Following his tragic death just as his music career was taking off, fans of the rapper can tell that not a few acts in the indigenous rap scene in Nigeria are living up to his standard.
It’s one of those great hypotheticals to imagine what twists and turns the Yoruba rapper would have taken over the course of a career that was threatening greatness. His influence would shine through as the zeitgeist saw a transition from the smooth IJGB variation made palatable by the likes of M.I and Naeto C to the hard, indigenous flavor we would get from the likes of Olamide, Phyno and Lil Kesh.
Dagrin made Nigerians believe that it was okay to rap in your local tongue as he didn’t only spew random words in Yoruba, but also addressed political and social issues.
In our Spotlight this week, we join thousands of fans who took to social media days ago to remember the rapper with the #Dagrin10years.
Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun, chiefly known as Dagrin was born on 25 October 1984 and died on 22 April 2010. He was a Nigerian rapper from Ogun State, Nigeria.
Dagrin’s home was in Meiran, Alagbado, Lagos. His style of rapping incorporated Yoruba, English, and Naija Pidgin English. In 2010, the year he died, he was nominated for the Nigerian Entertainment Awards for Best Album (C.E.O.), Hottest Single “Pon Pon Pon”, Best Rap Act and Best Collaboration with vocals. His album C.E.O. (Chief executive Omota English: Chief Executive Thug) won the Hip hop World Award 2010 for the best rap album.
A film of his life entitled Ghetto Dreamz was released in April 2011.
Dagrin’s single “Pon Pon Pon” has some cultural significance as it talks about the lifestyle in Lagos, Agege, Ifewara, Mushin, Ikeja, Surulere, Isale Eko, and many other parts of south-western Nigeria where life in the slums mixes up with life in the affluent cities and parts of Lagos Nigeria.
His songs touch upon ethnicity, pride in surviving the streets of Lagos and a hint of criticism elderly people hurls against bad behaviour.
The music video proudly displays young people in their twenties and early thirties proudly displaying their tribal marks in retrospect of the old Yoruba empire of Ile-Ife.
Here’s a collection of tweets from fans, family and friends in remembrance of the indigenous rap icon: