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The 30 Defining Moments of Olamide’s Career

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Olamide did not blow overnight, but instead his success can be credited to hard work, mature business savvy, being in the right place at the right time, and a little bit of controversy. Olamide remained patient and learned the music game while awaiting his moment in the spotlight. His sacrifices proved to be worth it when he finally was given the chance to exhibit his potential. Olamide is now one of Nigeria’s top performers! Whether it’s catching the attention of rapper, Wale, never failing to impress viewers with his fashion trends, or releasing music videos that showcase Nigeria’s beauty, Olamide can be associated a high echelon of quality. Although plenty of effort has been put forth by Olamide to reach his superstar status, below are the top 40 instances that have defined his career.

1. Hanging Out at Coded Tunes Studio

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Date: Between 2007 and 2009
It is not news to most Olamide fans that he was a frequent visitor to ID Cabassa’s Coded Tunes studio, even though Cabassa did not have the time to record any of his songs; there were a few artists such as 9ice, Reminisce, 2Phat and more ahead of Olamide on the priority list. This did not deter him from frequenting the studio and attempting to learn and record music.

2. ID Cabassa’s Confindence in Olamide’s Talent

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Date: Between 2007 and 2009
The majority of the people around Coded Tunes studio back in the early days did not believe in Olamide’s talent, but somehow ID Cabassa was a believer. According Olamide, ID Cabassa pulled him to the side at one point and told Olamide that, “Guy you are good o.” These words boosted his morale and validated him to focus on working harder and getting better as an artist.

3. Changing his stage name from G-Dogg to Olamide

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Date: Between 2007 and 2009
There is no way of telling if Olamide would have been bigger or less popular if he continued to use the stage name G-Dogg. However, G-Dogg is not a Nigerian friendly name even for a rapper in Nigeria. Olamide made a wise decision by changing his stage name from G-Dogg to Olamide, his legal name.

4. Signing to Coded Tunes and Toni Payne Management

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Date: 2010
Finally, ID Cabassa was able to focus on Olamide as an artist and signed him to Coded Tunes, a successful label/production company that had successfully created 9ice’s “Gongo Aso” album. Olamide also penned a management agreement with Toni Payne’s management company. This was a very smart move as both ID Cabassa and Toni Payne were dominant members of 9ice’s team when he released his most successful album til date.

5. Releasing a Dagrin Tribute Song


Date: 2010
For those who were not into Nigerian music between 2009 and 2010, Dagrin was one of the hottest rappers in the Nigerian music scene. He passed in 2010 after a tragic car accident.
It only made sense for Olamide to show respect and give tribute to Dagrin, who in 2010 was the biggest indigenous rapper. Years later, Olamide, who started out as an indigenous rapper himself would surpass the popularity of Dagrin and become Nigeria’s hottest artist in 2015.

6. Recording “Eni Duro” Over Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” Beat

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Date: 2010
After not getting enough attention from ID Cabassa, Olamide used what he learned a lot about the recording industry from Coded Tunes studio, and took matters into his own hands. He recorded the first version of Eni Duro, over Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” beat. The song was recorded with his friend at the time, Uche (Am Goin In) and B-Banks.

7. ID Cabassa Reproducing “Eni Duro” and Releasing It

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Date: 2010
ID Cabassa was quite impressed with the original Eni Duro version recorded over Lil Wayne’s “A Milli” instrumental and believed it had great potential. This moved Cabassa to create an entirely new beat and production for Eni Duro, which would become Olamide’s first single off his debut album, Rapsodi.

8. Releasing His Debut Album “RAPSODI”

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Date: April 2011
After Eni Duro got popular with the help of Nigerian radio, Olamide and Coded Tunes dropped his debut album, RAPSODI, in April 0f 2011. Back in 2011, releasing an album was a big milestone to check off as an artist and also one of the ways to make money from Alaba marketers; the marketers would pay an advance to the record label in order to distribute the album for the artist/label.

9. Releasing The Video to “Omo To Shan” ft Wizkid

After the album was released, the momentum continued by pushing the most obvious commercially viable track, featuring Wizkid, the fastest RISING star in 2011. From a label/management perspective, putting a record out featuring Wizkid benefited Olamide and his debut album massively.
They both decided to shoot a video for the single and the rest is history. This is likely where Olamide caught the POP bug, but he wouldn’t reveal the symptoms until much later.

10. Dropping the “Young Erikina” Single and Video

Date: September 2011
This is when many non-believers of Olamide started paying attention. Young Erikina was a catchy track by itself, but gained more attraction because of the simple and minimal feel of what ended up being the official video.
To focus even more on the track, it came across as a true freestyle and many of us gained appreciation of the nonchalant rap style, flow, and lyrical content that Olamide displayed. Audiences started to yearn for more music from Olamide, especially most of the music consumers on the Internet.

