On Wednesday, the Nigerian entertainment industry was dealt another blow as it continued to heal from the grief of Mohbad‘s passing. The tears had just begun drying up, and rays of sunlight trickled in when the cloud of loss returned. The shocking death of Oladips was announced. He was just 28, a rapper with a prodigious flair for storytelling and comical wordplay in the Yoruba language. Another budding star plucked too soon from the Afro street-pop constellation.
In the statement pronouncing his death, Oladips’ management revealed the artiste kept “battles within him” for over two years. Although Oladips tried boxing his mental health struggle from the rest of the world, streaks of his pain leaked in his lyricism.
He was a lyricist whose impeccable delivery of bars with jaw-dropping punchiness, oiled with fantastic rhyme schemes, makes you want to devour his lines like new yams. Oladips laid bare his struggles and unshy about pointing fingers and dissing those he perceived as his “oppressors”.
Christened Oladipupo Olabode Oladimeji, Oladips was born on March 24, 1995, in Ogun, Nigeria. He was born in a family of five. The artiste spoke about the hardship endured in his early years in his music. In ‘Ajala Travel‘, an autobiographical track released in 2022, Oladips spoke about how his parents struggled to afford schooling for their offspring and the squalor condition of the community compound he was raised.
“Na house we dey sleep/When everybody don go school/ Mama and Papa, room and parlour/ face me and face you,” he rapped in the song’s hook.
Oladips began his life like most Nigerian kids, obsessed with football and school. He also showcased his football talent within his community before his pivot to a musical path.
“Everyone in my community thought I would be next Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi,” he said in a 2019 interview.
He turned to rap in his teen years and was converted to a hip-hop head by the success of the late DaGrin, Olamide, Seriki, Reminisce and many other rappers who doled their lines in the Yoruba language.
Oladips began his lyrical journey with short bust freestyles on social media and music websites, and a breakthrough came in 2013 when he secured the second spot in D’Banj’s ‘The King Is Here’ challenge.
Shortly after the achievement, he was signed to EDGE/LRR Records, a music label owned by Reminisce.
With the label, Oladips scored ‘Lalakukulala’, his most famous song, featuring his label boss in 2017.
RECORD LABEL TROUBLE
After the success of ‘Lalakukulala’, Oladips’ issues with the record label got messy, culminating in his exit from the label in 2019.
The music star claimed he was cheated during his stay with LRR Records. He also revealed that he had only ₦23,000 in his account when leaving the label.
He released several diss tracks with his former label boss as the primary target.
However, in an interview, the rapper claimed to have a somewhat friendly relationship with his former boss.
Despite the drama, Oladips stayed true to his music and began to release songs independently.
MENTAL HEALTH STRUGGLES
Oladips never shied away from talking about his challenging moments. He claimed he was blacklisted by the big names in the industry over a disagreement with his former record label boss.
In several deleted Instagram posts, He talked about the blackballing trend in the music industry and how budding talents are cannibalised.
JIBE AT WIZKID
On December 2, 2022, Oladips did not hold back as he responded to Wizkid’s remarks on the state of rap music, which he described as “dead”.
Oladips fired back, asking why Wizkid was criticising rap without helping out or suggesting ways it could be better.
In February, Oladips announced on social media that his father had passed on.
The music star took to X to complain about people’s behaviour while he was mourning his father in his hometown.
He said despite grieving, people in the neighbourhood did not sympathise with his father but instead asked for money.
He described them as “inconsiderate and heartless” and said he did not want their association.
A series of alarming videos surfaced on social media, capturing the distressing scene of Oladips seemingly collapsing and prompting friends to rush him to a hospital.
Prior to this, the rapper had taken to Instagram to urgently seek a friend’s whereabouts and questioned why he was left alone.
After being rushed to the hospital, the friend revealed Oladips’ mother did not want him hospitalised and asked for him to be brought home.
In February, Oladips put out an ominous song — titled ‘Conversation With The Reaper’ — where he challenged “death” and questioned why it enjoyed taking lives for a living.
“Do you love your job? Who takes people’s lives for a living? mehn, that is dumb,” the lyrics read.
“Take a break, go home and have a cold shower. It must be nice being the reaper, all the terror that we feel when we hear your name and we shiver.”
On October 6, the rapper also came through with a single titled ‘Die Young‘ wherein he prayed against untimely death.
“So I hope that I will get my flowers before I lose my powers and everything that makes me a human (being),” the lyrics read.
“Yes, I’m free; I just wanna live and express how I feel. I don’t wanna leave (I don’t wanna die young). Breathe, make I breathe.
“I just wanna live. I dey practice what I preach, I don’t wanna leave. Oluwa jowo make I no die before my time.”
While introducing the 17-track album, he said he wanted to create something that would last even after his demise.
Sadly, Oladips passed away a few days before the album’s release date.
Editor’s note: The Obituary kicker has been removed to reflect the latest development after Oladips management announced his death on November 14.
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