Nigerian rapper Olamide launches TV station

Nigerian rapper Olamide launches TV station

Nigerian rapper Olamide yesterday launched Voice of the Street (VOTS), a TV station based in Lagos, Nigeria.

The rapper also turned 29 yesterday and referred to the new station as “a birthday gift to myself”.

Olamide had recently come under criticism from the government and some individuals over what was interpreted as a pro-drug abuse position in the lyrics to his hit song ‘Science Student’. He then placated his critics with an anti-drug message in the song’s music video.

In announcing VOTS, Olamide wrote a note on Instagram. “I dedicate this television station to my late mum and dad,” he wrote. “Thanks for letting me chase my dream also to my son Batifèori Maximiliano Adedeji when I look up in the sky I ask myself why am I trying to live if I’m just living to die but when I look down I see the answer.”

The station is named after ‘Voice of the Streets’, a 2012 song taken from the rapper’s sophomore album YBNL. Known as prolific artist, he has released an album each year since his debut album Rapsodi from 2011.

VOTS is accessible on the PLAY satellite TV transmitter – at 1 000 naira ($3) monthly subscription. With the launch, Olamide said he had become one of a few African musicians to own a media enterprise. He is certainly the only one of his rapping contemporaries in Nigeria to own a TV station. And with the announcement, VOTS joins the YBNL record label as establishments owned by the rapper.

“Thanks for making me a better man,” he wrote. “This is also for the day ones who’s been supporting ruthlessly through the thick and thin, those who believed in me when I didn’t even have an idea how far I’d go in this journey.

“This is also a harbinger for every ghetto kid that you can be anything and achieve anything long as you put your mind to it and work toward it. This is for the YBNL fans and TEAM BADDOSNEH [his fans]. I promise never to make you regret supporting me. More great stuff to come, on my honour.”

As part of activities to promote the station, Olamide gave 100 decoders to the first 100 people to arrive at the Ketu-Ikosi premises of the new TV station in Lagos.

Extract: music in Africa