusing/melding genres. The lines between genres are so blurry today that they might as well be nonexistent. Experiment with other sounds that appeals to new audiences. Approach other genres from a rap perspective. 

Show Dem Camp did this with Palm Wine Music to positive results. The move has been commercially rewarding as they have registered new fans who might have not even heard of their Clone Wars series. They’ve also held two Palmwine music festivals -which recorded impressive numbers – and are even about to take the festival to the UK.  Other rappers like Blaqbonez, Ladipoe, as well as the Lost And Found on their last tape have been fusing rap with other genres and it has been rewarding. Falz’s seminal album, “Moral Instruction” was heavily inspired sonically and thematically by Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

This is also one of the major reasons why the so-called indigenous or local rappers are more commercially successful. These guys can make music in a way that resonates with a wide scope of audience. They rap in their local dialects laced with street lingo thereby making their lyrics more relatable and easy to understand, as well as meddling rap with dance music and even introducing dance steps to go along with it. Zlatan is the poster boy for the wide-ranging Zanku dance and its accompanying sound and he is undeniably Naija’s hottest rapper at the moment. 

Rappers also have to learn to step out of their shell and work with others. While friendly competition is healthy, there is so much more that can be gained from working together. 

Nigerian rappers should be always ready to join forces with one another and synergize over records, projects and even concerts. Collaborations shouldn’t also be limited within the hip-hop circle. Rappers can reach out to acts from other genres like the alte community, soul singers and afrobeat and even Afropop. Step into their space and see their world. This would help to create much more dynamic sounds and also help to share the fanbase with their collaborators. 

Over the years, there has been a downturn of collaborations between Nigerian rappers and their pop counterparts. In fact, these pop stars tend to feature foreign rappers on their tapes much more often these days. There should also be much more joint efforts between the English rappers and the indigenous ones. 

Visuals also have to be taken seriously too. Yes, hip-hop is a word-oriented genre but videos are very much especially in the visually-driven world we live in today. And maybe as a result of a shortage in funding or whatever reason, hip-hop acts don’t seem to place much emphasis on their releasing music videos. You don’t believe me?  Take some of the best hip-hop projects in the past year as examples. “Crown”, “Yung Denzl”, “Bad Boy Blaq”, “These Buhari Times” and the Lost and Found’s “Alternate Ending” have only about two videos released at the moment. Projects with over 50 songs and only three videos out.

Even if proper music videos can’t be done due to financial constraints, rappers and their teams can take advantage of lyric videos and visualizers which can be promoted on social media. 

Now the spotlight is on Nigerian hip-hop and no one knows how long the excitement is going to last. Mere buzz or an abundance of talent isn’t enough to sustain the genre.  The best that can be done is to ensure that this rare opportunity should be optimized as much as it can. The community has to come together to create and promote premium quality content that can restore hip-hop and rap to the mainstream.

For all the dust rappers have raised in the past few weeks, it would be beautiful to see it all transcend to something bigger and not just fade out to another false start.

Alpha Is Relaxed And Assertive In New ‘Madagascar’ Freestyle

Alpha Ojini has released a new freestyle in celebration of the anniversary of his stellar debut album “Half Price“, released exactly a year ago today. The critically acclaimed 12-track project housed standout records like ‘Ocean Boy‘, ‘Yahoo boy Muzik‘ and the title track, ‘Half Price‘. This new self-produced celebratory freestyle is titled ‘Madagascar’.

On the two-minutes long freestyle, Alpha is relaxed and assertive as he puts his gifts as a lyricist on full display. He is enjoying himself on the chilled but bouncy beat and even has a few words for detractors who would have to something to say about this effort. He briefly also takes us on a personal journey that led him to music towards the end of his verse.

Earlier this month, the super-gifted rapper, producer and sound engineer announced his sophomore album, “CHVMELEON”, scheduled for release later this year- titled after what he thinks to be his spirit animal. And this stunning display of skill is no doubt a sure appetizer for the coming project.

NB: Alpha produced Blaqbonez‘s latest release, ‘Best Rapper In Africa‘.

Enjoy and share your thoughts.

Blaqbonez Backs His Recent Claims With ‘Best Rapper In Africa’

Ever since Blaqbonez declared himself the best rapper in Africa in a scorching freestyle a few weeks back, many have gone back and forth over the worthiness of his claim. But one thing was clear, Blaqbonez had guts. Right now, in fact, bold isn’t a word strong enough to describe his artistic drive. The 100 Crowns-rapper even put out several calls to rappers to challenge his claim since many felt he was undeserving of the self-ascribed title.  Tentik, Payper Corleone and other lesser-known rappers put diss tracks to that effect and now, Blaq, as promised, has replied them all in his latest release appropriately titled,  ‘Best Rapper In Africa‘.

On this new record, Blaq is blunt and brutal as he launches ballistic missiles at rappers like Tentik and Holyfield while dragging Naira Marley, Fela Durotoye, Jimi Agbaje and Blackfacae into the mix. He also had a few choice words for colleagues like Fresh L, Ladipoe, Boogey and more. Coming a day after it was initially promised, BRIA is no doubt a bop that finds Blaq showcasing his mastery as a lyricist over a dazzling Alpha production.

