Indigenous rap is the current trend in Nigeria’s music industry as rap artistes have taken to spitting out rhymes in their native languages.
One of the biggest hits to come out of this trend is ‘Local Rappers’ by leading indigenous rappers, Reminisce, Phyno and Olamide. It has generated a lot of buzz and was applauded by critics.
With this success for Nigerian native languages in the face of normative English raps, some have wondered why a hard core rapper like Mode 9 (real name, Babatunde Olusegun Adewale ) has not made a single track exploiting and promoting his native Yoruba.
In an interview with Vangaurd, the rapper gave reasons for sticking to his preferred English language.
When he was asked if he would ever rap in Yoruba, he said:
“No, I can’t do that, you know why? If there are people doing something and they can do it better than you, there is no point in doing it too because they are already way ahead of you.”
He humbly stated some of his shortcomings, saying: “It is harder for me to write a Pidgin English song than a normal English song. I can rap in English effortlessly. I don’t just write anything, I try to be clever with words like when I said, ‘They be bungalow brains, nothing upstairs;’ it’s a punch line, but it was done in Pidgin English.”
He finally spoke on his relationship with the three leading indigenous rap artistes, Olamide, Phyno and Reminisce.
“Reminisce and I are good. I believe if you visit someone, and you’re seeing the person’s kids and wife, it’s all good; you can consider yourself being good with the person, right? But as for Olamide, I just know him in person. We see, have handshakes, but I’m not really close to him, though I do know him, but we don’t hang out. That’s the same thing with Phyno. Phyno even made a beat for my album, but he couldn’t come up with a hook on time so the album just came out without it.”