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Illbliss “The Ill-Bo Phenomenon” covers My Streetz Magazine’s March 2014 Issue

BellaNaija.com

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Illbliss - My Streetz Magazine - March 2014 - BellaNaija

Rap star Illbliss is on the cover of Mystreetz Magazine‘s March 2014 Issue.

Called “The Ill-Bo Phenomenon“, the magazine goes in on the journey of Igbo artistes, to mainstream in the Nigerian music industry.

Sesan Adedeji, publisher of the magazine, explains the concept for the issue.
Read;
“The Nigerian state has always been a potpourri of different tribes and cultures which also reflects in its music that comes in diverse languages and sound but as diverse as things are, the general perception is that you are either an artiste who’s Yoruba (the west), Igbo (South, East or South-south…) or Hausa from the northern region.

No matter how easy it is to be argued, this ideology is still the bedrock for the presidential seat in Nigeria.

The Nigerian music industry have a record of several great Igbo Highlife musicians but a lot of them could not break into mainstream. The musical exploits of Oliver De Coque, Sir Warrior, Oriental Brothers, Okonkwo Adigwe, Zeal Onyia, E.C Arinze, Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe, Bright Chimezie, Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson e.t.c are huge but despite this, all of them only recorded regional success with the exception of Victor Uwaifo with his Joromi hit song and Nico Mbarga with Sweet Mother.

They could not conquer the language barrier and by so doing, could not have a share in the Lagos music market which is the major market to go mainstream. The fact that most of these artistes are based in the eastern part of Nigeria, also halted their appeal to the mainstream audience.

The struggle to mainstream for the Igbo artistes continued with the Pop generation. The likes of Mike Okri, Felix Liberty and Chris Okotie attracted more audience but they shied away from associating their music with their language. The Reggae generation of the Mandators, Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono, Peterside Otong also made further inroad by infusing pidgin English but none could solidify their mainstream status until the Hiphop generation came along. They were the arrogant generation that understood all the mechanism to break into mainstream.

They relocated to Lagos, infused all the modern day sound and also bought into the managerial and packaging principle of today’s industry but most importantly, they made sure they infused more of their native language/rhythm into their music until the Nigerian music market could no longer do without them. This is the exploit of the likes of Illbliss, Big Lo, 2Shotz, Phyno, Mr Raw and Flavour; this is the journey of the Igbo artistes. This is the ILL-BO PHENOMENON.

Photography: August Udoh

8 Comments

  1. Bolu

    March 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Nice write up,God bless Nigeria

  2. ubong

    March 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    so majek fashek, victor uwaifo and peterside obong are now igbos……u don’t say

  3. Igor

    March 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    The dumbest article that I have read in a while.Ill bliss and Phyno are not highlife artistes,neither are Majek Fashek,Mike Okri and Rex Jim Lawson Igbo hihlife musicians.Osadebe was contended staying in the East because his music had a mass following there.During his lifetime,he was one of Nigeria’s most sought after artiste abroad.

  4. Truelines

    March 18, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Abeg, na who write this rubbish? Mike Okri and Chris Oktie are both Urhobo men. Please do your research well next time before publishing in a magazine for that matter.

  5. Truelines

    March 18, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    *Okotie*

  6. Mic

    March 18, 2014 at 11:23 pm

    In trying to write an edutainment story as huge as this, they try to go back in history on how Nigeria as a country started out after independent. After independent, the country was divided into three region which are eastern(igbo), western(yoruba) and Northern(hausa) region. These were arguably the biggest tribes. This system shaped the political system and politics shape everything. It was from this region that the first 12 states was formed and later 36 states. So in the context of this story( The ILL – BO PHENOMENON), the igbo was group together as the people from the South – south and South east. If we thoroughly read the press release, we will truly understand where they are coming from. In a world filled with recycled news, this is a good story to read when the magazine is out.

  7. okija tins

    March 19, 2014 at 2:28 am

    very rubbish write up…majek fashek is igbo? okotie is igbo?
    What is mainstream? Ethnocentric write up for sure by an ethnocentric Sesan adedanjo

  8. Anonymous

    March 19, 2014 at 3:47 am

    Typical Yoruba man intelligence #spent all his life in Lagos, never travelled to any part of Nigeria, but will want to write the history of other Nigerians based on gossip and stereotypes# This should be the most ignorant write-up that I have ever read. How dare you spit that rubbish about Chief Osadebe and Oliver De Coque. Incase you didn’t know, Chief Osadebe was known nationally and he even got a national award from the Federal Republic of Nigeria. #O na ako bullshit#.

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