Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Is Yobemoh Just Another Hip Hop Brawler?
In a musical terrain riddled with more players with fleeting dreams than actual iconic figures, originality, creativity and the gift to transform words into a universal hit become qualities to die for.
Hip Hop in Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the past 10 years, it has also become the major social & urban lifestyle influencer, this paradigm shift can be attributed to the efforts of a few notable individuals in Nigeria, one of such persons is Yobemoh.
Yobemoh is a pioneer Hip Hop icon, performer, ardent lover and propagator of Hip Hop culture in Africa and the world over. Yobemoh shares an interesting embodiment,as the alter ego persona of the founder of ILLIFIC, Paul Akhimie one of Nigeria’s foremost talent management and entertainment agency, with a repertoire of acts such as Plantashun Boiz, Blackface, Lord of Ajasa, Bigiano, Mallam Spicey etc to name a few.
A veteran in the game, Yobemoh has been working the Nigerian Hip Hop circuit as far back as 1987 as a rapper, event promoter and campaigner of the culture (Hip Hop) till date.
He performed in high school events, local Hip Hop events and talent platforms within the period of 1987-98. He actually got more active in promotions while in college, hosting street gigs such as Rap Attack between 1997-98, a platform set up to promote budding Hip Hop acts.
After graduating he became a principal-executive member (Sec. Gen) of Nigeria’s premiere Hip Hop association, called the Afro Hip Hop Society, which hosted the first ever true Hip Hop Awards (the AHHA: Afro Hip Hop Awards) in Nigeria at the New African Shrine in 2001. An Official co-franchisee of one of America’s most respected Hip Hop promotions platform the Lyricist Lounge in Africa also reinforces his stature in the promotion of Hip Hop; hosting two novel editions in Nigeria between the periods of 2004-2005, which featured international Hip Hop acts from the United States and Nigeria.
Yobemoh’s biography reads like a memoir, but this creative sapient is just getting warm. He released his first official debut singles titled “Original Fine People” & “Let Me Love You” in late March 2012 which received appreciable rotation on key radio stations. The lead single “Original Fine People” moved up the ranks of the daily charts on one of Nigeria’s foremost urban-music radio station Rhythm FM for 3weeks, rising to the Number#3 Spot on the ”Top Seven Jams @ Seven”.
The video of the song, which was directed by Uben, an internationally trained cinematographer, also got good reviews for a debuting effort & generous rotation on major music video channels and TV Stations across the nation. Yobemoh’s salted blend of Hip Hop exhibits a rarity in this part of our world blending diverse cultural influences both indigenous & global in outlook.
Asked how he came about the name Yobemoh and he said “Back in my teen years my peeps referred to me as a homeboy, that fella you could rely on; I wanted to keep it but it sounded so cliché as at the time, so I needed to make it cool so I reversed the word ‘Homeboy’ and I came up with ‘Yobemoh’ and it stuck”.
When asked about his take on the Hip Hop scene of late he replies “I’m glad to see rappers making ends with their craft, but I’m very particular about creative diversity and this dudes just aint raising the bar and they burnt out already” he says.
“We made this industry (Nigeria’s Hip Hop) viable, we set the parameters, now I’m set to rein things in as the apex regulator” he said.
Yobemoh will be releasing a self titled EP album “YOBEMOH” sometime in 2013; as he continues to build on new contents. One of such contents is his new single titled “Wait There” featuring the proverbial Afro pop singer Isolate, which hit the air waves officially November 5, 2012.
The song took him about a year to finish, as he was ‘scouting’ for the ideal act to collaborate with on the track. Continuing with his collaborative trend, he has recorded tracks with Lord of Ajasa, Malam Spicey, Mimmy Tea, Hulguz Coddler and he still got plans to work with a host of other acts in several of his recordings.
Asked if he’ll like to change one or two things about the scene in Nigeria he responds. “Yeah! The lack of ingenuity and the myopic scope of their creative servings. We’re in a cyber age, every rapper in Nigeria needs to step up their game ‘cause the world is our playing field and we’re accountable for whatever negative perception in terms of the quality of music we put out. Rappers, step your game up.”
Again, i ask, is Yobemoh just another Hip Hop face?
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