Rapper, Vector Tha Viper, talks about the Nigerian music industry, his return to music after a year’s break and the controversial MTV Naija best list.
PT: After a year’s break, you returned with a mixtape, which was quite well
received, how would you rate your return?
Vector: Like I’ve always said, it’s better to grow. The reception has been quite awesome. The best part is it will only get better. All has been great.
PT: With the mixtape done, what are you working on?
Vector: Telling you what will constitute the album exactly is like saying the album will drop tomorrow. That said, I give you my word that it will blow your minds beyond anything you’d expect. Una kuku know me say I fit change am anytime based on say me na very versatile man.
PT: How did your career in music start?
Vector: Music started in Macarthy barracks with Simple D (later known as Metronome), Cheh-cheh, V-flamba, Ak fly, Moses X, Def Genius, DJ Magnum, Blaze and Krystal – from Saint Gregory’s College where we attended with General Pype and “Headies” Ben Foster, T.K.O. with Hajiya Taimako and Kingsley. Long list. Ben is still a brother and one of the best hype men in Nigeria. Obalende is forever home.
PT: You ran into troubled waters with your erstwhile label, YSG; what really happened?
Vector: Our differences just grew beyond our ability to handle them. We are good now though I am doing my thing independently.
PT: Two albums, two mixtape; can you say you are on your game? If not what exactly do you think you are not doing which you must do to be on top of your game?
Vector: I’m on my game for sure. However, I believe- unto growth- it will only get doper. I’ve learnt to work over brag and let your work decide whether to boast or not. I’m not going to sit here and tell you I’m perfect. We learn everyday and everyday u must renew your “game topping” agenda as change is very inevitable; stay in touch with the trend.
PT: What are those things that pose threats to the growth of the Nigerian music industry?
Vector: Plenty. We can’t sit down and have a seminar on this now but the few amidst many would most likely be:
1. The laziness to bring something new to the table as artistes tend to get too comfortable with the one genre or pattern that is “reigning”. It’s been said that the industry, if not careful, will suffer the same fate as the movie industry where d same faces and acts repeatedly monopolize our TVs and DVDs. People got bored.
2. Territory. We get comfortable seeing we are “killing it” in Lagos where there is Sani Danja in the north and most of them in Lagos don’t know. There is this act in Kogi State who is really big as well, Onyinye Osadebe, Dialect, Slow Dogg (my gee that year) and more are making it in the East.
The better part of this is, Africa is still a virgin to a lot of things in the world. The most important factor should be we are gifted as people of earth. Seeing “Lagos-Nigeria” alone is being quite narrow minded if you ask me.
PT: What verse will you say is your best so far?
Vector: Erm…. I guess I’ll leave that to the fans. I don’t think that will be easy even for them too. I don rap well on song though.
PT: Which are your current top 10 Nigerian rap songs?
Vector: I haven’t been listening to a lot of radio or watching TV either.
PT: Recently, MTV goofed with a list of 20 Nigerian songs of all time; give us your own 20 songs of all times.
Vector: Erm… I will bore u. Daddy Showkey’s Dina, dey there? Baba Fryo’s Denge Pose? Is Zaaki Adzay’s Na Me Go Marry Am on there? I don’t know what the yardstick of evaluation is, but hey, what do I know? All time is a huge category. Sir Shina Peters still kills shows till today with that hit of how many years ago. Granted some songs may deserve the… Nah man! If they said recent times or decade(s). We’ll get. All time? Nah.
Where’s Junior and Pretty? Blacky? Do you know what it means to be an ALL TIME great? It means they will play your tune forever. I hear King Sunny Ade, Kwam 1, Adewale Ayuba, and more slightly more often than I hear some of the tracks listed.