In hip-hop, panache is a prerequisite for success and bragging rights is a must-have in the world of punchlines, wordplays and metaphors.
Olanrewaju Ogunmefun, a Nigerian rapper known as Vector, is well equipped with all of these but on his latest album, Lafiaji, he wants fans to get to know him better.
Beyond the braggadocio of the rap game, Vector says the album is a true a reflection of his personality, background and formation.
The rapper, who cherishes his privacy, talked about Lafiaji, and his opinion on several issues in an interview with TheCable Lifestyle.
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a simple person who believes in God and family. I believe in boundaries which is why I keep to myself a lot. Let’s just be who we are.
I’m feeling like people don’t know much about Vector because I choose to keep my private life private but then if I won’t keep it private, let me just use arts to show you the sides of me that you have never known.
What’s your creative process like?
I have voices in my head and I’m being honest. I am very aware of my environment and that is key to my music making process. That’s why it’s easy for me to freestyle because I make sense out if everything around me. That’s why it’s easy for me to look around a room and freestyle.
Indigenous, English or Pidgin rap. Which are you most comfortable doing?
I don’t pick, I go with the spirit of making music. One of the biggest songs on the album is Adura and it’s mostly in Yoruba. I am not doing music in whatever lingo because it’s commercial, I do it for compatibility.
What makes Lafiaji different?
Lafiaji is a place on Lagos Island where I grew up and I felt that people needed to experience that, to know what it means to be a barracks Lagos Island boy. Maybe you will understand me better when I am out there and I don’t want to speak to people or when I am not participating in some things. It’s not pride, it’s just that where I am from, if it doesn’t make sense or help you become better, there’s no point indulging in it.
It had to be Lafiaji because that is where I know the most on Lagos Island. I have seen fights and peace on the turf. The area has meant a lot to me philosophical. I just thought it’s time to give back to them because every of my foundational experiences took place in Lafiaji. It’s not a cliche Vector album, it’s an appreciation of where I am from that has not denied me.
Don’t you think expectations will be high, considering the hype around Lafiaji?
I’m 6 ft 4 inches, I am not scared of heights. I have never been average so why start now? I have always been raising the car. If you see it as too high then I deserve to be there.
Name 5 top rappers in Nigeria
I don’t have 5 top rappers in Nigeria, I have rappers that I respect for doing their thing. It’s not from an angle of pride that I don’t have five top rappers, I just enjoy rap.
What would you attribute the growth of the industry to?
It’s natural, a great football team without a coach could win a match because the footballers can play. The fact that we debate the existence of the industry show that there is one. Is it up to global standards, maybe you could argue that.
We have bodies that function as part of an industry that we claim doesn’t exist. Things can get better but again, I’m tired of talking down Nigeria. We are too quick to damage the image of our country forgetting that we are the country which means that we are damaging ourselves.
There is an industry, yes. Is it at par with the world? Maybe not, but then who is counting. In the industry, we are dealing with too many things like corporations that get established and they are dubious people.
What can artistes do to make more money?
I think we have to reset the Nigerian brain and give them a philosophy to live by because you do business with some people and find out that they have made away with your money and they start giving excuses. We can only hope, pray and work for the better.
Are you single?
Don’t pry into my private life, I am not single.
If not music, what would you have been doing?
I would have been an inspirational speaker because they said I can speak very well. I propounded a theory in 300 level and I didn’t go back to it because they wanted to turn me into a mad man.
I know that I am a little intelligent but I am not Einstein. I would have been writing like reordering the mentality of an average Nigerian.
So when are you going to write your book?
I will definitely write a book someday. I’m just waiting for the right time.
What is on your Christmas wishlist?
I don’t have a Christmas wishlist. If I had to create one as a naive child, I would pray that there is peace in everywhere in the world.
As an adult, I would pray that God helps me to be able to afford bread so that I can help others but let me be able to feed myself and my family first. I wish peace to everyone who deserves it.
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