PROLIFIC rapper, Olanrewaju Ogunmefun, otherwise known as Vector tha Viper, is renowned in Nigeria and beyond for his distinctive rap and smooth delivery on the mic. The Ogun state born rapper who participated in the 2013 Hennessy Artistry threw a challenge to the King of New York, Roc-A-fella boss, Jay Z to a freestyle battle during an interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on his experience in Hennessy Artistry 2013, among other issues.
How was the experience on the Hennessy artistry 2013?
It’s great once again to go on tour and have fun with colleagues. I am quite impressed with how they handled logistics, how they convey us, the hotels and also the response to the shows have been great and the fact that it’s free makes it epic.
What do you like about the brand?
I think as a rapper, the fact that throughout history there’s been this affiliation between rappers and this brand. I don’t remember any other brand having Rakeem on its billboard. It was interesting seeing Rakeem from way back, you know, driving in Lagos and you see a huge billboard of Rakeem holding a vintage microphone. That was so cool.
What impact do you think participating in this year’s Artistry is going to impact your career?
You can never have too much time to reach out to your fans. You don’t do that every day. So, that’s why I try to relate with them as much as I can on twitter and Instagram, even though you can’t respond to everybody all the time. It makes sense that every time you step out and you meet your fans, they see the improvement. Where your neck used to be very long, they see the difference. The biggest joy is the opportunity to be friends with my fans again and to be able to relate with them.
Do you wish to headline one of the Hennessy Artistry editions?
If the money is right, but to me if I headline, sideline or side kick as long as you’re going out to perform, the money is right and you are original to your fans and they are enjoying you.
When did you start doing rap as a career?
Officially, it was 2009 but before then I’ve been doing one or two things.
Are you satisfied with the level of rap music in Nigeria?
Satisfaction is a huge word and I will say no. However, I’m quite impressed. Hip hop is not necessarily a culture that we’ve embraced despite the fact that they liked Junior and Pretty back then. So, I don’t know why people are now making it look as if the larger Nigerian audience do not appreciate intelligence. Rap has to do with intelligence and it’s not something you just dance to, you have to listen and understand what the person is trying to say. The level of acceptance can be upped a little bit but we give God the glory.
At what point did you decide to take rap as a career?
It was some boys in the barracks that made me like rap. I always see these guys freestyling and I’d be like wow! It was super cool the way the way they did the rhymes, so I kind of like followed the trend. I was quite young, it was around 1995, 96 as a boy.
If you had a moment with Jay Z, what will you tell him?
I will really like to freestyle with him. I hear he doesn’t write in the studio and that’s cool but somewhere in my head I’m thinking we can outdo that guy. I’d like for him to see that hip-hop for Naija no be beans.
Do you ever feel the need to do songs that are commercially viable as against just doing what you have inside of you?
I think what makes your creativity stand out over the rest of the lot would be how you bring your creativity to that so called commercial idea even if it was creativity. What makes you a great artiste is when you take a mediocre beat or situation and you find a way to make that mediocrity turn to creativity. Angeli to’n pin ire oju re da, you know the song, I had to make sure it was not so watery.
– RASHEED ABUBAKAR and DANIEL FAYEMI