The progenitor of Nigeria’s rap music, Ruggedman, real names, Michael Ugochulwu Stephens has revealed the reason he didn’t sing in his mother’s tongue, Igbo.
The music star made the revealing statement in Lagos, saying, “I just refused to sing in the Igbo language for the reason that I didn’t want people to tag me as an Igbo singer. Most of those that do that are been labeled as such.
Pix 1, 2: Ruggedman
People should remember that I always mix in my songs the Nigeria languages; Ibo, Yoruba and a little bit of Hausa. It’s a fact too that I grew up in Lagos where there are different languages are spoken. So, if I had sung only in Ibo most of those following Nigeria music would lose touch with my music and message.”
He capped his speech with the words, “Singing in Ibo would have limited my international exposure. Like I said, people who do music in their native tongue sometimes find it difficult to break into the international scene. We need a Nigerian industry.
However, singing in the mother’s tongue should not be considered as archaic. Doing that cannot stop anyone from been a modern person. Whichever lifestyle people wants to live, singing in your dialect or not, cannot change the fact that they are either Ibo, Hausa or Yoruba. They can live whatever life they want to live but they shall continually be who they are; Ibo, Hausa or Yoruba.
Ejiro Ekurame, Ruggedman, others at event of My Africa Reality TV Show
Most of us who speak English outside converse at home in our mother’s language. Doing music in my language wouldn’t have made me a local man. It would only have limited my audience. As records can bear, I have done music in Ibo, Yoruba and such.”
Ruggedman also spoke on why he joined the My Africa Reality TV Show as the talent hunt’s music director.
Nollywood stars, Fathia Balogun, Femi Adebayo pose with Ruggedman
He said, “I accepted to be with My Africa Reality TV Show all because of my love to work with new artistes. The show is giving me that privilege on a bigger dimension. I was one of those that are instrumental in getting 9ice to fame. I took him around for two years before he became big. It is the same reason I feature upcoming artistes on my stage. When I see in them raw talent, I give them my support.”