Regardless of how you choose to define consistency, especially as it concerns the Nigerian music industry, if there was ever a consistent performer on the Nigerian music scene, then – hands down – that performer would be none other than the uncrowned king of the streets, Olamide Adedeji.
Born on the 15th of March, 1989, the 28 year old multi-award-winning Nigerian Hip-hop recording artist from Bariga, Lagos State has remained remarkably consistent over the past near decade of his impressive music career as an artiste on his own, and on his multitude of collaborations with industry favourites such as Phyno, Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage and Timaya.
However, not unlike many of his equally successful contemporaries, Olamide has his own grass to grace story. Before the release of his massive breakout single, ‘Eni Duro’ in 2010, the indigenous rapper – who records mostly in Yoruba language, his mother tongue – reportedly spent six long years in the studio learning the ropes and being tutored by his former producer and mentor, ID Cabasa.
Those many years of deliberate tutelage apparently paid off spectacularly well, as the YBNL boss has since continued to churn out firecracker after certified firecracker. From his early Wizkid joint, ‘Omo To Shan’, to the viral ‘First of All’, ‘Stupid Love’ and ‘Durosoke’, to fan favourites ‘Turn Up’, ‘Eleda Mi’, and ‘Story For The Gods’, to the more recent scorchers ‘Bobo’, ‘Melo Melo’, and ‘Who You Epp?’ to last year’s undisputed street anthem ‘Wo!!’, to the rave of the moment ‘Science Student’, and the many tracks in between, Olamide has definitely earned the rights to be described as the prototypical hit-maker.
You might argue that releasing smash hits regularly is something that industry heavyweights such as 2 Baba, Wizkid and Davido have also done, and we agree. But can you think of anybody in that league of performers who has put out at least one album every year since his debut? Because we honestly cannot… apart from Olamide, that is!
Since the release of his debut album ‘Rapsodi’ in 2011, Olamide has put out a new album every single year till date. The only year in which Olamide did otherwise was in 2015 when he released his highly acclaimed collaborative album ‘2 Kings’ with his frequent long-time collaborator, Phyno, in addition to his own solo album ‘Eyan Mayweather’, meaning he released two stellar albums that year!
Before ‘Eyan Mayweather’ dropped in 2015, there was ‘YBNL’ in 2012, ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth’ in 2013, and ‘Street OT’ in 2014. After the massive back-to-back double release of 2015, we were subsequently blessed by 2016’s ‘The Glory’, and – of course – last year’s phenomenal ‘Lagos Nawa!’. Now how’s that for consistency?
As anybody who has a decent understanding of any music industry (especially Nigeria’s) would know, it is one thing to have the Midas touch and be notorious for turning virtually every hit you release to gold, but it can be an entirely different ball game to have your musical genius and hard work duly recognized. In both regards, Olamide has done spectacularly well.
From the Headies, to the Nigerian Entertainment Awards, to the City People Entertainment Awards, to the Channel O Music Video Awards, to the Soundcity MVPs, to the AFRIMAs, and even the AFRIMMAs, the uber-talented rapper has featured prominently on virtually every list of award recipients – repeatedly so, we might add.
To top it all off, Olamide has remained consistent with much more than just with the frequency with which he releases records, his perennial presence on the airwaves, and the long streak of awards which he continues to garner. When we referred to the man as the uncrowned king of the streets, we meant every word of it.
Apart from his hits which have repeatedly gone on to become massive street anthems, Olamide has consistently shown just how important his unbelievably large fanbase is to him, and that’s probably the most important factor we’ve considered on this editorial, because what’s a superstar without fans?
Olamide underscored his devotion and dedication to his throng of superfans once more at the 2017 edition of the Olamide Live In Concert (OLIC) which the rapper hosted at the Teslim Balogun stadium in Lagos with adequate provision for a whopping 25,000 anticipated people.
How insane is that? But it gets even better. Last year’s OLIC was the fourth in succession. Olamide hosted the inaugural OLIC in 2014, and has consistently continued to do so annually till date. Need we say any more?
As far as the Nigerian music industry is concerned, we think it’s more than safe to describe Olamide as the very quintessence of consistency. Facts, after all, do not lie.