Monday, November 4, 2013
I don't sleep with my female fans and I am not better than Dagrin - Olamide speaks
the boundaries in the Yoruba rap genre
in the Nigerian music industry using a
style of delivery made popular by late
music superstar, Da Grin.
In this Sun Newspapers interview, the
talented rapper who is also a final year
student of the Tai Solarin University
speaks on his growing up, music,
relationship with popular producer, I.D
Cabasa, and rumoured affiliation with
the Illuminati, believed to be a secret
Read excerpts from the interview
Could you tell us about yourself?
My name is Olamide Adedeji. I'm a
native of Abeokuta, Ogun State. I was
born and bred in Bariga, Lagos. I'm a
student of Tai Solarin University where
I'm studying Mass Communication. I'm
from a family of seven.
How did you start out as rapper?
I discovered music was in me while
growing up. In 2003 I started writing
my own lines and performing at shows
and the rest today is history.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was not that rosy neither
was it that bad. Growing up in the
ghetto was quite challenging because
you're looked down on by kids from
upscale neighbourhoods. In the ghetto I
was given ghetto orientation which is
never to look down on myself no
Tell us about your love life?
I have nothing to say about that.
Late Dagrin seemed to have
influenced you a great deal. What
does he mean to you?
He's more like the late Martin Luther
King. I call him Barrack 'O Grin. He is
such a blessing to Nigeria. He really
paved the way big time for up-and
coming rappers like myself back in the
day. It's not like there has not been
other people before him but his impact
was awesome! Dagrin is a great artiste
and I respect him; he is a legend.
Lately you have become so big.
How are you filling the vacuum
Dagrin left behind?
I don't know. It is depend on people's
perspective. I just live my life the way
I feel and besides, I'm not the only
rapper in the industry. There are
others like Lord of Ajasa. However I'm
only doing my thing. Now people are
comparing me to Dagrin and that feels
great. I see it as a blessing from God.
I can't say I'm the best rapper; that
would be ridiculous. It's like saying Jay
Z is the best rapper. However, it's not
like Jay Z is better than B.I.G but
people see the love they have for
B.I.G in Jay Z. B.I.G died when he
started making money and people were
heartbroken. And Jay Z can never
open his mouth and say 'I'm better
than B.I.G.' The same thing applies to
me too. I can't say I'm better than
How do you get inspiration for
I discovered a long time ago that rap
music is all around me so I draw a lot
of inspiration from my environment. I
just feel comfortable being a rapper as
opposed to singing. Seeing rap icons
like Dagrin and the love he had for the
art just overwhelms me.
How do you handle your female
(laughter)We dey try. Behind every
successful man there is a woman. For
me it's not just about a woman but
women so I take advantage of it
positively. I don't sleep with my female
fans; I treat them like my sisters.
What's been your happiest
God has done many things for me. I
can't tell which moment is the happiest
but one I can remember was the
release of my first album, Rhapsodi. I
was so happy when it was released.
That album registered my name in the
annals of the history of rap music in
What was it like meeting I.D
I met I.D Cabasa when I went to
record with a friend in a studio. We
met each other and struck the right
chords and the connection took off
from there. That's how I ended up
having his support. And ever since,
he's been giving me that special big
What's your advice for up-and-
My advice is that they should put God
first and do less of unnecessary hard
If not rap what would you be
For now, I don't see myself leaving the
rap world. I would rather be running a
rap music label.
What is the meaning of Ilefo
It is slang in my neighbourhood in
Bariga, Lagos. Ilefo simply means
There is talk that you belong to
illuminati. How true is this?
I have been correcting that impression
in all my interviews and I'm not going
to get tired of it. I only feel I need to
keep representing my own people and
communicating with them in a way that
they will understand me. So, I want to
tell my people that I don't belong to
illuminati or any secret society.
What has been your challenges?
Wow! It used to be an issue of
finance. Right now the major one we
are facing is the issue of piracy. And
it's crazy men! I feel it should stop
but I also know it can never be
What are your dreams?
I want to be a global brand that is
why I'm looking up to God. It is not
by my power but by the grace of
God. I feel honoured and great that
I'm one of the top profile rappers in