Friday, 7 September 2012

WHEN THE COWBELL CLANGS by WADE JOHNSON



Hip Hop in Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented growth in  the past 10 years, it has also become the major social & urban lifestyle influencer. This paradigm shift can be attributed to the efforts of notable individuals in Nigeria, one of such persons is Yobemoh. Yobemoh is a pioneer Hip Hop icon, performer, talent manager, ardent lover and propagator of Hip Hop culture in Africa and the world over. Yobemoh shares an interesting embodiment,as the alter ego persona of the founder of ILLIFIC, Mr Paul Akhimie one of Nigeria’s foremost talent management and entertainment agency, with a repertoire profile of acts.
Yobemoh’s biography reads like an epic flick, but this creative sapient is just getting warm. Recently releasing his first official debut singles titled “Original Fine People” & “Let Me Love You” which received appreciable rotation on key radio stations. The lead single “Original Fine People” moved up the ranks of the daily charts on one of Nigeria’s foremost urban-music radio station Rhythm 93.7 FM for 3weeks, rising to the Number#3 Spot on the ”Top Seven Jams @ Seven”.  The video of the song, which was directed by Uben, an internationally trained cinematographer, was well received on major music video channels and TV Stations across the nation. Yobemoh’s salted blend of Hip Hop exhibits a rarity in this part of our world blending diverse cultural influences both indigenous & global in outlook.
I asked him how he came about the name Yobemoh, and he said “Back in my teen years my peeps referred to me as a homeboy, that fella you could rely on; I wanted to keep it but it sounded so clich√© as at the time, so I needed to make it sound fresh so I reversed the word ‘Homeboy’ and I came up with ‘Yobemoh’ and it stuck”.
When asked about his take on the Hip Hop scene of late he replies “I’m glad to see rappers making ends with their craft, but I’m very particular about creative diversity and this dudes just ain’t raising the bar and they burnt out already” he says. 

Debuting his new single “Cowbell”, set to drop today (7th September 2012) is an attestation of that move in that direction. “I’m  dropping that nu feel south-bounce-drawl Hip Hop on this record, putting sexy out” he says, unveiling the official sleeve art for the single which features top video vixen/Playboy Playmate, Melissa Howe of The Howe Twins fame, as the cover model is breath taking to say the least. Asked how he hooked up with the playmate who has featured in videos with 50cent, Snoop Dog & reference with Tom Cruise amongst others, he said “Me ‘n  Mel being pals, she helped out on my first online video for my record ‘Birthday Suit’ bout a year ‘n a half ago, told her about this, she was like hell yeah baby, ride with it”.
“This record is set to propel me on a global mine field of opportunities, ni**a bound to blow up, feel me?!” he says laughing.
“We made this industry (Nigeria’s Hip Hop) viable, we set the parameters, now I’m set to rein things in as the apex regulator” he said.
In light of staying in touch with his fans his indie label imprint ILLIFIC MUSIC set up his social media website where his fans can reach him, on twitter : @yobemoh & facebook.com/yobemohofficial. “I love interacting with my fans and I want to be as ‘Real’ to them as possible, not some surreal-inaccessible ‘idol’” he says.
Asked if he’ll like to change anything if possible about the scene in Nigeria he responds. “Yeah , the lack of ingenuity and the myopic scope of their creative servings.  We’re in a cyber age, every rapper in Nigeria needs to step up their game ‘cause the world is our playing field and we’re accountable for whatever negative perception in terms of the quality of music we put out brings”.
Rappers, step your game up. 

Wade Johnson is a freelance writter working with Illific Solutions Ltd.

PR/Managers:illific@yahoo.com
Bookings: yobemoh@gmail.com
Twitter: @yobemoh
Press Enquiries Tel: +234 8064299227

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