Introducing '3rd World Hippy' Bara Blaque

Okayafrica spoke to Nigerian/UK "Third World Hippy" emcee Bara Blaque, who along with Tosin Kuti and K!T makes up London hip-hop trio The Koup.

Nigerian/UK-based emcee Bara Blaque recently entered our radar with his screwed and chopped single "3rd World Hippy." Spitting hypnotic wordplay that raises both the specter of Top Dawg's Black Hippy as well as comparisons to A$AP Rocky's debut, Bara co-fronts London hip-hop trio The Koup along with fellow Afro-British wordsmiths K!T and Tosin Kuti (who recently unveiled the jazzy standout "Shame"). We're looking forward to what 2014 has in store for the collective. In the meantime, the Third World Hippy filled us in on what to expect from his Naija-groomed projects. Watch the monochromatic takeover below (it's trippy as a mother) and scroll on for our interview with the Koup's Bara Blaque.


OKA: First, can you introduce yourself?

Bara: What's up my name's Bara Blaque 1/3 of the Koup.

OKA: Where were you born and where did you grow up?

Bara: Well I was born in the late eighties in one of, if not the greatest city on earth, London. I moved back to Nigeria when I was nine years old and frequently went back during the holidays or any chance I got to. I did a lot of travelling, and have been all over the world, shout out my pops for the hook up (a retired pilot). As a boy it really broadened my perspective of the world back when I was in boarding school. I lived in Nigeria for 9 years and moved back to London when I was 18. Which is where I currently live. I still visit Nigeria once in a while to see the family. I have infinite love for London, love the city to death, but Nigeria is a major part of my life so they have my heart 50/50, some nights 60/40.

OKA: Any Nigerian artists you're listening to these days?

Bara: I'm a serious Fela (RIP) fan and I'm really feeling Jesse Jagz movement. The guy is just projecting an amazing vibe. I've been bumping Burna Boy. Wizkid is a genius. It's a bit dulling sometimes because I don't speak Yoruba but once in a while I get one of the homies to translate for me. "Kondo" by Dagrin (RIP) is still one of my all time favourites.

OKA: Favorite spot for Nigerian food in London?

Bara: For Nigerian food I would say my yard I've got a couple pretty women who come round to cook for me. They add in ingredients these restaurants missing: couple ounces of Love, but faaji is sick. I live in northwest London so whenever I can't get the food cooked I get some Lekki Kitchen or Kilburn's D'Den.

OKA: What is Third World Hippy?

Bara: As a body of work "3rd World Hippy" is a masterpiece to say the least. As a title I'd say it's anyone who is true to oneself and looking for the advancement of the human race as a society, putting aside any prejudice and breaking all mental barriers while having a muthaf-ing good time (excuse my french) bumping that Koup ISH. OR third but not least, "3rd World Hippy" is simply me. The forever advancing, vibe switching, ass kicking, name taking, game changing, rhyme slinging West African lyrical peace keeping tyrant.

OKA: What is the Koup? What brings you guys together?

Bara: The Koup is the new hip-hop holy trinity. And that's universal hip-hop, not just Africa or the UK or America or Jupiter, anywhere everywhere anyhow. As for what brings us together, we're really good friends, in fact, brothers, a mutual respect for each other's craft and beliefs. A lot of people have asked us to switch to afro beats or make a certain type of music but we stand by the same ideals. We see the world in a very similar way and are all addicted to rap. We call ourselves the three headed beast, 3 heads one body. I would also say our insatiable appetite for greatness. We are all students of rap and literally studied the game for years. I've been writing rhymes for atleast a decade. We have non-stop conversations about the game, which can get a bit boring to some of our friends or people we meet. We have huge plans to change rap and make hip-hop truly universal. We're here to make history, not just music. Richest black man and black woman are both respectively Nigerian, only right its the same for the best hip-hop artist of our time. It's time to bring hip-hop home and we are the ones to do it. It's the Koup.


Mr. P's New Music Video For 'Look Into My Eyes' Is Life

Mr. P gets real with fans in the final installment of his mini music video series, "Look Into My Eyes" and we are feeling it.

The gifted Mr. P returns to us with another dope single and music video with his latest track, "Look Into My Eyes." Although disbanded from the superstar Naija duo group P-Square, Peter Okoye (Mr. P), continues to show that he is still talented as a solo artist.

This music video is a successful collaboration with amazing choreographer, Nonso Asobe, and was produced by Vtek. It's a part of Mr. P's mini music video series.

Keep reading... Show less
Still from film 'Angelica.'

These 9 Films Prove Caribbean Cinema Is On the Rise

A recap of nine standout films hailing from the Caribbean featured at this year's Pan-African Film Festival.

Islanders made their mark on films from all geographic regions at the 2018 Pan-African Film Festival. This festival's selections captured the evolution of language, spiritual practices, food and art of a people whose descendants were forcefully removed from the African continent. Caribbean tales bridged the waters that lie between the African continent and the Americas. The story of the transatlantic holocaust of enslavement that began in the mid-15th century and brought some Africans to the Caribbean region echoes in the voices of the present-day inhabitants. The region's soca music moved festival goers at the opening night's party as well as in the final night's screening. As usual, you could count on the Caribbean artists to deliver both education and entertainment.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo: Mídia NINJA

A Black Woman in Power

Discussing the legacy of Rio de Janeiro councilwoman Marielle Franco with a woman who knew her well

Last week, the charismatic young Afro-Brazilian politician Marielle Franco was assassinated. While motives remain unknown, many fear the beloved Rio de Janeiro councilwoman was targeted for her strong stance against police repression and other injustices. Professor Jaqueline Gomes knew Franco well. Gomes is an Afro-Brazilian trans woman who plans to run for Congress in this year's national elections. She was honored by Franco last year with a special city council award, the Chiquinha Gonzaga medal for her work in human rights and education. Gomes, a professor at a federal institute, became the first black transgender woman to be honored. It was the presence of Franco, a black woman on the city council of Rio de Janeiro, says Gomes, that made it possible for her to receive such an award. Over the next year, she supported Franco in all of her work.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox