When discussing the greats, Modenine’s place in the history of Nigerian music is eternally sealed.
Babatunde Olusegun Adewale, popularly known as Modenine is one rapper, who may have struggled for commercial success and widespread acceptance all through his career but it is near impossible to draw up a rap list without his name featuring somewhere on the top 5.
In 2004 his debut project, Malcolm IX was released which landed his name bang in the middle of the Hip Hop scene, which was followed up in 2006 by Pentium IX.
But his biggest success came in 2007 with the release of E Pluribus Unum, which means ‘One Amongst Many’ making Modenine a dominant presence on the scene.
With a career spawning over a decade, Modenine has eight studio albums, over 8 mixtapes and a number of awards that has helped him god emcee status in the heart of rap lovers.
The rapper recently released his album Hence4th in collaboration with producer, Black Intelligence, which serves as a reminder of his artistry and status in the game.
As he adds another year today, June 14, we celebrate his contributions to the rap scene with 10 of his most essential songs.
1. Cry (2006)
The lead single from his E Pluribus Unum album, Cry is arguably Modenine’s biggest career single with the video earning him several awards including three Channel O Music video plaques.
The song which was released when he was signed under Questionmark Entertainment features vocal support from Nnenna as his two verses chronicles relatable societal situations in his vivid story telling way.
Cry is one record that is essential to everything Modenine stands for; lyrics, story telling and masterful delivery.
2. It Is About To Get Ugly (2004)
One of Modenine’s earliest songs of his Lost Sessions mixtape, that sent a message of what he is all about.
From the second the intro kicked it, you could tell that this joint was fire, It’s About To Get Ugly is punchy and portrays an hungry emcee who was all about spitting bars.
3. Elbow Room (2004)
This song has a special place in my heart as this was the very first song by Modenine that I could rhyme word for word.
Modo needed his space, and when he rhymed, ”My train of thoughts run you over when you on my track,
meaning I’m serving you on and off the court with what I spat, and I dare u not to put the beef back on the meat rack.”, many stayed off his lane.
Elbow Room is one of his most vital records that set him as a rapper ahead of the pack.
4. Nigerian Girls (2006)
When Modenine is not smelling blood or going braggadocios, delivering witty and skillfully put together lyrics is one major strength he possesses.
Nigerian Girls displays his softer and commercial side as he takes a trip down the various states in the country narrating the features peculiar with girls from each part.
It ranks as one of his more successful singles after Cry.
5. Ogun Isoye (2006)
Can we take a minute and appreciate the story telling technique of the god emcee on this song off his E Pluribus Unum album?
Modenine stays impressive when it comes to painting pictures with his lyrics and with support from the late Nomoreloss on the hook, Modenine shares a story that preaches the reward of hardwork.
6. 419 State Of Mind (2005)
Internet fraud popularly referred to as 419 in Nigeria is one of the biggest crimes that has smeared the image of Nigerians both home and abroad.
Even though, the act remains common today, It started way back and Modenine delivered a lecture on how it transpires way before some of us even knew about its existence.
The message was clearly and the lyrics were simple, ”Book time to make sure your ass is on line, choose a seat backing the wall so they can’t peep you from behind, if the coast is clear your ready for the 419, type stuff like, my name is Abdullahi Frank”.
7. Death Blow
Few joints can be credited with landing a heavy damage on the career of a rapper and while Ruggedman was the provider with Ehen, he was at the receiving end of Modenine‘s venom on Death Blow.
With an ominous production, Modenine wasted no time in establishing his lyrical mastery, decimating his target line after line with no form of remorse.
Death Blow is as hard as nails as Modenine brought hell down to earth.
8. Bad Man (2010)
This is the closest that you get to a Modenine danceable record.
Off the Da Vinci Mode album, Modenine features A1 on this swagged up joint that grew into a mild radio hit.
9. Lagos State Of Mind
Lagos found a theme song on his E Pluribus Umum album as Modenine narrates the hustle and bustle that comes with living in the commercial centre of the nation.
Lagos State Of Mind is the musical guide of surviving on the streets of Lagos highlighting landmarks and the type of people you are likely to come across.
From his Paradigm Shift album, Modenine rises to deliver stellar verses on one of Jesse Jagz finest beats.
With an easy flow and brilliant wordplay, Modenine fills the song with subliminals and reinforces his place as a solid poet who didn’t need to rely on the catchy hook.