Ten years ago he was a musical unknown, but YBNL Nation founder Olamide Adedeji, better known by his first name Olamide (and aliases such as Olamide Baddo and Baddo Sneh), already knew his star is in the universe of music.
Thus began his exploration of this universe. Olamide, who raps mostly in Yoruba, released his debut studio album “Rhapsody” in 2011. The album came a year after the monster hit “Eni Duro,” which shot him to fame and made him a household name.
At this point, he was still signed to Coded Tunes. But Olamide’s head was teeming with ideas and his psyche brimming with ambition. He founded his own record label, YBNL Nation, which released his second studio album “YBNL.”
He apparently made it a point thereafter to release an album a year. Other albums that have followed include “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth,” “Street OT,” “Eyan Mayweather,” “The Glory,” and “Lagos Nawa.”
Olamide has not only been creating but also earning recognition for his creations. At the moment, he has won almost two dozen awards. In 2015 he won the TooXclusive Awards in four categories (Certified Banger of the Year, Video Wonder of the Year, Artiste of the Year, and Male artiste of the Year.)
The same year, he also won The Headies in two categories (Best Street-Hop Artiste, and Artiste of the Year). He had won The Headies two years earlier (in 2013) in two categories (Album of the Year, and Best Rap Album). This is but a meagre list of the awards the rapper has won so far.
In 2013 it was rumoured that Olamide had signed a record deal with DB Records, but Olamide denied it, saying in an interview with Ndani TV that it was too late to sign him. Maybe so, but Olamide never thinks it is too late to sign upcoming artistes who have shown great promise.
At the moment, he is in the vanguard of discovering and nurturing young rap talents in the country and readily takes the crown as the most ambitious, a record label owner with the keenest sight for young but brilliant rappers.
Signed to the YBNL Nation at the moment are several young talents who are taking the nation’s airwaves by fire. These rappers are Temmie Ovwasa, Davolee, Limerick, Lyta and, most recently, Picazo, also called Picazo Rhap, and Yomi Blaze.
The rappers signed to the YBNL Nation have been dropping the lyrics, wooing fans across the nation. Temmie Ovwasa is known for songs such as “Bamidele,” “Jabole” and “Afefe.”
Lyta is one of the most prolific so far with great jams such as “Time,” (featuring Olamide) “Ire (Adekunle Gold Cover),” “Save Me (Cover)” and “Selfmade” to his credit. He was also featured on Westsyde’s “Kpakujemu” alongside Terri, Barry Jhay and Olamide.
Most recently the quartet of Picazo, Yomi Blaze, Davolee and Limerick (aka the YBNL Mafia) released the scorcher titled “Juju Guns and Roses.”
In the past few years, artistes like Xino, Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold and Chinco Ekun have left the record label, but the search for new talents goes on and the YBNL Nation is growing.
A few days back Olamide threatened to expose record labels practising 21st century slavery. What one can infer from this threat is that artistes signed to the YBNL Nation are treated well and have got great deals.
In seeking out young talents and giving them a platform to display their talents and skills, Olamide, who is wowing fans at the moment with his newest single “Bugle,” is indirectly positioning Nigerian music for greater global resonance. For this, surely, history will remember him kindly.