Interview: Modenine: ‘I’m Not Against Commercial Music’

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Modenine is not your regular Nigerian rap artiste. Over the years, he has remained a great force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Aside staying focus and staying true to the rap game, he has inspired lots of other young Nigerian rappers. He spent some time with Entertainment Rave to talk about his career and other sundry issues

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Modenine is not your regular Nigerian rap artiste. Over the years, he has remained a great force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Aside staying focus and staying true to the rap game, he has inspired lots of other young Nigerian rappers. He spent some time with Entertainment Rave to talk about his career and other sundry issues

What are the latest projects you are working on at the moment?
I recently put out one radio friendly single called ‘Taking You Home’. That was after I dropped ‘Some More’ featuring Don jazzy. Right now, I’m about to drop a song I did with Morell called Bottles, Elegushi Anthem. It’ll be out before next week. They are all part of the ‘Above Ground Level’ album.

Can u give us an exclusive peak into the album?

It’s not ready yet but I have over 30 songs ready. I might add 10 more and make it a double CD or CD deluxe version on itunes. I have a few other Nigerian artists on my album such as 9ice , Ice Prince , Reminisce, Nnena and a host of others. I have one American rapper too. . I’m working out the logistics for the video of Some More.

What has really helped  your brand?
The main factor is that I’m very versatile. And also, I’m Patient with the art form. Also, I don’t really bother about haters because they will always exist. Hate is love. The more they hate you, they actually subconsciously love you. I’m living in the mind of a hater rent free. I run on hater’s fuel.
How will you describe the state of your career at the moment?

I’ll describe my career as an expanding empire, kind of like the Mongols in the time of Ghengis Khan.

What are your winning principles?

Winning principle is never to turn down a fan who wants an autograph or a photograph
As one of the pioneers of rap music in Nigeria, what is your impression of the industry at the moment?
I try not analyse the industry. I’d rather spend more time recording and performing for my real fans. A wise Jamaican man I met in the UK gave me the best advice ever. He said “Modenine, watch no face”. So I don’t really pay attention to other artiste like that.  As long as you do what you want to do, that’s keeping it real.
But do you think the young acts that came after you are keeping it real?
I’m not about to start pointing fingers at other artistes doing their thing and getting that paper. That’s what the game is about. I personally think ‘keeping it real’ is the most misconstrued phrase in the world.  Even I can’t tell you what it really means. But on the flip side, artiste like Boogey , Eclipse , SDC , Phyno,  Olamide and Reminisce are making incredible Music.

What is your idea of a better music industry?
A better music industry for me is one where people don’t have to make one certain type of song to be big. In Nigeria, we only have one genre of music and that’s what you hear in clubs. If you do anything else, they say it’s not commercial. That’s why I have a lot of respect for 2Fface, Timi Dakolo and Asa.
You once said commercial rap music is not hiphop.  What do u have against commercial rap music before now?

 

I didn’t say anything negative about commercial music. By the way, it’s the so called commercial rap music fanatics who always have negative things to say about me. By the way, how do you define commercial music? Commercial is the 2nd most misconstrued term after keeping it real. Definition of commerce is buying and selling. So if I can sell 2 copies of my album, I’m commercial. Case closed!

How do we recognise a real rapper?
I’m not bothered about recognising real rappers. By the way, I don’t really care because i’m about my own business.
What are the things you look out for when listening to rap music?

Basically, I look out for two things, the beat and lyrics.
What is happening to the community you created, African Hiphop Movement?

African hiphop movement might be moved to another country since hiphop as a culture is not big in Nigeria. Hiphop is different from Rap. So I need to jump start it in a country that has a thriving  hiphop community. Nobody really cares about the art form, the elements and the culture. So no hard feelings,  We are moving it.

Is there any difference between rap and hip-hop?

It depends on how you look at it. I would say that hip-hop music can be generalised, people refers to hip-hop as music of the youth. So, you might not need to be a rapper to be called a hip-hop artiste. Hip-hop encompasses all the music of the youth such as rap, R&B and all that. Hip-hop is not a genre of music: it’s a way of life, attitude and the music of the youth.

What is your definition of rap music?

Rap music is the act of putting words together, rhythm and poetry. It is putting words together to make sense and sound good, which is the rhythm and act of passing your message in a musical form.

Source: Thisday.

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