Some days ago we were privileged to have a full interview with a force of hip hop in Naija. He is none other than Rapmania Tha X, a certified Nigerian hip hop head. He has been promoting the culture and he is definitely one of the hottest hype-men in Nigeria at the moment.
Our very own Joesean anchored it. And now we have the pleasure of bringing you everything just the way it happened. Here are the full details of the interview
JoeSean: Good day, please tell us your real name because many of us don’t really know.
Rapmania Tha X: My name is David Junior Okon. I go by the name Rapmania Tha X, hip hop’s original hype man/host aka Supernat, The influential.
JoeSean: Why did you choose the name “Rapmania Tha X”?
Rapmania Tha X: Oftentimes this question is asked why “Rapmania”. Well I chose it because of the excess love I have for rap music and the hip hop culture. Back then I was addressed as “X” meaning Xtraordinaire. Then I came across Rapmania which actually opened up my whole Psyche to a deeper realm.
JoeSean: Nice, so what lured you into hip hop considering the fact that there were other genres of music to choose from?
Rapmania Tha X: Firstly, My environment. Secondly, growing up as a Barrack boy, hip hop was what we all could relate to because it expressed our feelings. Even when I used to play football, hip hop was the main inspiration for all of us. Lastly, it was the messages gotten from hip hop that changed my consciousness even though my late Mum kicked against it because she wanted me to be a Pastor.
JoeSean: Interesting so who’s your biggest influence?
Rapmania Tha X: Like Nas will say “Name a rapper that I ain’t influenced”. But the list goes longer like Krs-One, Wutang Clan, Rakim, Big L, Big Pun, BIG, Common and others. The list is endless with different stages of influence.
JoeSean: These are top-notch rappers no doubt. Tell me, as an original hypeman and hip hop Visionary, what has been your biggest challenge?
Rapmania Tha X: The biggest problem is blowing up Hip Hop in Nigeria’s Mainstream media. Not Hip hop music, but the Culture, a center of exhibition, a movement, a Community. There are some rappers who claim we have a culture. But we don’t even have an industry, talk less of a culture.
But truly I just came to realize that the main problem with Nigerian hip hop is “illiteracy”. While I was chatting with my Hip hop teacher, he said “You can’t celebrate what you don’t know” and he’s right. He also highlighted that if the media was informed they would have supported the movement.
JoeSean: That’s very brave, we are working on that but nobody really wants to accept real hip hop nowadays.
Now do you think this new generation of rappers can rival the legends?
Rapmania Tha X: It’s the millennials generation. They tend to experiment sounds and unknowingly for them they may blow out becoming one hit wonders because it wasn’t planned for. Others will go on, but won’t be recognized as influences. Because back in the days rappers would sit down, draw out a blueprint on how they wanted to express their craft, set the standard then taxed themselves physically, spiritually and emotionally to meet it.
But to be frank, no one reaches out to HipHopHead or HipHopAfrica for support for proper A&R/PR Promotions for their projects. Rather everyone wants to go to iTunes or other digital markets when the industry is yet to see their dues.
JoeSean: So what you mean is this new cats can’t outshine the Old heads because No Zeal, right?
Rapmania Tha X: Like I often say in my freestyles
“I am not old school hip hop, I am not new school hip hop, I’m the true school to the hip hop originals”
Rap originally wasn’t to entertain but to educate. If the old heads had standards and conditions that lead to the outburst of deep thought provoking lyricism that we still make reference today, why can the new school too create such avenues to fuel the rise of lyricism now. This is where creativity comes to play. Only a very few are trying to set a standard.
JoeSean: Let’s move on. Tell us about HipHopAfrica and what do you intend to achieve in the next decade.
Rapmania Tha X: Hip Hop Africa was founded by “Drexx” David Bunna and myself in 2016. It is not just a site or blog but a platform, a movement, a hip-hop community with collective goals of promoting and showcasing hip hop not only in Nigeria but to Africa as a whole
Prior to this, we run a monthly event called “Hip Hop Kulture” since 2013. It features the likes of Terry Tha Rapman, A-Q, Eclipse, Big Daddy Jay and many others. We intend to have a very solid relationship with other hip hop communities across Nigeria, Ghana and Africa at Large. If possible we will put together a HipHop Festival.
JoeSean: And we are definitely looking forward to that. Lets move on. We all felt the hype of Chocolate City’s LAMB August. But some people still feel that there have been better projects this year. What do you think?
Rapmania Tha X: Yes, there were good projects. But nobody would argue that Choc City’s LAMB didn’t pass the average MIC rating because it did. But this is Nigeria. Choc City has a Template on how they work and it is very good, so they did very well.
This chat was conducted on HipHopHead’s official WhatsApp group and compiled by Towncrier.