Eedris Abdulkareem is a Nigerian hip-hop recording artist, activist, and social impacter of the Nigerian mainstream and pop culture.
Mr. Abdulkareem is famous for many songs which he released to address social issues, one for which he is widely famous and still play a very distinct role in the pop culture of Nigeria is his 2004 hit song – ‘Jaga Jaga’
Eedris started his career while performing with a hip-hop band ‘The Remedies’ from 1997 until they split in 2002. He continued as a solo artist where he went further to release the album P.A.S.S. (“Pains And Stress = Success”) in 2002.
Eedris’s Influence In Nigeria’s Pop Culture
Its track “Wackawickee MC’s” criticized Tony Tetuila, Plantashun Boiz, and Double X Posse.
Eedris was among the first artist to pioneer the culture of Nigerian artists calling out one and another, among a few like Daddy Showkey.
Later in the same year, Abdulkareem released an album titled Mr. Lecturer. Its title track sheds light on the culture of Sex-for-grades in Nigerian Universities.
In recent times, social awareness on the culture of sex-for-grades has become very apparent with the creation of several movements and trends starting conversations on the issue
In 2004 Abdulkareem released his third album Jaga Jaga, a Yoruba term for a shambles, declaiming corruption and suffering in Nigeria. The title track was banned from radio by President Olusegun Obasanjo but continued to be played in nightclubs. The album cover was by artist Lemi Ghariokwu, known for creating many album covers for Fela Kuti.
In November 2005, Abdulkareem launched his own record label, La Kreem Music, and released his fourth album, Letter to Mr. President.
The 50 Cent Saga
In 2004, Eedris Abdulkareem confronted popular American rapper, 50 Cent who was slated to headline the Star Mega Jam in Lagos and Port Harcourt.
Eedris had attempted to sit in a seat reserved for 50 Cent but was prevented from doing so.
The ‘Jaga Jaga’ rapper, however, claimed he was protesting to the treatment given to foreign and local acts during the musical tour.
Today, Nigerian artists are highly respected on foreign soil and this has evidently made these artists Nigeria’s biggest commodity to the world.
Could Eedris’ action be considered the start of the revolution for Nigerian artist?
When I was on the plane with 50, and he asked me to get the hell out of his seat. I said no, this is Nigeria, this is my country.
3 years later, in 2007, the pair squashed off their beef when 50 Cent came to Nigeria to perform at the media launch of the KORA Awards in Abuja, Eedris publicly apologized to him on stage.
Eedris Abdulkareem Today
In 2016, Eedris made a comeback at music with the release of a body of work – ‘Trouble Dey Sleep’ which featured Afro singer, Konga.
More recently, Abdulkeareem has been getting quite a lot of airtime, granting interviews and commenting on social issues. Most recently, the singer shed light on how he was blacklisted through the influence of Charly Boy.
The singer is set to release another body of work this year, however, details of this album have not been fully shared publicly.