Hip-hop as a genre thrives on competition and a war-ready Blaqbonez is giving us a full dose.  Although many would not agree with his BRIA claim, it can’t be denied that he is a strong contender. And perhaps, the most exciting rapper out there at the moment.

Listen to Blaqbonez dishing out Ls to your favourite rappers above.

The Video for Blaqbonez’s ‘Mamiwota’ Featuring Oxlade is Finally Here

Just a couple of days after releasing the dust-raising ‘Best Rapper In Africa‘ freestyle, Blaqbonez has finally shared the visuals to ‘Mamiwota” featuring Oxlade. This is of course a standout cut off Blaqbonez’s debut album “Bad Boy Blaq“, which wrapped up the LAMB August rollout from Chocolate City last year.

Directed by TG Omori, the video finds Blaqbonez and his lover having wild fun while grocery shopping. Later in the video, a love-struck Oxlade is led on by Blaq’s girl to his own peril as he ends up getting suckerpunched, jumped and robbed by Blaq  (a move that’s reminiscent of Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar‘s 2018 joint, ‘Mona Lisa‘). The video ends with Blaqbonez and his girl running off with their spoil, Bonnie and Clyde style.

Blaqbonez Has A Message For Rappers In Sizzling ‘Best Rapper In Africa’ Freestyle

After a 25-day hiatus off social media, Blaqbonez is back with a bang as he dropped a fire freestyle on his Twitter page yesterday that has got everyone talking. The freestyle is the debut entry in the new AKtivated Sessions which is expected to roll out a series of freestyles like this as time goes on.

Dressed in all black, Blaqbonez can be seen seated with a drink in hand, delivering remarkable bars to a hanging mic over a laidback instrumental. In the freestyle, Blaqbonez crowns himself the best rapper in Africa as he also comes for ‘cry-baby’ rappers who blame everyone but themselves for the current state of the rap scene in the country and their dwindling careers.

He calls on them to avoid being stuck in the boom-bap past and move with the sounds of the times. He also advises them to look inward and focus on the things that matter which is actually the music rather than their aesthetics. These are some of the things Blaqbonez himself has adopted recently in his career such that his last two tapes have had impressive performances.

Hopefully, this freestyle spurs a conversation on how hip-hop music can get a true revival its fans and practitioners have been craving for years. And maybe we can get a couple of replies for the culture.

The video for ‘Mamiwota‘ featuring Oxlade is set to be released tomorrow, June 28. This is a standout cut off BlaqBonez’ debut album “BadBoyBlaq” released last year.

Watch The Beautiful Video For Ajebutter 22’s ‘Lagos Love’

Ajebutter22 has unveiled the visuals for his raving romantic single, ‘Lagos Love‘. This is Ajebutter’s first single since the release of his joint EP “Make E No Cause Fight” with friend and longtime collaborator, BOJ.

This is also Ajebutter’s first solo release since his well-received sophomore 2017 album, “What Happens In Lagos“, which housed hits like ‘Bad Gang‘ and ‘Ghana Bounce‘ featuring Mr Eazi and Eugy.

In ‘Lagos Love‘, Ajebutter 22’s gruff and sensual voice is on full display over the scintillating and laid back Spax production. Throughout the record, he uses Lagos-centred elements and experiences to detail his romance with his lover.

The Prodigeezy-directed video matches the song’s elegance as it finds Ajebutter, his sweetheart and friends having fun around the city of Lagos. It also features cameo appearances from new gen acts like Blaqbonez, Tems and Dami Oniru.

Enjoy the beautiful video and share.

Blaqbonez Takes It A Step Further On “Bad Boy Blaq – Re-Up”

Blaqbonez struck gold in 2018. The burgeoning rap sensation has been tirelessly putting in work ever since the release of his mixtape “HipHop In Blaq” in 2013, such that hardly has a year gone by without him releasing a body of work. However, despite the quality of these releases, they were not enough to shed him off the “underground rapper” tag; not until last year when things started to turn around.

 Backed by 100 Crowns and Chocolate City, his debut album, “Bad Boy Blaq”, propelled him into mainstream consciousness. The final project of the game-changing 2018 LAMB August rollout is an experimental and deeply fascinating “Bad Boy Blaq,” which gave Blaqbonez the mainstream acceptance and recognition that had eluded him for years. With the album, he established a foothold in the industry as one of the most talented rap artist rising through the ranks.

Now, barely five months after the release of the breakout album, Blaqbonez is treating us to a follow-up project titled the “Bad Boy Blaq Re-UP.” And as the title implies, this project is built on the successes of its immediate predecessor.

It is not a Part II. It was just due to the fact that we did a lot with the original project, it almost got there but there was like a little bit extra we could do to get it over the line, which is why I worked on the re-up.” He explains in an interview with Pulse.

