Thursday, November 5, 2015


I saw the end of the musical video on TV late last month for the first time. It sounded nice and I wasn't surprised when I noticed that the song was a MODENINE piece. I had always maintained that he is Nigeria's only true rap artiste, if you think about RAP in the real sense of it, you know, how Tupac and Biggie did it back in the day.

Anyway, back to my tale, then yesterday while having my bath, the song came up again on the radio station I was listening to, that was when I knew I must add it to my collections. Unfortunately, because of the poor data network in my bathroom, I had to keep reminding myself of what I needed to do so I could do it once I finished having my bath.

I couldn't also shazam the song because of the poor network so I didn't know the title, but I simply googled Modenine and it appeared that the Nigerian social media world had been abuzz many weeks before about Modenine's latest offering, so I simply trusted my hunches that it must be the OYEA RAPPERS bandied about majorly online, where he featured (or as most of the columnists said, sampled) REMINISCE's voice, that I was looking for.

I hadn't only been impressed with Reminisce in LOCAL RAPPERS where he featured OLAMIDE and PHYNO, but I blogged about it in - noesis: NIGERIA'S LOCAL RAPPERS  (though I was disappointed with his collabo with Davido in "DADDY"), so when his name appeared here again, I followed my hunch and downloaded it, and that was how the whole of yesterday I shut out the world while "Oyea Rappers" alone blasted in my ears, 'pon da replay.

Initially, I thought that it was a response to LOCAL RAPPERS, but seeing that Reminisce was featured in it, I figured otherwise, till it began to appear like "Oyea Rappers" had been done before the former, then I perished the thought, even though I had read several commentaries suggesting that even the former was done in response to the latter, I decided not to be bothered about it. Even if they were indeed rap joints borne out of rivalries and envy, the fruit it yielded only ended up advancing the cause of rap music in Nigeria.

I have always seen Mode9 as/like one of those guys I knew in secondary school who were members of the debating society in the junior school days, but joined so called "bad" gangs in the senior secondary  years, veering into rap. I say this because of the kind of words he uses in his raps, words the normal Nigerian rap artiste wouldn't use, not because they aren't educated enough, but because the normal Nigerian, regardless of academic levels attained, have a limited English language vocabulary (even compared to our Ghanaian counterparts), hence why I feel they tend to easily hide under curse and swear words when they rap, but I later put that to the fact that Modenine is British born (and bred for a while I suppose), though of Osun State parentage in Nigeria.

This offering, a remix I now gather, is quite phenomenal. I have always felt that the mix of reggae and rap will definitely have an edge that sets it apart, when a rapper decides to exploits the benefits in reggae beats to vomit lyrics, and there are very few mixes like that which I have not fallen in love with. When Tupac's "MY BLOCK" was given Damien Marley's "WELCOME TO JAMROCK" beats, I stopped listening to the original, just like how Guerrilla Blacks "COMPTON" featuring Bennie Man is the only rap song of his I know, something that till this day I consider as his "lightning strike"/eureka moment in music, that may see him having difficulties (apparently so) in years to come to replicate the dope beats and rap (which was more of "spelling" exercise) he dropped there, amongst many others that time and memory would hardly permit me to begin to itemize right now.

Interestingly, it was a slightly modified version of the "COMPTON" beats, that Modenine latched upon to do the beats for his "Oyea Rappers", only that unlike the former he introduced his with the original from the Jamaican song, like Reminisce did in Local Rappers when he sampled a Brenda Fassie (late South African musician) song as intro (possibly lifting what he learnt from his short foray into the world of Modenine), and Jay Z in the Lucifer Remix (featuring Kardinal Offishall) did with a reggae beat and making the original (Dennis Brown's "Wolves And Leopards") his outtro, reinforcing my views that a good rapper can never go wrong with a reggae beat in the background. Even Nas can attest to this after journeying with Damien Marley in DISTANT RELATIVES, where I hate to think that Nas' career would've absolutely hit the rocks had he not explored and exploited that window for all it was worth, at the time he did.

I am just glad to know that Modenine is back, and not just back like many of his contemporaries attempted to without regaining their former position in the industry, but that he's back like there was never a hiatus in the first place. Gladly, though he claims that his latest album is more commercial (and I felt a tinge of it in "Oyea Rappers") it didn't lose the quality of hardcore rap associated with him over the years, and for that I am so very grateful.



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