How then have you been coping since you discovered that the media had not been supporting your kind of music?
I’m a rapper and lyricist. I have mentored some rappers over the years. I have learnt about the business of music over the years. I was abroad to do some business deals as regard my music. I went to sign some deals and you will soon hear about it. I don’t like to blow my trumpet. You will hear more about Mode 9 big time this year.
What else do you do aside music?
I do only music; nothing else. I studied Building Technology. My music over the years is getting better and I am happy to be a role model to some of the up-and-coming artistes in the industry. The truth is that people don’t want to hear the truth. My kind of rap speaks the truth. The media should support us like they have been to other genres of music in the industry. I don’t think special preference should be given to one genre of music over the other. I’ve been around for a while and I have seen the trend of things.
Your hiphop is not on the frontline?
It’s not that it is not on the frontline, television. Reggae music is suffering same. It is a bandwagon effect. Everybody is doing danceable music, but what about other genres of music? I released my album ‘Alphabetical Order’ early 2014 and some people said I was not doing the kind of music that sells. I ask the question; which kind of music sells? The problem is that we don’t encourage or support people’s dreams in this country. Instead of appreciating the intellect behind a successful work or effort, some tend to castigate, and even be sentimental about things. Mind you, I am not saying we should not give room for criticism, but it is sometimes done to condemn what one has vigorously done.
Are you saying that you are not into commercial music, which is what is in vogue among artistes today?
I have heard that said too, but it isn’t totally true. Fuji and juju music are still selling. Are they commercial music? Gospel music is selling here and we all listen and love it. Is it also commercial music? Of course not! I promoted my songs with the resources I have. Today’s music demands that you spend millions in promoting your songs and shooting videos. If I shoot the video of “Babatunde”, or any other in Las Vegas, and bring Jay Z or Nas to have collaboration with me, that kind of a thing will make a buzz because of the place and the artistes involved. But should these kinds of music accompany our music? Today’s music is evil, they say, but who made it evil? What I’m trying to say is that my kind of rap, which people used to love sometime ago, may not be loved today, but that doesn’t change my music. I’ll continue to do what I love doing and what seems right with me and my fans. Let others do ‘Shoki music and make their money, I’ll also make mine in style.
Why did you say that the media refused to support your music?
I did not say that please. Don’t get me wrong. This is one of my grouses with some journalists. You will discover that an innocent interview you granted has been twisted. This is why I have decided to be conscious of whatever I say during an interview. I had even made up my mind not to grant any interview again because I know people are only interested in negative reports, which is very embarrassing, but I need the support too. It is natural to feel bad when you discover that what you said has been twisted, especially in a controversial way and people begin to insult you without even reading the article because of some crazy headline. I never said the media or a section of the media refused to support my career.
What is your take on the state of rap music in Nigeria?
Rap music is doing fine and growing. I am proud that I am a rapper. Rap music is not lagging behind as many assume. A lot of rappers are working hard to make the genre more appealing