A biblical passage reads in part, “a prophet has no honor in his own homeland” (New World Translation) but in the case of music icon, Olamide Adedeji, simplified as Olamide, such is not the case. Asides from his subltle but ferocious fanbase, he boasts of some mind-blowing impressive records coupled with numerous awards, the most consistent album run in Nigerian music history and to crown it all, running a successive record label. Olamide aka Baddo is a force to reckon with and much beloved in his hometown or country, Nigeria.
While it would be sweet of us to reminisce on Olamide’s past and present achievements, the purpose for this write-up is to celebrate Olamide through other people, that is, the stars he has brought to limelight in the course of his ever growing career spanning over a decade. 3 for 33 fits the scenario as we will be highlighting three stars in their respective lanes, from artistes such as himself to record producer to video directors, Olamide’s utility in the Nigerian music industry cannot be undermined. We consider just 3 acts, 1 in each category, as we take a quick look at their career achievements, celebrating Olamide’s dominating excellence through their respective success story as he (Olamide) turns 33 years old today (Tuesday, 15 March).
• Lil Kesh (Artiste)
The lyrically dope rapper-singer, Lil Kesh has built a solid foundation of hits upon hits. Starting off his career as an artiste signed under Olamide’s YBNL Nation record label and mentorship, he immediately grew to become the crowd pleaser and fans favourite. His breakthrough single, Lyrically, showed music lovers what Lil Kesh had in store but it would be Shoki aided by its remix with Davido and no other person than Olamide that increased Kesh’s notoriety on the streets of Lagos and the Nigerian mainstream at large. Undoubtedly, co-signed by Olamide through a record deal and having one of the biggest songs of the year (2014) will be the beginning of Lil Kesh’s commercial success.
Three (3) features on Olamide’s Street OT album (2014) would do him more good than fathomable, springing him to one of the newest brightest talents of that year and won him quite a number of awards while also securing him gigs nationwide. Under YBNL, Lil Kesh released his critically acclaimed debut album, Y.A.G.I (Young and Getting It) including Semilore, Ibile, Efejoku and Problem Child featuring Olamide.
Although no longer a member of the YBNL family, Lil Kesh still pays homage to YBNL and soaring high as ever, major thanks to his latest hit single—Don’t Call Me.
• Pheelz (Producer)
Right from “Pheelz, Mr. Producer” to the new era “Rii . . . Riidimakulayo”, Pheelz is clearly in the Nigerian producers hall of fame. Undisputably the best Hip-Hop record producer (or at least, top 3) in the country, Pheelz has also delved into genres like Afrobeat(s), Highlife, Pop etc. To show how strong the Pheelz and Olamide brotherhood is, the only albums by Olamide in which Pheelz had no contribution whatsoever was “UY Scuti” and “Lagos Nawa”.
Yes, one can allude Pheelz’s rise to prominence in the Nigerian music sector but what is a good song without flavourful production? Starting with the instrumentals which is where Pheelz comes into the picture with his stainless record of making hit singles for Olamide through beat making. Voice of the Street, Durosoke, Triumphant and Don’t Stop, First of All are just a handful of hit records Pheelz has produced for Olamide in comparion to producing the entire tracks or most of the songs on albums such as Eyan Mayweather, The Glory, Street OT and Baddest Guy Ever Liveth.
Apart from his repertoire with Olamide, Pheelz also records his own music. 2022 Finesse is a perfect testament to the amazing depth of Pheelz’s artistry. He has one project to his name, Hear Me Out EP (2021).
• Unlimited L.A (Video Director)
While the brand known as Unlimited LA might have received spotlight in Shoki (Remix) official music video. If you can remember, as a closing visual credit, two men are seen dancing the “Skelemba” dance, yes, the man with dreads by the right is Buari Olalekan Oluwasegun, professionally known as Unlimited L.A; Olamide would turn out to be his most patronising client.
Making music is one thing, having the right visuals to bring such lyrics to life is another. That Unlimited L.A and Olamide overtime have shown to become masters of, building a strong bond like hydrogen and chlorine with videos amassing hundred of millions of views to back it up.
Eleda Mi O, Skelemba, Lagos Boys, Falila Ketan, Eyan Mayweather and Wo!! are some of the music videos Unlimited L.A has shot and directed for Olamide, bringing colours, storytelling and brilliant cinematography to what were just audio lyrical content by Olamide.
Although Olamide might seem to have provided many assists to Unlimited L.A, he has also scored major directing jobs with Timaya (Bow Down, Don Dada etc.), Falz (Bahd Baddo Baddest), Reekado Banks (Katapot), Sean Tizzle (Sho Lee, Perfect Gentleman etc.) and many others.
Olamide definitely has built a legacy very few of his peers can boast of or even try matching. This he does while still assisting others to achieve their dreams. “I dey another level” he sings on the intro track—Another Level—of his tenth album (Carpe Diem) immediately followed with the self-vindicating “Me I no dey find their validation” line which is true in all ramifications.
More life, more success and greater heights to Olamide!