Popular and veteran rapper, Mode 9, has said that he never attacked some of his colleagues; the trio of Olamide, Phyno and Reminisce for saying that Punch Lines are no longer in vogue in the song, ‘Local Rappers.’ In this exclusive chat with E24-7 MAGAZINE’S TOFARATI IGE, the seven-time Headies Awards Lyricist on the Roll winner also speaks on other issues. Excerpts…
Your name is synonymous with hip-hop in Nigeria; but from your own point of view, where will you place yourself in the Nigerian hip hop industry?
That’s not really for me to say; it is for the king makers, those who write about the scene to say this is where we put Mode 9. I have been doing this for a long time; a lot of the people I started with are not doing this rap thing anymore. I feel blessed because a lot of kids still recognize me. I feel that it is not in my place to say I deserve to be this, but it is people that will say Mode 9 deserves to be placed here.
You are known to stick to pure Hip hop as it were without infusing pidgin or any other local language?
No; not really. I’m a versatile MC, and a versatile MC can kill any beat, jump on any beat and make it look good. I said it in one of my tracks that even if I rap on the most commercial song, they will still say it’s hardcore. There is nothing I can do than to just be me; I’m not trying to be another person. Besides, I have a song I did in Pidgin English titled ‘Dobale.’
So can you rap in Yoruba?
It is harder for me to write a Pidgin English song than a normal English song. I can rap in English effortlessly. I don’t just write anything, I try to be clever with words like when I said, ‘They be bungalow brains, nothing upstairs;’ it’s a punch line, but it was done in Pidgin English.
Talking about punch lines and the song ‘Local Rapper’ by Olamide, Phyno and Reminisce, you made a reaction about it recently; can you please clear the air on that?
Some people don’t understand English. What did I say? I didn’t call anybody a clown; I said maybe they were just clowning around. It’s different from calling someone a clown. It wasn’t as if they were pointing at me in particular; nobody called my name in the song. Punch lines are not restricted to English alone; it is basically the pay-off line, or summary, the most interesting part, some clever word play of whatever you’re trying to say, and you can do it in any language. As long as nobody calls my name, I’m good; I just said my mind.
What have you been up to recently?
I just recorded an album, and I dropped a single online some days back titled, ‘O ye Rappers remix;’ it’s a dope song. I have the chorus sampled from Reminisce’s verse because he was on the first one.
What is your relationship with Olamide, Reminisce and Phyno?
Reminisce and I are good. I believe if you visit someone, and you’re seeing the person’s kids and wife, it’s all good; you can consider yourself being good with the person, right? But as for Olamide, I just know him in person. We see, have handshake, but I’m not really close to him, though I do know him, but we don’t hang out. That’s the same thing with Phyno. Phyno even made a beat for my album, but he couldn’t come up with a hook on time so the album just came out without it.