On a cover of Olamide’s mon­ster hit “Who You Epp”, Mavin Records rap­per Ladipoe said, “I think we have over 180 mil­lion peo­ple so what­ever mu­sic we do there’s go­ing to be some peo­ple out there that love it.” It was an in­tro­duc­tion to what would be a mas­ter­ful flip to Olamide’s orig­i­nal but it was per­haps also a re­minder to him­self. Rap is not an al­ter­na­tive genre but Ladipoe’s brand of it is al­ter­na­tive to what is main­stream in Nige­ria. Son­i­cally his mu­sic doesn’t speak to a niche but his lyrics might even though they shouldn’t. He bucks the ad­mit­tedly ap­pre­cia­ble trend of sing­ing en­tirely in lo­cal lan­guages. He fills in in­stead with sharp turns of pid­gin and the oc­ca­sional sprin­kle of Yoruba. This is what he means by ‘what­ever mu­sic we do’ or per­haps the mu­sic that we do that is not the trend. But his tal­ent is hard to deny. When he says he makes ‘chardon­nay’ and / or ‘palmwine mu­sic’, smooth, in­tox­i­cat­ing, it is not at all an ex­ag­ger­a­tion. Ac­tive in the mu­sic scene since 2012, it might be tak­ing for­ever to be­come an overnight mega main­stream suc­cess (and you can sus­pect he wants it) but Poe is the man al­ready... that we all should be lis­ten­ing to.

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