Once upon a time, when Nigerian Hip-hop acts were perceived as nothing but a bunch of unserious and clueless youths. Any parent was ready to curse out his child who attempted to embrace music as a career.
The likes of Eedris Abdulkareem, Tony Tetuila, Eddy Remedy, Baba Dee, Sound Sultan, 2face Idibia, Eldee and a host of others who’ve been around since those days can better tell the story.
Unfortunately, most of these veterans have taken permanent resident in obscurity. Not even their effortless rebranding moves can do the magic again, it seems.
Chocolate City rapper Jude ‘MI’ Abaga has equally had his fair share of the industry hardship - from the days of living in the recording studio, to the days of squatting with friends in uncomfortable apartments; before singer Djinee eventually took him and his brother Jesse Jagz into his Lagos home.
All is history now. Homeboy is sitting, proudly, atop a stack of a several-millions-of-naira bills, local and international laurels, a truck-load of monster hits, an enviable apartment in Lagos and an impressive fleet of cars.
Mr Abaga added a brand new ‘baby’ to his garage a few months ago – a white Range Rover Sport that cost the “Short Black Boy” over 13 million naira.
“I’m always shy to take a picture with this car o…I used to be scared when just bought it,” MI told us when we insisted on taking a picture of him with the wonder wheels.
Wizkid however, having lost his former car (Black Honda Accord i-Vtec) to armed robbers in Lagos some months ago – the car which was reportedly bought for him by actress Tonto Dikeh; rave of the moment Ayo Balogun has just acquired a blue-coloured 2010 Volkswagen convertible (Eos 2.0 TSI Comfortline range) that cost him 6 million naira.
The 21-year-old and allegedly father-of-one impressively rose to superstardom right before our eyes. A one-time Banky W protégé and follower hit mainstream fame with his monster hit “Holla at your” and followed with more back-to-back hit tracks before finally debuting with his “Superstar” album.
Though still signed to EME, Banky W’s demand is nothing compared to Wizkid's at the moment. He has outshined his masters; playing more gigs at home and abroad, and raking in the millions on a weekly basis.
Wizzy’s dream is coming true at a very early age. Fame is bringing him more fortune, more international recognition, more respect and of course, more girls and controversies.
Hopefully, the young man will take lessons from his senior colleagues on how to manage his female minders. Apparently 2face Idibia would be the perfect tutor for him on that.