The Nigerian rapper curates a playlist full of his formative influences.
For the latest iteration of our quarantine and chill playlist, we let Nigerian rapper LADIPOE take the wheel. Following the success of his euphoric single “Know You”, which reached #1 in the Nigerian charts and spawned a whole EP in the process, LADIPOE has recently released a remix to “Lemme Know”, combining his own rapid and unrelenting flows with blissful vocals by Nigerian singer-songwriter Teni. If this string of hits is anything to go by, LADIPOE is firmly on track for sonic domination.
Taking us on a ten-stop tour of all his formative influences, from Burna Boy’s mid-tempo melodies to the nostalgic indie charm of The Postal Service, this playlist is just the cure for all your back to work blues.
Little Brother – “Whatever You Say (Remix)”
Little Brother is a group that shaped my formative rap years. Phonte, in particular, is a rapper I greatly admire. On this song he rapped an entire 16 bars without rhyming. It showed me how important cadence and flow is in writing memorable rap verses.
Kwesta – “Ngud’” (ft. Cassper Nyovest)
This song is iconic. Kwesta’s unique voice; the production has so many vibes melted into one, something I’ve often experimented with in my own music. I dropped my own cover on Soundcloud, I was so inspired.
Burna Boy – “Like To Party”
I feel this song slowed down the tempo of music when it came out. Most songs in Lagos at that time were really fast-paced, and DJ’s would speed up mid-tempo songs in their mixes – all except for “Like To Party”.
Show Dem Camp – “Feel Alright” (ft. LADIPOE, Boj)
That year, we created a new genre of rap music in Nigeria.
The Pleb – “One For Senegal”
It’s like a trance. I used to listen to this before writing–like a warm up before a workout.
LADIPOE – “Jaiye”
When I made this I knew I was a rapper that could write songs, not just verses. I feel like all the musical inspirations led to this song.
Wizkid – “Ojuelegba”
It embodies the struggle and belief required for dreams to become reality in a city like Lagos.
2face – “Ifana Ibaga”
I used to hear this in my neighborhood growing up. It’s such an honest and hopeful song. It’s never left me.
Naeto C – “Kini Big Deal”
This changed my perception of what was possible for rap music in Nigeria–how accepted it could be.
The Postal Service – “Sleeping In”
My first ever producer introduced to me a world of music I never would have encountered otherwise. I discovered MGMT, Death Cab for Cutie, Elliot Smith, Vampire Weekend, and a lot more. One summer we overdosed on Postal Service’s “Give Up” album.