There’s is hardly any figure that has impacted Nigerian Rap/Hip-hop culturally as much as Mode-nine. He was/is the S.I unit of what it means to be a lyrically gifted word smith. Babatunde Olusegun Adewale born June 14, 1975 in London, United Kingdom but hails from Osun State, Nigeria. Modenine is a Nigerian veteran lyricist, rapper and Hip hop hall of fame legend who is arguably acknowledged as the best rapper and lyricist to have ever come out of the shores of Nigeria and Africa in general. He’s credited currently to date with an impressive Hip hop body of works, 7 studio albums and 5 mixtapes to his discography.
E’ Pluribus Unum “One Amongst Many” -2006,The Paradigm Shift -2008, Da Vinci Mode-2014, Above Ground Level – 2014, Modenine & Alias – Pay At-10-Shun -2010, Modenine & Mills The Producer – Golden Era Guevara New Era Mandela -2011, Modenine & XYZ – Alphabetical Order -2013, Modenine and DJ Papercutt” – Look What I Found EP [ 2016 ], Insulin 2016
Malcolm IX – The Lost Sessions -2004, Pentium IX – The Mixtape – 2005, Nigel Benn’s KraftWork (Modenine and Kraft) – The Soul Edition – 2007, 09.09.09 The Mix Tape -2009, Occupy The Throne -2012.
Modenine who also goes by other alias as Polimaf, Nigel Benn, Samurai XI and Mathematical segey. He’s also one of the most decorated rappers all over Africa with a Channel O music award for the song “Cry” and a seven time winner Headies, Lyricist on the Roll. In truth, only less than a handful of rappers are trying to scratch his legacy. Olamide and M.I maybe…
Having achieved such a status of being Nigeria rap legend with so many projects and accolades to back that claim, Modenine took the Nigerian rap industry to the world right from the days of his defunct rap crew SWAT ROOT and Payback tyme records with an unreleased album “IX files” later to the kick off of his Debut release Macolm IX which was released back in 2004, it was critically acclaimed Hip hop master piece, shortly after which got him signed to Question Mark records which at that time had music heavy weight Asa and super producer Cobhams Asuquo and vocalist.
Modenine has been a mentor to talented rappers and rappers of his generation, however with such a legendary status it’s sad that there is a lot of “whys” hovering around his almost spanning 2 decades career.Modo has been less appreciated and respected for his art, why no notable endorsements till date? Aside from his ever first Commercial advert for telecommunications giant Glo “I rule” , why no major headlining event?. Why this and why that? but truth be told if Modo was an american rapper with such status and accomplishments he would definitely be well appreciated, highly paid with probably a few endorsement, his own label and artistes under his belt,
Why don’t Nigerians patronize his music ?
Modo as he is fondly called is regarded as one of the greatest rappers to have come out of the African continent but has enjoyed average commercial success, he recently stated in an interview granted to punch that his last release “Insulin” will be his last on the shores of Nigeria.
Have we ever wondered why Modenine is not having an awesome rap career?
What might be wrong?
Lack of support from the Nigerian entertainment industry, entrepreneurs, top brands, industry politics, and Nigerians attitude towards rap music in general.
The top players in the music industry have failed to honour the legendary heights of Modenine that which is also affecting his career seriously with less radio airplay and a very little fanbase. Big telecommunications companies like Globacomm who is like a big pillar for Nigerian artistes and other big brands have failed to recognize Modenine’s influence in the Nigerian rap industry instead they have decide to endorse artiste with no sense of artistic creativity just for mass appeal, this hasn’t helped his career. On a track released a while ago Modo admitted to having no endorsement deals.
According to our research most Nigerians and music lovers say they don’t seem to relate to his style of rap music stating it’s filled with too much grammatical expression, complexities of foreign lingua and no longer impressed with his rhymes but these same fans have favourite rappers like Nas, Eminem, Jay Z and a few foreign artistes to mention,
Why don’t we celebrate our own?
With more competition arising in music and with the rap game evolving from boom bap beats to trap and Afro infused sound and lingual younger rappers have emerged with catchy hooks, indigenous flows and a more fashionable and easy to relate style to the general audience, on this Modenine has failed to evolve, impress and applauding his decision not to switch to rapping in vernacular or his native Yoruba tongue, Modenine can still maintain his rap lingual and experiment his style on a more catchy hooks and maybe trap style. so its safe to say Modenine should experiment more as a result of the Nigerian factors in place.
Can he cope with this current breed of young rap artistes ?
It’s not safe to say Mode-nine has no fashion sense at all because his fashion style still retain the golden and lyrical Hip hop era which is strictly Hip hop from head to toe. Though fashion trends is evolving like the music Modo doesn’t appear publicly to be rocking dapper suits or looking differently from when he dropped his first album Malcolm IX-The lost Sessions always in baggy jeans, snap-back and a hoodie, in other to engage the youths more you need to communicate with them not just with the music but also with your dress sense, a heavy weight telecommunications company looking to endorse artists will prefer to have a Ycee on its pay roster than a Modenine . So Modo please upgrade your wardrobe.
Is there a way out, Would Modenine ever get the applauds he deserves?
Modenine lacks proper branding since he left Question Mark records. For example take a look at DJ Khaled who was off the radar for a while and came back fully strong, energized and found a way to reach out to the audience by that he became bigger and better dropped an album that went up to number 1spot with several hit songs and features. Proper branding is critical and key to an artiste career, a well experience A&R/ PR team and artiste management this should be taken serious because branding and management is deeper than rap itself. We hope this article gets through the right channel
Modenine deserves as much respect for his art as we currently give other Nigerians who have excelled in their chosen fields, such as the likes of Chimamanda in literature, John Mikel Obi in football and Kunle Afolayan in film. @hephef
Besides this well deserved critically acclaim heights as a Nigerian rap legend there are business opportunities for someone of Modenine’s calibre, Modo should be in the position to influence in the media not just appearing in free freestyle shows with less audience. Modo once worked as a host on Rhythm FM Abuja. Radio is lacking deep, well-informed, eloquent OAPs. Most voices we hear on air are uninformed, faux foreign-accent peddling pretenders who know nothing about pop, youth culture, urban art and music.
Modenine is an encyclopedia of general knowledge and music, asides being a connoisseur of Hip Hop history, as well as an amazing communicator. Beyond the radio, there is also room for Modenine to function in other sections of media – TV/ documentaries, digital, advertising (jingles and voice over), podcasts, etc. @hephef
Hopefully, Hip Hop lovers, entertainment entrepreneurs, rap heads and rap artistes who are successful in business will find creative ways to both honour a man who has giving us so much joy and pleasure with his art, while also taking advantage of the value embedded in this heavyweight.
What do you think about this article
Drop your comments as we wait for part 2 and conclusion about Why Mode-nine is not a Mogul.
Written by @MrDrexxx