Hip hop or rap music and boastful talk sit side by side. Whiles some actually live the boastful talk in real life, some just live the life they speak of in their lyrics. For these crop of rappers, their dreams and fantasies can only be captured in their words, after all there’s nothing wrong with fantasizing.
The subject of fantasy rap becomes worrying when the truth and the reality or claims are at variance; the divide so stark that you begin to question why some of these artistes choose to feign reality. ‘To What End?’ is one of the question you keep asking yourself.
It is usually the case that the listener(s) is left to interrogate the veracity of these claims. Hardly do rappers, in this part of the world throw shade at their colleagues who to quote Jadakiss ‘lie 50% in their rhymes’.
One rapper who has not bitten his tongue on this subject is Ko-Jo Cue. On his song Oseikrom President, the BBnZ Live artiste rapped on the second verse of the song:
N’ansen yi rappers dey funny me pass/ Cars akese3 mu na )mu deda mu o/all in these bars/N’anso y3 charge wom studio p3/they fail to pay/still me fuu taxi/I aint ashamed to say it’.
The rap line translate loosely as: Lately rappers appear funny. They drive the luxury cars only in their bars (rhymes). But, these same rappers fail to pay for studio time. I still ride in taxis and I’m not ashamed to say it. Ko-Jo Cue goes on to itemize other actions of these rappers which fills him with laughter.
This line actually set me out to interrogate the subject of some rappers unable to pay for studio sessions or owe producers that have worked on their music. And also try and find out how widespread the phenomenon is within the music industry.
I reached out to one of my producer friends, Nel Magnum formerly of Villain Sounds Studios, who has produced music for many artistes including EL and C-Real. Nel Magnum (Roger That) confirmed the claim. ‘They do owe. Some even demand free work. The funny thing is they are the same people who believe that promoters pay them more for their performances’.
Nel who produced EL’s Don’t Let Me Burn added that ‘a lot of them come with excuses that they have to promote or premiere the songs and being the producer who wants progress, it’s necessary you do’.
Other producers I spoke to off record also shared similar sentiments as Nel Magnum adding that the situation is not only limited to up and coming rappers/artistes but also some established artistes in the country.
With that said, Ko-Jo Cue has broached a subject discussed at the backrooms and in whispers. Rappers need to floss a bit on their songs but again ‘why not make it and fake it than fake it before you make it?’, as J. Cole once said.