Olamide – Grateful

Motigbana – The Evolution Of Olamide And His Ability To Reinvent His Music and Style

My first interaction with Olamide‘s music was when he featured on MaioJoe‘s Grateful. He was quiet young but his bars made a lot of sense and had appeal. Grateful was the beginning of Olamide’s story and the first time i saw his face in any music video. His verse came first and it started like this.. “it’s been a long time coming, men o ti pe gan, sugbon lowo yi, esu ti te gan,no be say mo ni ibon, no i no get gun, Jesu ti mo gboju le lo je ki ma be gan” Would you believe that? Olamide was hyping Jesus in his lyrics when it all started out.

A lot of people never knew Olamide till he dropped his first single a few years later titled “Eni Duro” still very much under coded tunes the label that released Grateful earlier. Eni duro was pure street rap with a blend of humour and diss in the bars. This was the song that announced Olamide to the world as a rapper and possibly the one to take the place of the late Da Grin . Olamide made use of the erstwhile popular vocoder voice effect to make this song appeal to the youths. But then he was still missing a lot of fans especially lovers of easy to learn, danceable songs.

The entrance of Eni Duro also got the attention of  labels and artistes resulting in some collaborations. Olamide’s first work with Wizkid, Omo to chan was birthed. Omo to chan had Olamide’s signature comedy fill but more danceable courtesy Wizkid’s magic vocals on the chorus.

Olamide- First of All

Things were looking up and looking good but Olamide was still an upcoming act. Other singles drop after Omo to chan and then came the song that became his first official street and party anthem, “First of All”. No party, no club, no show was complete if First of all had not played. The boy had become a man.The video was hilarious which is something that has come to be synonymous with Olamide i.e humour. First of all won our hearts, stole the show and formally announced Olamide King of Street rap.

Or so we thought but olamide was not about to be boxed as a rapper. He got on Stupid love and Durosoke and we saw the now widely loved Baddo singing his song choruses rather than featuring a singer. Yemi my lover and Eleda mi became street pop jams playing alongside other pop songs at parties. Olamide’s fan base grew to include those who did not like rap music. Many elderly folks also fell in love with this young man who was fast becoming a phenomenom. This was no longer a fluke. It was 2014 about 6 years since he featured on Grateful and he has consisitently climbed up the music industry’s wall. To satisfy his hophop fans, Olamide had songs like Awon Goons mi in his new album.This is it, many thought. What else could Olamide do that would surprise anyone?

Then he released Melo Melo, a R&B song perfomed in Yoruba and Pidgin. Melo Melo was totally unexpected as fans were still enjoying Bobo a commercial hit released a few weeks earlier. If you love naija music, you had to love one or either of the two songs back then. Olamide sang through most of both songs. He was obviously enjoying the fame and success of his singing than rapping. Olamide succesful metamorphosed from a hard core rapper to a street pop singer which many other artistes like M.I, Modenine, Ruggedman and others failed to do. The Nigerian music scene was obviously not ready for hard hard core rap as seen in the line up of major shows and Olamide was not about to have himself phased out. Bobo and Melo Melo did a good job at fixing that.

Olamide continues to take collaborations seriously as seen in his works with several artstes. Who You Epp is one of such collaborations featuring Wande Coal, Phyno, Assignment with DJ Consequence, Local rappers with Phyno, Standing Ovation with Tiwa Savage and the street Anthem Fada Fada with Phyno. Olamide through his strategic collaborations was able to win fans of other artistes who hitherto would have not listen to his music because of the Yoruba language often used.

Olamide – Wo

He was able to communicate himself as a stand alone artiste with another street anthem in 2017, Wo. Olamide is an artiste that would make little sense in his song yet the lyrics would be on every lips and blasting at every music retail shop. Wo connected with Nigerians just like First of all did, if not more successful.

In 2018, Olamide released Science Student to a controversial reception about its lyrics encouraging the use of drugs by youths. Olamide swiftly denied the claims releasing a video to proof that he was discouraging the use of drugs with the song rather than encouraging it. The video highlights the side effects of drug abuse showing how it affects the youths negatively.

Olamide’s latest single, Motigbana is indeed already catching fire with several A list artistes hyping it on social media as there tune of the moment. Motigbana is another deviation from the Olamide we heard on Science Student. The songs starts with an Indian music feel which is a very new tune from the ever dynamic artiste.

On the social scene, Olamide has managed to avoid any major controversy apart from his “back to back” outburst at Headies awards 2015. A drunk Olamide was seen showing his grievances and then dropping the mic as he left the stage. His complaint was that Lil kesh, an artiste signed to his YBNL label should have won the next rated award and not Reekado Banks of Mavin Records. Don Jazzy replied him while accepting another awards a few minutes later and social media was on fire from that moment for another two weeks. Fans of YBNL and Mavin records went as far as threatening the artsites not to come to the Mainland or Island respectively Olamide and Don Jazzy’s base. Olamide is also said not be on good terms with popular blogger Linda Ikeji.

One thing is certain, we will be hearing much more form this hard working young man who has continued to maintain relevance in a highly competitive industry. And like his name and with the continued acceptance, his wealth has really come to stay.


This article was written by Ibukun Ola Rasheed, content creator and creative director at www.mynaiajdj.com . Ibukun is a music addict and lover of God.




By mynaijadj

Mynaijadj is a passionate lover of music skilled at the art of DJing and providing event entertainment solutions like sound, music, multimedia and film.

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