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Image: Courtesy of Emerald East

Nigeria's Ladipoe Drops Highly-Anticipated EP 'Providence'

Features from Rema, Fireboy DML and Amaarae let you know the project is fire.

Hot off of his recent BET Awards Nomination for Best International Flow, Nigerian rapper Ladipoe has graced fans and avid listeners with his sophomore project titled, 'Providence'. The 6-track EP comes via Mavin Records and reflects the superstar's growth in both talent and status. Guest appearances from Nigerian favorites Rema and Fireboy DML, and Ghanianan-American singer-songwriter-producer Amaarae certainly amp up the excitement surrounding the rapper's latest project.

Following the release of Ladipoe's internationally treasured breakout single "Feeling" alongside Buju, 80 million streams later, and he has broken records topping Nigerian charts for 8 weeks straight and being dubbed as "the song of the summer" in his home country and beyond. The rapper seems to have perfected his recipe for an excellent track.

The beautifully curated 6-track EP tells a story of growth, introspectiveness, love, and life. Ladipoe starts us off with a reflective number titled "LOTR II," and it's not an abbreviation for your favorite sci-fi series, but rather his nickname, 'Leader of the Revival'. Production credits and praises are given to Andre Vibez on the project, adding to the innovative, experimental Nigerian afro-fusion sound circling the industry on track "Running" featuring fellow countryman Fireboy DML. The song "Afro Jigga" sees Ladipoe explore the abundant flavors of his sonic palette, delivering a fiery anthem that makes you think of sun-drenched cabanas and icy, mint beverages. Rema adds his unmatched seasoning to the track, acting as the perfect addition to make it that much sweeter. "Law of Attraction" captured the lengths Ladipoe would go to to make one feel his true affections. And with bars like, "For you, I'll dive into the Nile river," we have a sneaking suspicion that the Nigerian rapper is a powerful manifestor. Another sweet treat, "Love Essential" featuring Amaarae, the future of afropop, is the whisper of sweet nothings every successful project needs. The final and titular track 'Providence' seems to be the most honest delivery as the verse-packed song is filled with self-reflected quips. Additional producers who worked on the project include Guilty Beatz, Ozedikus, Emit Fenn, and Johnson IP.

Ladipoe's newest release shows that the Nigerian rapper has an abundant set of skills and talents he's ready to share with the world. And we're excited for what's to come.

Listen to Ladipoe's highly anticipated EP 'Providence' here

Image: David Omigie, creative director of Daltimore, wears a contrast-panel, overlap leather jacket from Daltimore

How Nigerian Streetwear Brand, Daltimore, is Rising To Celebrity Status

We spoke with founder and creative director David Omigie about expression through clothing and that #BBNaija pic.

Backstage at her first live performance at the Big Brother Naija eviction show in July, Mavin's music starlet Ayra Starr posed for Instagram wearing a custom, ivory two-piece outfit. The 19-year-old posed wearing a slinky bandeau crop top with a metallic accent, and high waist baggy pants paired with opera fingerless gloves. The outfit is reminiscent of the same chic, carnal athleticism seen in Ayra's video for Bloody Samaritan, where she wears both a custom fur coat and a monochromatic red leather outfit. Both looks are the work of Nigerian streetwear brand Daltimore.

These moments of fashion aren't happening in isolation. Streetwear has a stronghold on Nigerian youth culture, especially in Lagos, often troping around the resurgence of Y2K aesthetics that have begun to influence the buzzing profiles of Gen Z artists, fashion influencers, and entertainers. Bucket hats, crop tops, baguette bags, baggy jeans, mini skirts, and so on. Enter Daltimore, seizing the moment by signposting how these cultural pulses are intersecting. At first, the brand didn't eschew streetwear's disruptive tendencies when founded by its creative director David Omigie in 2015. The brand name is significant for David, to immortalize his late brother. Baltimore was his nickname back in high school.

This isn't the only familial death David has experienced to inspire the Daltimore footprint. The debut collection embraced simple, conservative tailoring, dashiki tunics, and shift dresses that stayed slightly loose on the body. Blending in casual touches like jeans and sneakers to keep it modern, the collection in hindsight appeared to be foreshadowing possibilities in streetwear. With a wave of terrorist attacks in Northern Nigeria and the unfair stereotyping of the region as violent and hostile, Daltimore shifted focus to the region's culture and iconography to dispel media narratives for its 2018 collection.

Translating the aridity of the North into invigorating brown close to the shade of pecan, Daltimore's 2018 collection featured clothes columned into long skirts, sleeveless kaftans with large white patch pockets, and head wraps. In finding its own design language, the brand has created a tension that sits between tradition and modernity. To that end, cowries on a zip-up leather jacket illustrate this intermingling or basketweave embellishment on a tote bag. Embracing the broader, aggressive aspects of streetwear was only a matter of time. Look at a Daltimore ensemble and there would typically be a harness looping around the wearer, vests and bomber jackets in neon colors, bags with sling chains, and velcro straps. And lots of leather.

From 2Baba, Blaqbonez, Joeboy, Fireboy DML, Dremo, Lady Donli to Toke Makinwa, Dare Art-Alade, Ric Hassani, Oxlade, Daltimore has accrued an impressive list of celebrity fans in a relatively short time. In this OkayAfrica interview, David shares his motivation for going into fashion, how he's been navigating the industry, and defines streetwear from his vantage point.

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