Olamide: Rapper shuts down Lagos with live concert, in grand style
From Olamide putting up a legendary performance to Ketchup and Skales almost ruining what is a great Hip-hop concert, OLIC3 was the grandest event to end 2016.
It was about a year ago Olamide threw open shots at the Hip-Hop community about his grandeur status as a rapper in Nigeria.
“When… anybody wants to talk about rapper or whatever, go shutdown Eko Hotel first…”, the Hip-Hop artiste boas ted and dared his rap contemporaries in November 2015 on his song ‘Eyan Mayweather’, having been the only rapper that had achieved the feat, twice.
Well, with nobody being able to attempt such, (veteran Hip-Hop act M.I came a bit close – but with major help from show partner 2face Idibia), Olamide did it again 365 days later but this time it was different – way different.
The YBNL boss along with his label mates and a ‘few’ friends brought a full onslaught to Eko Hotel and Suites, as Lagosians emptied their houses and came out in the thousands to witness baddo’s glory on Boxing Day.
After another incredible year, the respected rapper and crossover-commercial act ended 2016 with another brilliant live concert, as he marked the release of his sixth album ‘The Glory’ which had dropped earlier in the morning.
I attended the show. Hours before I was expecting a lot of chaos at the venue as last year’s was. Olamide’s fan base is quite amazing – young and old, lower-class and upper-class, mainland and island, male and female. They were all there in thousands, trying to get into the venue to see their hero, their star.
But despite causing hours of traffic on Adetokunbo Ademola and its adjacent streets on Victoria Island (it took me one hour to get into the venue), despite the long queue made at the entrance of Eko Hotel and Suites (people had to literally line up to get through the entrance bars, filling up the streets), despite the show starting two hours after the expected time, it was totally worth the fucking stress.
The Expo Hall where the event held was separated into three parts – Regular, Silver tables and Gold tables but the segregation didn’t make much difference as the venue was super packed. Proximity didn’t matter, I swear it didn’t.
The concert experience was brought to life by the stage setup – a square platform that housed the Gold table seats in its middle. The performers could walk around each side to interact the crowd within and outside the platform.
The sound was however subpar – anytime artistes went farther from the stage, the mic feedback would respond seconds late and made the vocal performances horrible.
Olamide performances were broken down into three parts as well – being the first act to come on stage (smart move), then returning two other times, the last to end the show, allowing the other acts to perform in between.
After a splendid DJ performance from his younger brother DJ Enimoney for about 45 minutes, the man of the moment got on stage starting his performance with the lead single ‘Owo blow’ of his sixth solo LP. He used the live band for the first two times with backup vocals from his beloved producer Mr Pheelz.
Olamide looked a bit tired in his eyes, I could tell, but luckily that didn’t translate into his performance, delivering hit songs back to back – taking us on a journey, from his second album ‘YBNL’ to his fifth ‘Eyan Mayweather’. He had synergy with the band, he used the stage well, he flipped some of his verses, and his outfits were simple but dashing. He was quite energetic, pulling us into his world as fans rapped and sang back his lyrics at the top of his voice.
Olamide’s YBNL label acts didn’t disappoint as well;
Lil Kesh is a bonafide superstar; The YAGI rapper came on stage and raised the tempo very high; performing for 20 minutes, he delivered hits back-to-back – from ‘Efejoku’ to ‘Ibile’ to ‘Ishe’ (my fav), to ‘Cause trouble’ and even features like Mr Eazi’s ‘Sample you’ and Dice Ailes ‘Miracle’.
Even though half of the time he was dancing and forgot to actually rap his lyrics (he literally was using the mic to do shoki), the crowd didn’t mind and helped him out. Even Toke Makinwa rushed to the stage like a groupie (well to be fair she also did so for Olamide, Phyno, Adekunle Gold so hey…).
Viktoh might have received less applause but they loved him nonetheless as he performed the syrupy ‘Skibi dat’. As he walked off the stage, we all clapped as a sign to encourage him.
Temi Ovwasa was a darl – she came on stage and calmed us all with her soothing voice and guitar strokes. She belted out her vocals to the joy of the crowd and got us all chummy for minute.
