|Ruggedman and Mode-9|
Ruggedman recently said this when he was talking on a radio show pointing out that Mode 9's style of rap was the obstacle that has hindered him from going mainstream like Phyno, Olamide, and Vector the Viper.
"Mode 9 is not the only one that does the non-commercial kind of rap. Basically, if you are an entertainer, you can’t do music for yourself; that’s why you are an entertainer. If people were to be entertained and were not entertained, you should do one of two things… get another job or adapt... if you can’t shape up, you shape out." he said
However, having been to Mode-9's recent concerts at Enugu and Asaba and witnessed firsthand the massive turn out and connection he had with his fans, I have deemed it fit to admit that Ruggedman was not objective in his comments about Mode-9 who had dusted him six consecutive times to pick up the Best Lyricist (i.e Lyricist-on-the-Roll) Award at the HipHop World Awards in the past.
My reasons are:
#1. Mode-9 has done a lot of international radio hits in the past using his 'non-commercial' rap style. He murdered his verse on DJ Jimmy Jatt's hit song titled: S.T.Y.L.E which also had 2face Idibia, and ElayJoe. Another international radio hit by Mode-9 was titled: 'Cry' (Featuring Nnenna) which earned him several awards and was produced by no less an award-winner than Cobhams Asuquo.
#2. Mode-9 with his 'non-commercial' style of rap had a record deal in London, which saw him ply his trade there for about four years until the terms of the contract were fulfilled, and he subsequently returned home.
#3 Mode-9, in 2008, toured through Singapore and Malaysia, alongside Terry tha Rapman, making music and money with his 'non-commercial' style of rap.
#4. Mode-9 had been a judge in the 'Sprite Emcee Africa' competition, a South African based, Africa wide freestyle battle and talent search. Courtesy of soft drink giant COCA-COLA, which saw the commercial value in Mode-9 and his 'non-commercial' style of rap.
Ruggedman did not strike a balance in his comments. He was obviously blind to Mode 9's efforts and achievements, and made him seem whackkkk!! which we all know Mode-9 isn't.
For any artiste to sell, irrespective of his style, he must understand himself, define his audience, know them well, and connect with their needs. Mode-9 has correctly done these.
In all, like the analogy of Jesus Christ, Mode-9 does not make music for everybody, however those he sings for know him and he knows them and serves them well.