Popular rapper, Olamide Adedeji, aka Badoo, speaks with JAYNE AUGOYE about his career and relationship with fellow artistes
Olamide Adedeji, aka Badoo, comes across easily as one of those who made indigenous rap one of the most popular music genres in Nigeria today. He is not only the favourite of most lovers of rap, they simply adore him for successfully filling the vacuum created by the departure of late Yoruba rap sensation, Dagrin, from the music scene.
Considering the progress that he has made within the last few years, Olamide, no doubt, has fully stepped into the proverbial shoes left behind by Dagrin. The alternative rapper, also known as the ‘king of the streets’, hit the limelight after recording his debut album, Rapsodi, on the Coded Tunes music label in 2011.
In spite of his achievements, the artiste, who was recently honored by MTV base, has not let his success get into his head.
“There is no need to start something if you can’t perfect it. I am in music because it is what I have always wanted to do. It is like learning how to drive a car. You have to perfect your skills. I am going to keep making music till I reach the climax of my career,” he says, describing his mission.
Like most contemporary Nigerian artistes, Olamide never ceases to talk about his rise from poverty and obscurity to riches and fame. This unending account of his personal struggles is reflected in most of his lyrics.
Although some of the rapper’s lines appear to be laced with lewd phrases, he insists that his true personality remains a mystery to members of the public.
Waving aside the rumour that he is not in speaking terms with fellow rapper, Reminisce, Olamide says, “I grew up listening to the likes of Reminisce and 9ice. I have watched them do some recording at ID Cabasa’s studio. I was the studio rat that was always hanging around them.
Whenever I listen to Reminisce, my respect for him deepens and I think Dr. Sid’s song, Surulere, was clearly made for him. I pray for him a lot and respect him a lot,” he says.
For the self-acclaimed ‘Voice of the street’ who grew up in the Bariga area of Lagos, fame did not come cheap. He fell in love with rap music at a tender age and was always visiting renowned producer, ID Cabasa’s music studio in his school uniform.
Olamide is clearly proud that he made the decision to take up music as his career. Recalling his humble beginning, he says, “Life has not been rosy. Although I had to do a lot of crazy things to survive, I have always been myself. Sometimes I spent my school fees on studio sessions. In those days, I used to sneak out of home to go to the recording studio. My parents won’t let me out of the house through the gate. Eventually, I had to quit school for music because I had this burning ambition to end up as a performing artiste.”
The decision to ditch school for music did not go down well with his family and friends. In spite of this, he has managed to make an impact on the music scene.
“I want to go back to school soon. I want to study Music Business in South Africa in 2015,” he says.
Since foremost Nigerian rap artiste, Dagrin, passed on four years ago, quite a number of Yoruba lyricists have stepped up their game. However, Olamide stands out as the only one that is being compared with the late star, talent-wise.
“When they compare me to ‘the king that once lived’ (Dagrin), who shut down the whole place during his time, it makes me feel good. When they say I am doing it like Dagrin, I feel very humble. I am just doing my thing and living my own dream, but the truth is there can never be another Dagrin,” a humbled Olamide notes.
The passionate rapper, who clearly bestrides the Nigerian rap music scene like a colossus, says, “I keep the competition from within and look forward to outdo my last effort. I am in competition with myself.”
Determined to avoid controversies, Olamide says he is always on his guard when relating with his female fans.
“I treat my female fans like my girlfriend. My girlfriend knows I show them love, but I keep it low key. I don’t go too far. I don’t want to take anybody for granted. I appreciate my fans, I show them love, but only God will decide when I will get married,” he says.
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