Being an avid music lover and entertainment enthusiast, I try to listen to as much radio and music as humanly possible. I also keep tabs on music blogs and sites so as to know who was hot, who is hot and who is going to be hot in the near future given the right push and grooming under the right conditions as well.
As is customary to me, I perused several music download and distribution sites in a bid to quench my daily new-music-thirst and I stumbled upon a new video by none else but veteran rapper (I think it’s safe to call him that, given the number of years he has been in the music game), Ruggedman, for the remix to his 2013 single, 8Figures, which originally features indigenous rapper, Reminisce. On the remix, however, he features Aboki crooner and Chocolate City Vice-President, Ice Prince Zamani (though with rumours of his leaving the label, which is story for another day).
I downloaded the video and believe me when I tell you that all my expectation and enthusiasm died after Ice Prince’s verse on the song. The beat was average, the musical arrangement was just “there”, the delivery on the song was somewhat lazy and the hook was just all over the place. The video to the song itself was lacking in imagination, ideas and creativity. The whole video (and I do mean the entire video) seems to have been shot in a white van which made it all the more laughable.
For those of us who are not so musically versed; or for those born in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Ruggedman (real names: Michael Ugochukwu Stephens) graduated from Lagos State University and began exploring his musical side in 1999. Ruggedman launched himself into the music industry in the same year, eventually becoming one of the most featured rappers in Nigeria at the time.
He has also performed alongside international acts such as KC & Jojo, Guru, Sean Paul, Wyclef Jean, Akon, Wayne Wonder, Ja Rule, Kevin Little, Kanye West, Maxie Priest, LL Cool J, Nas, Nelly and so many others.
Ruggedman has achieved the rare feat of working with countless Nigerian artistes including 2baba, Niyola, Reminisce, JJC Skillz, Terry G, Da Grin, Wande Coal, et cetera; He has also won quite a number of awards locally and internationally.
However, one very notable fact about the Ohafia, Abia State-born artiste’s career is his “rich” history of controversial lyrics, statements and runs-in with the likes of Mode 9, Kenny Ogungbe, Dayo Adeneye, 9ice and so many others.
At several periods in the rapper’s career, he has taken what could be termed a hiatus, possibly to give attention to other facets of his life, but it should be said that these breaks have somewhat contributed to his seeming irrelevance in the current state of events in the Nigerian music industry.
All Ruggedman’s album have been released under his personal record label, Rugged Records. The label signed its first act, singer Mbryo, in September 2012 and was featured on Ruggedman’s Ruggedy Baba part 2 produced by Blaize Beatz.
That song, and by extension, his collaboration album with signee, Mbryo, titled Money Making Music, was his last musical effort that I was impressed with. Most recently, his single, Agidi with Wande Coal seemed to have found joy with music fans but that joy was short-lived. Other unimpressive singles have since sequeled that single to the sheer disappointment of music lovers like yours truly.
He recently dropped Seyi Shay featuring YBNL boss, Olamide, and apart from the title which pricked my curiosity to an extent,for obvious reasons, every other detail about the song is utterly forgettable. The song is a very lazy and weak effort at a club banger.
Talking about Mbryo, since his single, Big Nyash ,(a lot of these artistes really need Jesus sha!) nothing major has been heard of him; or has he followed the foot steps of his boss and music mentor, Ruggedman, by taking a very unneeded hiatus?.
Dear Michael Ugochukwu Stephens aka Ruggedman, this is a genuine advice from someone who really does “mean you well”(shout out to Omawumi…hehehe!), please stick to growing your clothing line, 20th September Wears, and also focus on discovering talented music artistes given the fact that your vast experience could easily give you an edge in that regard. Take a break from active music not the usual hiatus this time, but I mean a genuine step-back from the spot light and give rise to new things, ideas and people to shine forth because this your music thing eh… ko le werk rara o!
Hold on a bit, on second thoughts, make a comeback with a “punch line – banger” hit song that is signatory to the Ruggedy Baba that sent whack Mcs back in the year packing…
ShowbizReview_WithChuks is a weekly feature, analysing Music Industry and churning out deep reviews, in a bid to spur creativity and get our artistes on track, while championing good music.