Before the Internet became a main stay in the lives of Nigerian youths, Ruggedman in 2013 broke the airwaves with the release of his controversial single, Ehen.
Ruggedy Baba has a message for artists who don't speak up on societal issues
Ruggedman will be releasing his new album before the end of 2018 and he has some words for celebrities who don't speak up for their fans.
On the song which featured the late singer, Nomoreloss, Ruggedman's took shots at the leading characters in the Nigerian music industry at the point, names like Eedris Abdulkareem, Maintain, Rasqie and Black Masquerades were openly called out and nailed before the public cross for sins ranging from lack of originality and shallow lyrics.
With the accompanying music video, Ruggedman became the topic of every conversation and earned himself the title of the saviour of rap in Nigeria.
Across three solo albums, Ruggedman has blossomed into a force.
And after a quiet period where he says he has taken time to focus on his other business, the September 20th clothing line, the 'Opomu Lero' who recently put out the video for his single, Is Police Your Friend, is set to release a new body of work in 2018.
Speaking on his upcoming album
''I have been recording a lot of songs, it was just about some months ago that I discovered I had recorded over 30 songs, some finished, some unfinished and it is about time.
A lot of people have been asking, when are you dropping anything new... I have songs with and more.
I am not an upcoming artist that needs to drop a number of singles to lead to an album, so I really don't have anything to prove, so the album is almost ready and will definitely be dropping before the end of the year.
You are all going to be surprised because I will be experimenting a lot on this project, it will definitely thrill you''.
On if he feels he still has any point to prove, he replies;
''I don't need to prove anything as I have already carved a niche for himself a long time ago and put my name in the sands of Nigerian hip-hop, which is the effect of the type of rap music you hear today.
The styles will probably be different, but the way Ruggedman sounds, nobody else sounds like that''... what I am just doing now, I am experimenting, like I said on Baraje, 'I blend with the trend, stay forever like a culture'.''
Ruggedman also shared his thought on the rap scene
''I will say the most constant thing in life is change, but the gap of change shouldn't be too wide, we have a lot of, what I call Rap&B artists right now, they do like 70% singing and 30% rapping.
When I came into the industry, we did it simply for the love of rap, inspired by the likes of and we also had the at the same time.
We have always had different styles of rap, but nowadays we have too many lazy rappers, I think the Nigerian situation is also part of it, they want to make money, but don't be eager to make money and lose the whole essence of who you are.
I have always tried to balance things in my music, like when I dropped 'Peace or War', which was rap straight up, I had 'Baraje' for the commercial side, the same thing when I did 'Ruggedy Baba', I also dropped 'Club Rugged', but everybody went 'Ruggedy Baba's way, that is me giving them options.
So yes, you need to make money, make music that can sell but don't leave out the rap part of it also, try balance it.''
Asked if he feels vindicated that his prophecy on Ruggedy baba came true
On his sophomore album, Ruggedybaba, released in 2007, Ruggedman in his lyrics had stated that, ''Wetin go make them know where your music come from in the long run, Na the fusion of grammar, your slang and your mother tongue'',
The veteran rapper is proud to see how well his words have aged with the likes of indigenous rappers, Olamide and Phyno being the most visible leaders of the genre.
''Of course, I feel very happy that my prophecy came to pass.
In 2004, we were in Unilag for Mr Macho, the MC was , the headliner was , I was there with and one other guy to perform as a group, even and were there.
We went out, we performed in all English, to us we were killing it, spitting bars, yes, some people were feeling it, but you could see some people who were not interested at all.
Immediately after we left, one Fuji artist came on and you could see students going wild and that made me think, what did this dude do that we didn't do?
It was later that I realised that it was the language thing, everybody could relate to it and then Paul Play now told me later that, the fastest way you can reach people is rapping in a language they can understand and this was at the time I was writing , so I went back and changed 80% of the lyrics.
Check every song that has been a hit out of Naija, it has been a song with an infusion of your native tongue, from to to , I am happy and what Ruggedman did in this industry can never be done a second time and I thank God that I am still alive to witness this.''
On his relationship with artists he has taken shots at in the past
Ruggedman has a rich history of controversies with fellow artists including the likes of Eedris Abdulkareem, Modenine and Rasqie, but he says that is in the past, as they are all grown up men.
''I am cool with everyone, I did what I had to do at the time, I didn't know them personally then, It was only Olu Maintain I knew personally before I dropped Ehen.
And I told him, there was a song I was recording and I called you guys name [Maintain] in it, he just said, OK, I am sure he didn't know the magnitude of the song, to him it was just a normal song then it dropped and boom, but they are human, so initially they were bound to react.
But whatever I did with Ehen, it made the Nigerian industry seat up, it made people take us seriously, I think it made Nigerian artists step up, so I am cool with them all, I have even done a song with Eedris, appeared in Rasqie's video, we are all cool''.
He has a final message to Nigerian artists who don't speak up on social issues
Ruggedman was recently involved in an online exchange of words with the Police PRO, ASP Opetodalopo Badmus over the brutality allegations against an arm of the department, the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), and he has called for fellow artists to also speak up on issues that affects the society.
''I will tell you this, the people out there who are being extorted, arrested and even shot, some of them are your fans, they buy your music, they put food on your table and the least thing you can do for them is to speak up for them.
Some of them even get stopped coming from your shows, the most I am asking is even if you won't come out to protest, just do a song or at least, just speak up, and let these fans know you have got their back... Don't wait until it happens to you to speak up.
The last song I dropped was a conscious song for this whole SARS brutality going on out there, called 'Is Police Your Friend?' Like I said when I came out, 'I speak for shoemakers, and I speak for mechanics'.
I believe if you are a celebrity, if you have attained that status, it is one thing to be a celebrity but it is a whole different thing for you to use that status to effect positive change not just for yourself.'' he says.
Ruggedman concluded stating that he will be putting out a new single in the coming weeks.
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