Following the release of his fifth project, Vibes & Insha Allah, we talk to the Nigerian rap veteran about 'Street Music,' inspiring another generation, and launching an acting career.
The year was 2008 and Nigerian hip-hop was blossoming with names like M.I, Naeto C, TerrythaRapman, Mode 9, RuggedMan and a handful of others who tapped heavily on Western hip-hop aesthetics and their own local narratives. They created a precedent for what rap music sounded like in the country and what could be accepted or played to the mainstream. Unbeknownst to them a new 'street sound' which also leaned heavily on hip-hop aesthetics was growing in the slums and would soon hit the mainstream with full force.
It all started in 2010 with the introduction of one of Nigeria's most loved and praised rap figures DaGrin; with his swagerrish candence of flows, and melodic delivery in Yoruba, and Pidgin English fused with Western slangs, he opened the doors to a new playing field. The 'Local Rapper' received critical acclaim while sticking to his roots, his album C.E.O signaled something new. His tragic passing in 2010 left the reins of the paradigm shift he steered open for worthy successors.
A new chapter was unlocked and in 2011 came artists like Olamide, Jahbless, Konga and Reminisce. These new voices took the sound to the next level and made hit singles that made it accepted. What was now termed 'Street Music' was an evolution of hip-hop, mashed with fast paced afrobeat drums and layered with heavy-hitting lyrics. It was slowly taking over nationwide, in front of everyone's eyes.
Nine years later one of the sound's leading voices, Reminisce, is still at the top of his game. With the emergence of younger figures like Zlatan, Lil Kesh, Mojo, who've all contributed to the new age identity of what 'Street Music' has become, Reminisce has held his own with four top-selling and award winning albums, countless successful hit singles, and also an acting credit on one of Nigeria's highest grossing films, King Of Boys, he's undoubtedly become what one would call an OG.
We caught up with the legendary rapper to talk about his long and ever-evolving career, why he decided to release his new project after a four-year hiatus, and what to expect next.