There’s a new wave of International rap artist emerging from the African motherland. In 2010 the world really awoke to the continent after Kanye West signed Nigeria’s owned D’Banj who is now officially the president of “Def jam Africa” just 5 years after their local Homeland prominence in 2005.
The unprecedented growth of the Nigeria Renaissance
is due to many factors, not excluding the artists that have been paving the way from the very beginning, enter MAGNUM (Real Name: Debo Doyin).
MAGNUM, the 2011 NUBAA Award Nominee is one of the most sort after Nigerian Lyricist. Known for his unique fusion of melodic flows coupled with American hip-hop urban sounds spiced with Nigerian lingo.
For Magnum, growing up in Festac, a federal housing estate located along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway in Lagos State, life was tough. For him, Rap was a survival mechanism and a vehicle in which to become educated. “Lyrical dexterity in street rap battles was a matter of survival. It was a tough environment because if you(re) wack lyrically, you’d be cut down pretty quick, and you’re credibility get shattered in return” said Magnum.
Festac Town provided young Nigerians like Magnum and his “Ruff Rugged and Raw” squad a platform on which to rap and compete in the early 90s. Spots such as Mega Jam, Deals and the annual Festac block party were fertile ground for aspiring rappers.
Magnum represented both within and outside of Festac Town. In the exclusive Victoria Island region of Nigeria, the new televised Clapperboard held at Sizzlers had begun showcasing Nigeria’s best up and coming talent. Organised by now famous radio personality and Beat FM Program Director, Olisa Adibua. Magnum recalls how at the time “it was a big deal to be on television!”
Renowned Disc Jockey, Dj Jimmy Jatt, known for setting the pace for Hip hop music in Lagos, also played a major role in Magnum’s artistry by grooming new Naija talents. Dj Jimmy Jatt pioneered hip-hop events like “Roadblock” for both upcoming rappers and DJs. He was exceedingly passionate about seeing Nigerian Mcs at the top, back then and till this day.
Magnum performed literally everywhere including Lekki Sun Splash; Sun Fun, and Kennis Music Festival. World-renowned singer 2Face and Faze also grew up in the Festac town estate, partaking in the same annual rap-off events with Magnum.
The North London born/ Lagos City raised mc made a name for himself in the mid 90’s battling local mc’s before returning to London. In 1999, Magnum formed the Pounds and Naira INC collective based in London whose membership boasted the originator of “Yoruba Rap” AY. Since then, Magnum’s career has taken him on several working trips to Newark, New Jersey; making him a true cosmopolitan. The UK, BA Honours Graduate and prolific music producer transforms and ultimately transposes his Nigerian- Yoruba honed talents combined with English Mic skills to international perfection.
In 2008, his performance @ The 3rd annual Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA) in NYC raised his
International presence on both sides of the Atlantic having performed alongside well respected Nigerian artistes such as Eldee, Sasha, Ayuba, and America’s BET 106 & Park ALEXANDER DA GREAT.
Whilst touring NYC & New Jersey, MAGNUM developed a friendship and professional mutual admiration with Def Jam’s Lady Luck and ALEXANDER THE GREAT from the Cypress Hills section of East New York.
MAGNUM’s 2010 performance on the ‘We Are Africans’ campaign garnished him a new legion of fans as the MC opened the set at The O2 Arena alongside UK veteran JJC and Nigeria’s Banky W, Eldee, Ice Prince, MI, Chocolate Boyz Camp and award winning comedian, Basket Mouth. Another historic performance at the Annual Notting Hill Carnival paired MAGNUM again alongside JJC and Banky W, now joined by 9ice, Femi and Jaywon, both signed to the Kenny’s Music record label. The ‘We Are Africans’ Campaign would go on to secure both a MOBO nomination BEST AFRICAN MUSIC and an AFRICAN MUSIC AWARD nod for BEST AFRICAN ARTIST IN THE DIASPORA.
MAGNUM’s roster of collaborated workmanship reads like an international Hip-hop list of the world’s best.
Universal Records signee- Canibus, Naija artists: Rugged Man Solek, Big Boyz Ents, the Naija/New Yorker “mc” Iceberg Slim, Eldee, Banky W, ALEXANDER DA GREAT and many more.
Being a rapper, music producer/composer and video producer makes MAGNUM an exceptional phenomenon and a unique entity. With so many talents, the logical progression in both artistry and business acumen was to incorporate his efforts; SWAGNIFICENT MUSIC is just that. The first release ‘United We Stand’ features MAGNUM alongside video vixen- Noni Zondi and Mr. Int’l- whoisparadise (57th dynasty, tgsmp) trading fire for flames over the label owner’s own head-nodding production.
Nigeria’s entertainment industry has become a thriving and robust one as of late, and with the insertion of bankable sources such as SWAGNIFICENT MUSIC, The Global market place just got that much richer. Look out for SWAGNIFICENT MUSIC to do big things in 2012.