Adekunle Gold was in a world of his own – confident, delivering his hit songs with ease. He performed ‘Ariwo ko’, ‘Sade’, ‘Orente’, ‘My life’ and a few others using the gangan medley as interludes between his performances. Adekunle is so much more experienced than when he debuted, he smiled all through and just sang us away. His outfit, glimmering at the edges, added to the whole effect.
Talking about Olamide’s ‘few’ friends – they included L.A.X (who killed it by the way), Dammy Krane, Solid Star, Oristefemi, YCEE (who needs to work on his stage craft), Jesse Jagz, Chidinma, Airboy and a few top performers.
The top performers of the night go to Fuji legend Pasuma Wonder who literally had everybody lose their minds for seven minutes as he went round the stage riling up the crowd with his performance. Daddy Aaliyah was just freestyling, honestly, but we all went bonkers. 2face idibia started to fan him with his towel, Wizkid slapped his hands a thousand times as Oga Nla made great use of the stage.
As Pasuma left the stage, Davido took the advantage of the hyped crowd and bounced on stage with his hypeman Special Ed rolling behind him performing his 2011 monster hit ‘Dami duro’ – fam the crowd lost it for the umpteenth time. We don’t know what we loved the most, the song or Davido prancing around with his gold neck chains slapping his face, chest and back. I love Davido’s energy
He then brought on rapper Dremo and Pop singer Mayorkun (the guy who inflated his YouTube views but denied it and then did a verse about it) who both delivered nicely as well. I thought to myself, Davido should bring out Ichaba as they should end with the DMW collabo ‘Back 2 back’ but OBO had other plans. The DJ dropped his Falz/Olamide collabo ‘Bad Baddo Baddest’.
I asked my brother who came along with me to the event, "You want to see everybody here insult Dele Momodu? Watch this".
And the moment came;
Davido: “I cover magazine, I cover magazine/I see am for my dream, I see am for my dream”
*Davido points mic to crowd*
Crowd responds in unison: “Mr Dele na my boy, Dele na my boy”.
There you have it.
Phyno held it down as he’s supposed to – after joining Olamide to perform 2016’s song of the year ‘Fada fada’, he went on to deliver ‘Connect’, ‘E sure for me’ and the romantic ‘Pino Pino’. Phyno’s aura filled the room and he made use of the stage pretty well – if I dare say, better than the host.
Sadly there were some terrible performances and the worst of them all came from Skales and Ketchup.
I don’t know what was worse for Skales – he newly grotesque blond hair or his underwhelming stagecraft – he wobbled and the fans went from being noisy to zero Decibels. He actually had the effrontery to perform three songs while others barely did two. He then had the impetus to ask them to rhymes his songs which they gladly responded with the Mannequin Challenge.
Ketchup was a total conundrum, not syncing with DJ Consequence who was probably wondering how he got on stage. He also tried performing three songs and when he tried the call and response with the crowd….Mannequin Challenge.
I would like to acknowledge the stupidity Solidstar’s hypeman who totally forgot to use the mic and instead danced his way through the whole of his boss’ performance. Literally a sight for sore eyes.
Music was supplied by DJ Enimoney and DJ Consequence who both did an OUTSTANDING job of keeping the crowd up and alert all through the night till the show ended at around 5AM. They truly rocked it.
There were also a number of humorous performances from Ushebebe, Pencil, Seyi Law and Funny Bone.
The hosts of the night were Funke Akindele who remains a charmer (JJC, you lucky devil) and AY Comedian who at one point had a bit too much to drink and lost it – like dabbing-on-stage lost it, like turning-into-a-hypeman lost it, like jumping-on-a-chair-to-seduce-a-woman lost it, like cutting-into-Manolo-Spanky’s-hyping-session-to-announce-he-had-broken-all-protocols lost it, like stylishly-asking-Ambode-for-a-car lost it. AY is so much fun on stage.
It’s three times in a row for Olamide shutting down Lagos with a record attendance of 6000 people and another 700 hanging around the venue. In attendance were Wizkid, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, His Royal Majesty, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi, 2face Idibia, and even Senator Dino Melaiye. That goes to say his next set of concerts should be held at a stadium. He’s outgrown Eko Hotel.
Olamide Adedeji moved on from the Hip-Hop community to the mainstream years ago. He’s now moved into legendary status, throw the kid a crown.