By Rotimi Agbana
Anyone familiar with popular Nigerian rapper, Michael Ugochukwu Stephen, a.k.a Ruggedman during his heydays would acknowledge his immense contribution towards the growth of hip-hop music culture in Nigeria, and he’s stopping at nothing to continue to promote it beyond the shores of Africa.
Michael Ugochukwu Stephen
In a chat with Showtime, Ruggedman took a swipe at the state of music in Nigeria, urging the government to establish the country’s music acts to encourage the creation of more conscious music that will be acceptable at the international scene.
“Unfortunately, Nigerian music today is not as deep as we used to have in my days. But it’s still good music because we can see all the achievements they are making internationally. But I just wish they can put more effort into making a few conscious music to also take to the global stage.
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It’s not only the dance, shake your body, bend down low kind of music that should be going international. If you remember vividly, America had the ‘We’re the world’ song, Michael Jackson had the ‘Earth’ song at one point, and the whole world heard about it. So, nothing stops us from doing that kind of music.
I’ve done my bit and I’m still doing it. But because it’s not the ‘bend down low, ‘shake your bum bum’ kind, it doesn’t go viral like that. But others, especially the reigning ones should do theirs too”, he said.
The veteran rap artiste who is currently preparing for his forthcoming concert tagged ‘The Foundation Concert’ shared what inspired it.
“The concert is an unprecedented music concert designed to celebrate, recognize and reward the achievements of notable entertainers and media personalities who through their remarkable works laid the foundation for Nigerian music as it is today.
These are individuals whose music/body of work inspired and continues to inspire a generation of Nigerian creatives, who have since gone on to achieve global recognition and acclaim, hence, the title ‘The Foundation Concert’.
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This spectacle will assemble some of the finest entertainers Nigeria has produced in an epoch-making event that will stand as a worthy tribute to our glorious past and a yardstick for future initiatives of the kind. In line with the spirit of the initiative, the concert will feature performances by veterans in the Nigerian entertainment industry as well as entertainers from the newer generation of creatives, ” he said.