Just hours after the news of his untimely demise was made public through a statement released by his management via his Instagram account, news of his death being a lie began circulating on social media.
The fact that Oladips was not buried hours later according to Islamic rite (he’s a practicing Muslim) coupled with comments of him being hale and hearty by his friends quickly suggested that news of his death was indeed false and perhaps a marketing attempt for his debut album ‘Super Hero Adugbo’ scheduled to drop just two days later.
An attempt to review the album cannot be made without considering the morality or the lack thereof of the fake death debacle that preceded it.
Clearly, Oladips went to extreme lengths to gain attention and inspire public sympathy for his debut album. This writer finds it imperative to ask if the album is indeed worth these extreme marketing tactics.
‘Superhero Adugbo’ – The Friendly Neighborhood Superhero
Oladips has been around for the better part of a decade and during that time, he gained some mainstream attention aided by his collaboration with Hip Hop star Reminisce who signed him to his record label.
Oladips’ time in the mainstream was short and quickly followed a falling out with Reminisce.
Not to be deterred, Oladips continued to record music and waited for the time the public glare would turn to his music. A time that would indeed come with his debut album ‘Superhero Adugbo’. A public glare that was not generated by the merit of the music and his talent but for his surprisingly extreme marketing technique.
Oladips’ debut album ‘Superhero Adugbo’ is a memoir of his experiences and an earnest declaration of his desire to be noticed by listeners upon whom his talent is lost.
The album carries the marker of a rapper whose talent is forged by his realities on the street. A reality he documents to tell the stories of life in the inner city, and which he hopes is sufficient to bring him success.
Oladips prides himself as an ambassador of the street whose music represents the domestication of Hip Hop in Nigeria. He considers himself the voice of the street just as Nigeria’s Hip Hop GOAT and his role model Olamide Baddo famously declared.
Oladips spends a large part of the album sharing the struggles that have shaped his life and continues to inspire his desire for success. He puts his best foot forward in a collection of well-crafted songs driven by pain, self-awareness, and a keen hunger for success.
Oladips shares his story in the hope that listeners can understand his pain and the reality that drives his lifelong desire to break free from the hold of poverty. He offers the best of himself to listeners through rap cuts and Party starting street hops in the hope that something sticks.
He tells the story of having the dreams of a superstar and the pain of hoping and waiting for his time in the limelight in ‘Young Nigga Dream’ and ‘Ori’. On the sizzling Log drum fuelled Street Pop cut ‘Wabillah’, he prays keenly for blessings, not for himself alone, but for his family who relies on him. A sentiment he repeats in ‘Can’t Sleep At Night’.
On ‘Mura’ where he interpolates iconic lines from 9ice‘s ‘Gongo Aso’ he shares his love for music and the painful journey he has had to endure. On ‘Young Nigga Dream,’ he admits turning to online fraud and getting arrested and how Chinko Ekun getting signed to Olamide‘s YBNL Record Label offered him hope that he, too, could one day get signed.
Having enjoyed a brief moment of success before spending a good chunk of his career maintaining an anti-establishment stance, Oladips doesn’t hesitate to take digs at other stars (he’s one of the few rappers who stood up to Wizkid after his Hip Hop is dead statement) and the industry. On the album, there are times when Oladips sheds this confrontational status for a more philosophical one.
Perhaps impacted by the passing of Street Hop maestro Mohbad, Oladips engages in some existential musings. He examines the emptiness of life on heart-string-jerking ‘Angeli’ where he remembers his late father, and on ‘Die Young,’ he shares that he hopes to get his flowers while he lives. And he shares nuggets and encourages those facing life’s vicissitudes on ‘Motivation’.
A local superhero, Oladips considers himself a role model for younger kids the way Olamide Baddo is a role model to him. On ‘Agba Awo Trenches’ He spares words of advice to youngsters whom he encourages to shun crime and pursue education.
A talented rapper, Oladips has unflinching faith in his ability. It’s this belief that has motivated him to keep thriving and it’s this self-confidence that inspires chest-thumping records like the self-eulogizing ‘Jay Z Ojota’, ‘Alla Walahi’ where Log drum brilliantly combines with Drill, on ‘Young Tinubu’ feat TROD, and on ‘Aniyikaye’. His versatility shines on Street Hop party starters like ‘Skusku’ and ‘Odia’ where he offers records that pack mass market appeal in the hope that something sticks.
Overall, ‘Superhero Adugbo’ documents Oladips’ struggles, pain, and the self-belief that drives his hunger for success through a collection of songs that offers the best of Hip Hop domestication in Nigeria.
Is the album worth the fake death marketing technique?
Irrespective of the album’s quality and how desperately Oladips wanted to ensure the album doesn’t get lost on listeners, it’s absolutely unnecessary and unbelievably extreme to resort to faking his death to achieve this.
Surely, he would try to gaslight and even manipulate listeners by coming up with a narrative to defend his action and possibly explain it away. However, he can’t fault all those including this writer who are unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt.
It’s quite unfortunate that no one in his team could be the voice of reason and talk him out of a fake death marketing gimmick that would invariably do more harm than good and squander whatever is left of the public goodwill he enjoys.
While Oladips’ ‘Superhero Adugbo’ is a brilliant domestication of Hip Hop in Nigeria, the album is marred by his manipulative and irresponsible marketing technique.