My Experience With Streets Music: Mohbad In View.

I love street music. In this particular case, I am not referring to artistes who have launched their career and are already mainstream. But the artistes, who save up money for a studio session, who run away from home in the thick of the night to perform in a show where they wouldn’t get paid. The artistes who probably live in a face me I slap you apartment with other young boys hoping to make ends meet. The artistes who know music is their last resort on making it out of the street.

I can’t really say what endeared me to that type of music. It might probably be the catchy slangs that evoke a sense of street cred when used with the Egbon adugbos who are trying to extort you. Is it the vulgar words that tickled my fancy as a teenager growing up?  Or to a greater extent, it might be the beat, the log drums, the percussions, the street infused vibes that tends to propel your feet off the ground as the reverberation of the sound hits your ear drum.

I grew up in a music-controlled environment while growing up. My parents weren’t exactly music heads and this fortunately didn’t curtail my taste for music. I grew up in an extended family setting and I had uncles and cousin who exposed me to streets music quite early.

I guess what really propelled my love for music was my brief stints in a secondary school in Agege.  There and then, Small Doctor was the reigning king of the street holding sway after the release of Mosquito killer. Igboro, Owo lo nse igboro plays in my head while writing this article, evoking Famous Okobo, the street maverick. Lil Kesh will forever be grateful to Dre San for creating the song Shoki as the dance and the song was already gaining grounds in Agege before the Bariga born star threw the song into spotlight.

The list can’t be complete without mention 2T boys, the producers- turn musician who were at the helms of the producing table dishing out beats while your favourite streets artistes did justice to these songs. Damoche, Skally Mental, Seriki, Base 1, Dj real also have to be mentioned for flying the banner of street music before youngings like Zlatan, Zinoleesky, Destiny Boy, Seyi Vibes, Otega, Balloranking came around.

Naijaloaded was my go-to site for listening to new songs those days before music streaming became a thing. I remember pressing the refresh button on my Techno phone (that uses keypad) trying to see new songs on the platform and circa 2019, as I stumbled upon Mohbad. Designer brand replicas were holding sway in that particular period and rip offs with ridiculous names like CHRISTAIN DIORO, ADIDDE, NIKI were popular in the trenches. Although, Imole as he was popularly called was reigning in his locale, I didn’t jump on the wave as he wasn’t predominantly from Agege.

I can say that Balan Zia Gar was the song that threw him into limelight. Sampling a popular sound that was trending online, Balan zia ga gaan gaan ni mo fe, he created a hit record centred around a girl who didn’t  want any other designer except Balan zia gar. This propelled him to stardom as Naira Marley signed Cblvck, Zinoleesky and him to the newly created Marlian Music: a record label dedicated to giving street artiste a voice. This decision culminated to the series of incident that made a young vibrant voice of the street become troubled: allegedly leading to his demise.

This kind life tire me / Daddy no get salary / Ten years I no see money / Step Mother no care /  Landlord e dey worry; These lines were the beginning of the song Sorry ( That I consider to be his best song)  off his debut project LIGHT. The song documented his struggle with poverty in the beginning of his life, stabbing classes in the polytechnic and choosing music as his companion along the way. This ballad gave us a brief insight into Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba troubled upbringing. Marlians Anthem documented his ascent into the big life and his affiliation to the Marlian Music GANG. Marlians Nawa, No mannaz lawa, Eru popo o bawa reels off his tongue on the Rexxie produced song as he highlights his success after the turmultous life he lived in the past.

There’s no street artiste without a song dedicated to debauchery as Ponmo contained lewd and explicit lyrics as he brought in his estranged record label boss with Lil KESH on the song. Ta lo so pe ko poor ke, OPP o poor par, OPG O poor gaan was the line that made him critically acclaimed as Rexxie did a madness with the infusion of Amapiano and street infused sound. The slang KPK endeared him to his existing fans and also made him new followers as he began his ascent in the Nigerian music industry. 

To be continued.

  1. Interested in the Streets, this is for your listening pleasure.


  1. New to Mohbad, Bump this.


                    – A random music lover.


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