11. Forming the “Yahoo Boy No Laptop” (YBNL) Phrase

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Date: September 2011

Olamide is known for coining the “Yahoo Boy No Laptop” phrase, which eventually became the name of his record label. The name went viral on and offline, but more importantly it was attached to Olamide’s brand. Hence, he started to become somewhat of a street icon in a sense because he was repping the streets via his music.

12. Forming his YBNL Label

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Date: 2012
Sometime in 2012, Olamide decided to move on to start his own label, YBNL, after severing ties amicably with Coded Tunes. The power move demonstrated that Olamide was no longer just an artist, but a businessman as well. Under the YBNL imprint, Olamide has signed several artists and producers, commonly referred to as YBNL soldiers.

13. Hiring Tony Nwakalor As His Manager

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Date: 2011
Tony Nwakalor is the founder of the currently defunct, “Yes Records,” which housed artists Sexy Steele and a few others. After Olamide’s departure from Coded Tunes, he connected with Tony Nwakalor, for management services. Other than his managerial role, which helped Olamide business wise, Tony also helped him upgrade his music video quality. When Tony came onboard, Olamide’s music videos started to get better and he has been able to make this is a constant in his career until this day.

14. Releasing his 2nd Album (YBNL)

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Date: November 2012
A second album is a milestone in any artist’s career. In Olamide’s case it was more important because this was his first album without his music mentor, ID Cabassa. He hooked up with Pheelz, a producer which he started working with while still signed to Cabassa. Pheelz filled in to assist Olamide with recording while ID Cabassa was busy on other music projects. Their chemistry together was magical, thus producing hit tracks like “Money,” “Industreet,” and “First of All.”

15. Dropping “First of All” VIDEO

Date: Nov 2012
“First Of All” is arguably Olamide’s first mainstream HIT that cut across language and culture barriers. This is where most folks who don’t understand Yoruba probably gave Olamide the light of the day. The melody of the tune and production has a bounce about it, which Olamide balanced quite well with English and Yoruba lyrics.

16. Popularizing the “Are You A Learner?” Phrase

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Date: Nov 2012
This accolade is not to state that Olamide originated the “Are You a Learner?” phrase but to point out that he definitely popularized it. This phrase became a slang term among the majority of the youth in Nigeria when addressing someone slow or who appears not to have an idea of the topic being discussed.

17. Collaborating with Phyno on ‘Ghost Mode’

Date: 2012
“Ghost Mode” was a BIG track for Phyno, and even bigger because of the Olamide feature. This only marked one of many more collaborations to come between the pair. Both Phyno and Olamide are some of the top rated rappers in Nigeria, and even the entirety of Africa.

18. Olamide’s Brotherly Relationship with Wale Folarin

Date: 2013
The talents of Olamide not only caught the ears of Nigerians domestically, but abroad as well. Prior to meeting Olamide, MMG rapper, Wale, mentioned that he was a huge fan. Wale stated that he was introduced to Olamide’s catalog by his cousins that are very in tune with contemporary Nigerian music. Once the two formed a friendship, Wale became so impressed with Olamide’s sound that he suggested Olamide release a project solely in English. Both Wale and Olamide collaborated songs, “Make Us Proud,” and “Allelu;” on the latter, Wale references the “Gunman Pose” in his verse.
In an Instagram debacle, a troll insults Olamide’s sandals and Wale comes to his brother’s defense. This display of loyalty and protection shows how strong their bond is.
Wale-and-Olamide-at-Toolz-and-Tunde-Wedding

19. Dropping “Durosoke”

Date: May 2013
This was probably Olamide’s first video off of the “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth” album and it was a massive hit even before the video dropped in July of 2013. An interesting fact about the “Durosoke” video is that it was sponsored by the Nigerian Breweries Star Music app and intended to help generate high traffic. This was validation from a big brand in Nigeria that Olamide has a substantial fan base.

20. Third Studio Album “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth” and Popularizing The “Gun Man Pose”

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Date: November 2013
Olamide’s “BGEL” album was not only a great album, but was probably his most successful album til date. The album cover which shows Olamide in a Roman Senator costume with his signature “Gun Man Pose,” became an Internet campaign which went viral for months; everyone posted and submitted hashtags of their own Gun Man poses. The “GMP” even garnered the attention of Maybach Music Group rappers, Wale and Meek Mill, as both can be seen paying homage to it.