Ever since the release of the last album, Blaqbonez has continued to maintain a high level of fan-engagement on social media with tweets, hilarious video clips and hot takes on trending issues. As a result, Blaqbonez can boast of one of the most organic, dedicated, and ever-growing cult-following among the young acts today and perhaps the best for hip-hop at the moment.

Blaqbonez may not be popping as much on the streets but mans is pulling quite impressive numbers on the streaming platforms. And now, the release of the Re-Up seems to be Blaq’s latest strategy at maintaining and optimizing his audience retention especially given the short attention span albums are given these days.

The Re-up contains a hazy mix of fresh cuts and remixes of some of the Bad Boy Blaq‘s standout records. Blaqbonez enlists the efforts of an all-star cast of young gifted acts who help to provide several moments of brilliance on the project and also helping the remixed cuts to have a refreshing feel.

The project is arranged in such a way that the remixes off  “Bad Boy Blaq”, come right in between the new songs. This provides a sense of familiarity while listening to the project such that it’s new but doesn’t feel so new. Also, the remixes maintained the exact order by which they appear on the album.

All but two tracks feature guest verses. On the opener and the final track of the project which also happen to be the most personal cuts on the project, Blaq is a lone ranger bringing it all to bear on the records. Both songs are polar opposites, reflecting two different sides of the pink-haired rapper. On ‘No Longer Stupid‘, Blaq is introspective, apologetic and appreciative all in the same breath. Through a reminiscent style of detailing, he recognises how far he has come in the industry and acknowledges the naive mistakes he made on the come up. Acknowledging his growth in several factors, Blaqbonez also appreciates some of those who helped set him straight and those who still showed him loved despite him doing them wrong.

On the flip side, ‘Bxtch’ finds a stone-faced Blaq coming all out at his prior detractors and doubters. On the second verse, he had some not-so-subtle jabs for who many have perceived to be Yung6ix. Although he does not name-drop the rapper, with lines like Somebody stole your lines, okay/Somebody stole your shine, I did it/ Guess Somebody stole your balls/Cos you ain had the guts to try be specific he might as well have as all fingers point to Yung6ix following his reaction to the LAMB Martell Cypher.

Another side of Blaqbonez, the comical and playful one that is hard to miss on his social media pages these days comes to bear on the track ‘Good Boy’. On the tongue-in-cheek anthem for the “nice” guys, Blaq makes up for his limited signing talents by recruiting the efforts of BOJ and CKay who didn’t fail to deliver intoxicating performances. Despite his voice sounding raspy, Blaq also delivers an infectious sing-along chorus that makes record one of the standouts of the project. The playful Blaqbonez also shows up in brief moments in tracks like Denied and Play Remix.

Blaqbonez has come a long way. It’s undeniable that Blaqbonez raw talents are fast being forged into shining diamonds.  He has proven himself time and again as one of the most talented and promising rap artists rising the ranks with a solid and enviable fanbase and this tape is a solid addition to his catalogue. In fact, he is just a hit single short of being a household name.

The “Re-up” might have been birthed from “Bad boy Blaq“, but it breathes a life of its own. The short and sweet project is a showcase of his level of talent and versatility and also a promise of better things to come.

Blaqbonez Unveils Slick Visuals For ‘Play Remix’ Featuring Ycee

Fast Rising rapper, Blaqbonez has released the visuals for his latest single, ‘Play Remix’ featuring Ycee. This is the official remix to one of the highlights off Blaqbonez’s well-received album, “Bad Boy Blaq” which was released as the final project in the LAMB August campaign last year.

 

This single officially kicks off the roll-out of his forthcoming all-star cast project “Bad Boy Blaq – Re-Up” which is scheduled for release next week Friday, February 8, 2019. This project is set to feature appearances from  Ycee, Dremo, Prettyboy DO, BOJ, PsychoYP, Moelogo, Ckay, and seasoned rapper, Vector.

 

On ‘Play Remix’, Blaqbonez teams up with Ycee to deliver a refreshing rendition of his last album’s lead single.  On the record, the rappers deliver new solid verses and smooth flows over the unchanged beat and chorus.

 

The video directed by budding director The Myth features cameo appearances from Fresh L, Terri-RYN and Alpha Ogini who also mixed and mastered the record. Set in a house party, Blaqbonez and Ycee can be seen just having fun in the video. It, however, ends with Blaqbonez getting played after eyeing and ‘setting P’ with a chic all night long.

 

Fun Fact: This is BlaqBonez first official music video.

 

   

 

Listen To The Remix – Alpha’s Ocean Boy

The epically talented rapper/producer Alpha has teamed up with Blaqbonez, Dremo and Psycho YP to bring the remix of the single Ocean Boy.

This Alpha-produced recreation brings more heat to an already fire track.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any hotter …

Dropping FACTZ Only, It’s OluAndTheCoconut

Pretty Boy D-O is known for bringing out our inner agberos, but this one will have you believing you’re The Hood Pablo Escobar…

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