Twenty-nine year old rapper Olamide, has been hot on the scene since his debut album Rapsodi. Recording mostly in his native tongue, Yoruba, Olamide reaches out mostly to native Nigerians and the youth of Nigeria, even though most of his songs are perceived as controversial.
In Olamide’s recently released song, “Science Student,” he raps solely in his native tongue, Yoruba. This song, however, is also perceived as controversial and has been seen “unfit for broadcast” according to the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. This is due to a debate between whether the song is promoting the use of addictive substances, or if it’s presenting the reality of the Nigerian youth. In response to these comments and debate, Olamide has responded on instagram by saying, in paraphrase, that while dancing and enjoying the songs is good, that everyone should say no to drugs.
Within his lyrics, Olamide references American rappers and artists, along with Muslim and Nigerians idols. In a couple phrases, he references how many African parents send their children to America by saying, “Iwo omo ti Mummy ran lo si Harvard,” meaning -you that Mummy sent to Harvard. In another line he references Frank Ocean and Cardi B, saying how his friend is tipsy and wavy like the ocean, and how Cardi B smokes Sisha. After saying that about Cardi B, he says “bi Sango k’a ba le ri bi, eh” meaning “like Sango for us to notice her, eh.” Olamide refers to Sango who is a Nigerian Yoruba god of iron or anything strong: fire, metal, cutlass, etc.
While Olamide is rapping in Yoruba, he is able to reach out to Nigerians that might be in the United States, or ones that really like American artists. In doing this Olamide is maintaining his relationship with his hometown, while still branching out a little bit, even though he isn’t rapping in multiple languages.