This elevated the already street branded Olamide on the Internet, as his popularity across the globe started to increase faster than anticipated.

21. The Various Endorsements

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According to many reports, Olamide has bagged multiple endorsements and continues to do so. Some of the notable endorsements include a deal he had with Guinness in 2014 for the Made of Black campaign, Etisalat which he first signed in 2013 and has renewed yearly til date, a multimillion Naira deal with Surebet, and an unconfirmed Ciroc deal back in 2013.
There are likely other deals that have not been mentioned here, but you get the idea; Olamide’s brand keeps getting bigger and bigger and the big brands are borrowing his influence to make their respective products generate popularity within the market place.

22. Dropping “Eleda Mi”

Date: 2013
When you create a very catchy inspirational Yoruba song filled with prayers for prosperity; it will always make most Yoruba speakers turn up at any party or event when it comes on. This is what Eleda Mi does to people at parties!

23. Declining DB Records Contract in Order to Stay Independent

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Date: 2013
Olamide was spotted with D’banj in Atlanta some time in 2013 after the latter had severed ties with Don Jazzy. There was a rumor circulating that D’banj, who was trying to build his new label, had offered Olamide a record deal with his DB Records imprint. Rumor has it that Olamide respectfully declined the offer and went on to create arguably his strongest album, “Baddest Guy Ever Liveth.” He has since become much BIGGER since 2013.

24. Olamide’s Brotherly Relationship with Wale Folarin

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Date: 2013
The talents of Olamide not only caught the ears of Nigerians domestically, but abroad as well. Prior to meeting Olamide, MMG rapper, Wale, mentioned that he was a huge fan. Wale stated that he was introduced to Olamide’s catalog by his cousins that are very in tune with contemporary Nigerian music. Once the two formed a friendship, Wale became so impressed with Olamide’s sound that he suggested Olamide release a project solely in English https://vimeo.com/80990414. Both Wale and Olamide collaborated songs, “Make Us Proud,” and “Allelu;” on the latter, Wale references the “Gunman Pose” in his verse.
In an Instagram debacle, a troll insults Olamide’s sandals and Wale comes to his brother’s defense. This display of loyalty and protection shows how strong their bond is.
Wale-and-Olamide-at-Toolz-and-Tunde-Wedding

25. Dropping “Story for the Gods”

Date: June 2014

After the success of BGEL, most would have understood if Olamide needed a year off before returning with new music, but instead he kept recording. “Story for the Gods” was the mainstream return of Olamide at his finest, and the effect of the single was felt even more after the video release in July 2014.

26. Goons Mi

Date: Sept 2014
“Goons Mi,” also known as Awon Goons Mi, is the street anthem of Olamide’s fourth album, Street OT. As usual, The ‘Goons Mi’ phrase stuck as slang on the streets of Lagos and the word ‘goon’ became even more popular on the streets of Lagos.

27. Signing Lil Kesh and “Shoki Remix” Success

Date: 2014
When Olamide decided to bet on an artist, he went with Lil Kesh and it is safe to say he has won the bet. To say Lil Kesh has success in the Nigerian music space would be an understatement. After the success of his Shoki remix featuring Davido, Lil Kesh emerged as an on-demand solo artist. His star status earned him features from other big names in the industry.

28. Releasing His 4th Studio Album, “Street OT”

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Date: Nov 2014
Most Nigerian artists don’t get to album #4; even Wizkid, who has been in the game longer than Olamide, is yet to drop a 3rd album.
Street OT, Olamide’s 4th studio album 4 years after starting his music career, was a solid album. Aside from the obvious bangers, Goons Mi and Story for the God, Street OT included 2 hits, Skelemba and Falila Ketan.

29. Successful “Olamide Live In Concert” (OLIC) in 2014

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Date: December 2014
When you are a solo artist and you are able to sell out a 7,000 seat venue in a place like Eko Hotel, then you have become a force to be reckoned within your industry. Olamide was able to make this come to pass at his first OLIC concert in Lagos, Nigeria.
Olamide was also able to get BIG artists in the Nigerian music industry on the bill such as Burna Boy, Harrysong, Burna Boy, Falz, Phyno and the entire YBNL crew.

30. Signing Adekunle Gold

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Date: 2015
According to Adekunle Gold, he had known Olamide prior to thinking about dropping a song as a solo artist. Apparently, Adekunle Gold had a relationship with Olamide from doing graphic design commissions for him and his YBNL collective. After the success of Sade, Adekunle Gold’s first single, Olamide offered Adekunle a record deal and the rest is history.
Two hit singles later with Orente and Pick Up, Adekunle Gold is getting ready to release his debut album in 2016.
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