Saturday, January 12, 2013


What's up, y'all? This is Nawab and I'm usurping Ade's blogsite for the day. Before I get into the crux of this post, here's a little backstory on me: my real name's Gbolahan Akitunde and I'm a lawyer-turned-rapper. Yeah I know, sounds ironic.

I just want to use this platform to express my views on the state of Hip Hop in Nigeria and track one of the reasons the genre is still at its infancy. Some would argue that point, claiming we've come a long way. We, indeed, have come a long way from being bamboozled with gibberish on beats to feigned American accents and eventually, forced L'il Wayne-esque witticisms. But one intrinsic truth that holds sway is that we are still babies at this. No disrespect to Nigerian emcees that are currently out there doing their thing but to be honest, which one of them can confidently be pointed to as being capable of competing on an international level?

I remember when I first began writing rhymes, it was unbelievably difficult because my idol was Nas and I wanted so badly to mimic his style. I later realized I was climbing the tree from the top because the hardest thing you can do as a novice rapper is try to articulate and effectively communicate your deepest thoughts, innermost feelings and most convoluted ideas on any subject-matter in a rap while maintaining your flow with a multisyllabic rhyme scheme. This is where, as we all know, Eminem reigns supreme.

Inversely, the easiest thing to do, when one graduates a little from utter wack-ness, is coming up with clever punch-lines. Listeners on the sidelines usually think this is a thing that requires talent but it really isn't that special. All it takes is some conscious effort. Even the New Boyz did it, "I'm so cocky with it/ And my chain be lookin' like Rocky hit it." That was actually very cool imagery but believe me, if those guys can do it, anyone can. The only talent associated with firing a salvo of double entendres is in its seamless execution. Its delivery. Delivery, basically, is grace. Very few rappers possess this grace. And that's why Jay-Z can say the most mundane metaphor and the next day, it's a catchphrase. He embodies the spiritual swag that allows him get away with the most simpleminded figurative expression on his worst day.

And these are the more intangible elements my ears are trained to listen for and discern between in a rap song. It's the reason I'm not quickly as impressed by rappers over their metaphor-ridden verses as every other Nigerian music lover is. Rap is much more than that. It demands more finesse, personality and organic skill level. Only when our rappers internalize these truths can they stand on the same pedestal as a Lupe Fiasco, a Joe Budden, a Crooked I et cetera.

Hopefully, I have. Internalizing those truths and successfully incorporating them in my raps, that is. But don't take my word for it. Here are the links to the music video for my brand new song 'Binu Binu.' I'd really like for y'all to check it out. It's a unique amalgam of Nigerian commerciality, and pure, unadulterated rap verses. So please listen and feel free to comment. Thanks for taking the time out to read this.

Enjoy and God bless.

To download the video;

To stream on Youtube;

Download links to audio version;

For related Nawab posts. Other songs included;

Talk about it.

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