Before the Fruityloops, before the CDs, some youngsters made a demo tape titled “feel the vibes’’ with a piano connected to a giant tape recorder for a self-made beat, the track made the mystery tune on Eldee Extra Large’s Boom Box radio show in the city of Jos in 1994 and the few listeners who could afford Nitel’s land line called in to commend the joint made by Mista Baron and Xray, the young rap cats known as Illconspiracy.
This clique held sway and rocked alongside the legendary Black Masquraders. It wasn’t long when a show promoter from Lagos, Lesly ‘Red’ Merede came looking for emcees in J.city to recruit for his new record label called Point Blank.
The lyrical prowess of Xray and Mista Baron convinced Lesly who signed IllConspiracy, Black Masquraders and a group known as Aisha to Point Blank, a label which brought out Richard Mofe Damijo’s Out of Bounds Sound Track in 1996, the first of its kind in Nollywood.
A scene in the movie where Bimbo Akintola got hooked on drugs has the flow of the young Xray and his partner in the background. Xray always had the show but not the business, well that was over sixteen years ago. Chuktu Michael a.k.a Xray is finally warming up to drop his first solo album Visual Spectrum
His New Platform
I am endowed as it regards hip hop and rap music and I’m trying to make the best out of it. That is why I join forces with my friends Mr. Owen and Rotji and we came with headz@entertainment a union of like minds to see how we can be able to promote not just hip hop but arts and entertainment
Old School Hip Hop
We have to go back to what the old school was. Hip hop or rap music was a very positive thing… but over time certain personalities with their wrong ideology to what hip hop is have adulterated the game. Someone said hip hop is basically sex, women and drugs and you and I know that from the origin, the basis of hip hop, that is not what it is… bad things like the illuminati that everybody is attributing to hip hop but we know that is not what it is. So when I talk about old school, I am talking about hip hop in its pure essence the way we know it.
New School Hip Hop
There is a lot of attribution to negative vices and that created dichotomy. We have a responsibility to remove the negativity from the mind of the people. You know you can’t throw away the baby with the bath water. I can’t throw away my humble beginnings, I can’t throw away my past, this is who I am and with due respect to many of the young cats that are out there right now and are making it big time and are classified as new school. I am also a part of the new school because I am nothing without the present. I am not trying to paint one part of the industry black. The way I am looking at it is with the responsibility we have right now, there is a need for change. It is often said that hip hop is dead but you and I know that hip hop in the true sense is not dead, it is just evolving
The Need For A Unique Sound
Our uniqueness is our edge and we should use it as a tool rather than trying to be like they are over there, I meant in the west. I believe every artiste should look within from the inside. We should be developing what we have than trying to be what we are not that is just the basis of the argument I’m putting on. South Africans have been able to bring up their own style of sound and globally, anywhere people hear that kind of sound they will be like this is where it is from. That’s creativity, it is often said that highlife started here in Nigeria, but I must be frank with you that Ghana has been able to utilize highlife with a fusion of hip hop they call it Hiplife and wherever it is heard globally people will be like this is where it is from. I respect MI a lot and his African Rapper Number One really stands out.
The Fusion Of Pidgin Into Hip Hop
You must also know that pidgin is not only known in Nigeria, go to Liberia they have their own kind of pidgin, go to Ghana, they also have their own type of pidgin… especially the Anglophone speaking parts of Africa they have their own type of pidgin but I agree to an extent that it portrays who we are.
His Long Break From The Industry
I went to school, after my education I secured a job as a service to my father land. I put aside everything show biz and entertainment. Now I have been given an opportunity like I said earlier on Out of Bounds came as an opportunity and now I have another opportunity and I am doomed not to jump at it. I have scouted for outfits that will come and invest in me as an artiste and none ever came up I didn’t get to see any until headz@entertainment came. I alone couldn’t have done it. The two other people I am involved with in heads@entertainment are people who are professionals in their fields, Rotji Waklek to be precise is a lawyer with bias for entertainment, Owen has a wealth of experience in event management, these people have opened another page entirely in my life.
Visual Spectrum (His Debut Album In The Works)
It is a capsule of an identity of a people that want to appreciate hip hop in the essence we have always known it, it has the element of what was before and what it is now all in one. And coming down to the message, it is something I will basically consider an ideology that will spur people to look beyond where they are at the present and project into the future… we can be inspired through music to see beyond ourselves to see beyond what is around us irrespective of the insecurity in the country right now, irrespective of hardship unemployment, poverty name it
In one of my tracks, I have his voice in the background, I know a generation is coming up, you know at the age of 3 my son is already spitting my lines, he could wake up from sleep when the music is playing, that already in itself tells me somebody is taking after me, it is truly exciting anytime my music is playing on the radio he will go, “hey! they are playing Daddy’s song” he would want the whole world to know his daddy is on radio.
For the young hip hop heads, who are aspiring to go the whole nine yards into the rap game I have just but this to tell them, we often think of getting money, I want to borrow something I learnt from Fela Durotoye he said we should look at how we can add value to whatever we are doing, add value to life, add value to community, add value to society, people are so much into how they can get money how they can become millionaires, there is nothing bad in it, everybody aspires to reach the topmost level in life but the need for us to bank on our uniqueness is what will add value to the industry not what other people are doing out there but what we have that can inspire people elsewhere to look within and be resourceful, though it will come with a lot of challenges but I want to tell the young cats out there to relent not and believe ultimately in themselves, once they have this, beyond the sky is their limit.