American rapper Rick Ross was present yesterday at Eko Hotel and Suites for his headline concert dubbed #RickRossLiveInLagos featuring top Nigerian headline acts, Davido and Tiwa Savage and other amazing talents like BNXN, The Cavemen., Mayorkun, Fave amongst others but to everyone’s surprise no Nigerian rapper performed at the headline concert for the American rapper.
A recurring statement in the Nigerian Hip-Hop space is “Hip-Hop in Nigeria is dead” or “Rap is a dying genre” relating to rap and rappers tragically becoming extinct from the Nigerian mainstream hemisphere. This issue was the bone of contention for two of Nigeria’s finest talents in the Hip-Hop/Rap world—Ycee and the legend himself, M.I Abaga. They speak on how the markets — Nigerian music markets — do not favour rappers and the lack of support thereof from rappers peers which invariably is slowly ruining the Hip-Hop culture in the country.
“But una rappers no go talk. You think say everything na bars and ability” Ycee writes in Pidgin, calling Hip-Hop heads and fans attention to the lack of representation of his rappers colleagues from the #RickRossLiveInLagos concert.
But una rappers no go talk
You think say everything na bars and ability
— ZAHEER! (@iam_YCee) April 14, 2022
In the corresponding tweet, Ycee admits his flaw in the whole issue, that is, his intentionality in putting out non-rap records for some time now but still questions rappers omission from the artistes roll-out in a Rick Ross’ show—a fellow rapper, asking “but how do you have a Rick Ross show in Nigeria and not have ONE SINGLE NIGERIAN RAPPER ON THE LINE UP???” Ycee ends his tweet by telling fans not to question or ridicule a rapper’s choice in the future when he/she decides to switch to a more profiting singing path as many like himself already did.
M.I on the other hand equates the lack of representation of the Nigerian Hip-Hop sector to the general disbelief in rappers and lack of respect from show organisers and label executives alike. M.I Abaga said he “was invited to meet Rick Ross” for the #RickRossLiveInLagos concert bur he requested to do so only if it was on “one on one” basis but “of course they declined” M.I writes.
M.I advises Nigerians who care about Hip-Hop to accept the fact that the “afrobeats industry will not respect HipHop just because” and “that’s fine“. He admonishes his fellow rappers to focus on making “GREAT MUSIC FOR THE ONES who do care” instead of seeking validation from show organisers, label executives and fans of popular genre in the Nigerian mainstream music industry.
M.I recollects his “first big gig ever . . . in 2008 with Jay Z and Rihanna and Usher” as the headliners but says he learnt a “valuable lesson” that day which is: “them no go respect us . . . until we respect ourselves” in M.I’s words.
Accordingly M.I Abaga asks for support from his peers. “Let’s support each other . . . push the culture and inevitably push yourself . . . give the fans quality“, M.I pleads.