Pumped up and anxious to get on stage, I notice this tall figure with a rough afro haircut standing in a corner, discussing with a friend, his eyes gleaning with childlike anticipation as he watches other acts perform. The event is Vector‘s industry night and Vector is on stage performing songs from his Lafiaji album, Ycee is in the house, Dremo just performed Ojere and the energy in the house is through the roof. I walk up to him, introduce myself, and with a big smile he goes, “What’s up my Gee, how you dey nau?” and after years of online conversations, we finally meet in person. I meet BlaqBonez.
Blaqbonez rise from obscurity to one of the hottest artists in our industry right now, should be compiled into a book, and sold to rising artists as they will definitely learn something from this hardworking chap. A poster boy for consistency, Blaqbonez has always shown tenacity and a strong will to succeed with his music. Right from his days in OAU, Blaqbonez really caught my attention in 2012 when he topped Boogey in Terry Tha Rapman‘s “Zombie” Competition but before then, I had noticed him in a Facebook rap battle page “Rap Gladiator Arena”. Then came the HHIB mix-tape, and the numerous songs and mix-tapes and that followed and I became convinced it was a matter of “when” for the talented rapper.
Blaqbonez had gotten the attention of hiphop heads in the country. The mix-tapes, the features, everybody knew the kid had it. Being the highest rated underground rapper, Blaqbonez released a scathing reply titled “Warning” to Yung6ix back in 2013 after the Self proclaimed King Of The South declared himself the best rapper in Nigeria. Blaqbonez was the first to call him put and personally, that was one of the turning points in his career. People really sat up to listen to him and it made a huge impression on hip-hop heads. Fast forward to 2017 when he released his “Last Time Under ” mix-tape, it became apparent that Blaqbonez was moving up the ranks and that was really his last time under, as the mix-tape showed signs of his intending cross over to more mainstream hip-hop and finally, in 2018, “Bad Boy Blaq” dropped to confirm my suspicions.
The roll out for Bad Boy Blaq started in October 2017, with “Out A Movie” And on the song, the rapper switched up his style, jumping fully on the trap wave and as far as lab rats go, that song indicated that his fans were ready for it. The rapper also tested the waters with “Bad Boy” And “Melanin Melody“. The results were encouraging and Blaqbonez was ready to flip the switch completely, and flip the switch he did on “Play“, one of the hottest songs off Bad Boy Blaq.
The success of his debut album, “Bad Boy Blaq” is the culmination of hard work, consistency and a strong will to succeed. Executive produced by M.I Abaga, “Bad Boy Blaq” has finally cemented Blaqbonez’s place as one of the best rappers to come out of Nigeria. The 10-track album shows Blaq’s maturity in the game, and as a friend hilariously commented, “Blaqbonez has stopped rapping like a hungry rapper, he’s rapping like a true bad boy now”. Although I don’t completely share his views, there is a certain refinement to the songs on “Bad Boy Blaq” On songs like “Accommodate“, “Denied“, “Consent” And “I Told You” Featuring Terry Apala, Blaqbonez takes a more laid back approach to his flows, dropping his witty lyrics as usual but riding the beat expertly with a smooth cruise control like finesse that comes from years of studying the game and aiming to do it better. On “Mamiwota” Featuring one of the standout performers on the album, Oxlade and “Woke“, Blaqbonez shows his new found mastery of Afro-pop, giving us bops for days on these songs. “Bad Boy Blaq” is a multi-genre album that puts Blaq’s versatility on full display for all to see and marvel. If you listen to this album as the first time of ever hearing Blaqbonez, you’d almost rip your hair out and ask yourself where he’s been your whole life.
“Bad Boy Blaq” Is every artist’s dream debut, as the album has remained on the charts after almost three weeks of it’s release and it recently leapfrogged M.I’s Yung Denzel album and is now sitting above it. Songs from the album are enjoying massive airplay on all major Nigerian radio stations, your favorite artists are Cosigning the project, and even foreign rappers like Nasty C have also rated the album as being “fire”. Ycee can’t seem to get enough of “Play” and there is already a remix to “Denied” Featuring Dremo and another top unnamed rapper. Blaqbonez is making new fans by the second and also crossing the border with his music as African music listeners have started catching up to him, and the good thing is that it’s getting bigger everyday. Even major Nigerian artists haven’t had a debut this big and with the award season around the corner, my bet is on “Bad Boy Blaq” To pack a lot of awards in it’s wake. If you haven’t listened to the album by now, what are you doing with your life? Listen now!