Blaq Bonez on how originality and consistency led him to success

 

Born in Lagos, Nigeria to an Igbo Family, Blaqbonez whose real name is Akumefule Chukwu-Emeka is a prolific Emcee whose creativity knows no bounds.

Employing comedy and competition into his craft has set him apart from his many compatriots in the music industry; an industry that is renowned for its toughness and brutality.

Despite all the odds set against him, he’s climbed to the top with sheer grit, determination, strategic actions and pure maven.

At 13 and without his parent’s blessing, Blaqbonez set off the journey to becoming Africa’s Best Rapper and would put the final nail in the coffin with a debut project, “Hip Hop Is Blaq” subsequently as an undergrad.

These days, his parents have had a change of heart, a seemingly popular situation for most young people in Africa who tend to pursue their creative passions.

“Lol I was a menace in school, I had a diss track for everyone that did as little as looking at me funny,” replies Blaqbonez when we query him about rumours that he dissed his VC in a track.

Creative yet risky, these are the actions that have escalated Mr Bombastic to the top of his career including winning Terry Tha Rapman’s Zombie competition, captain of the Hennessy VS class and 1st runner up in rapper Vector’s competition.

However, it took a meeting with one of Nigerian’s finest lyrical exports, MI to seal his fate, as he was signed on to the latter’s label, 100 crowns shortly after.

His talent coupled with MI’s experience and relevance birthed his professional discography in the form of “Bad Boy Blaq” which earned him #1 on the Nigerian HipHop session on Apple’s iTunes.

With a fourth project, Sex Over Love currently enjoying massive airplay along with raving reviews from Wizkid and Burna Boy, Blaqbonez is living up to the tag as “Africa’s Best Rapper”.

On his latest trip to Accra, Ghana as part of his music media tour, GQ spoke to “Emeka The Stallion” about what his music means to him, his quirky style and some major collaborations.

GQ: You are enjoying so much popularity for the versatile, energetic and competitive nature of your rap style. How were you able to create such a niche for your brand?

BB: I think for me I’d just say I learnt early that the best way to create a niche is to be myself at every point so it makes it easy for me to sell my brand. Being myself cancels out any obligation to keep up a facade on my brand so I just focus more on making good music

GQ: You crowned yourself as Best Rapper In Africa in the early days of your career. Brave right? What informed your decision to go for the throne in such a controversial manner?

 

BB: Really it’s about self-belief. Anyone can call himself whatever he chooses. I called myself BRIA because at that time that’s how I felt.

There’s a story about how you dissed the VC of your University in a song. Give us the gist of what really transpired.

Lol, I was a menace in school. Not just my VC. I had a diss track for everyone that did as little as looking at me funny. It was a phase in my life and there was really nothing to it.

GQ: How has using comedy as a literary tool impacted your career as a rapper?

BB: Greatly, as I said I’m just being myself. Naturally, I’m funny so there was one time I did something hilarious on social media and it caught on real fast. Since I decided to use it as part of my marketing scheme and it’s been upwards ever since

GQ: If you had the opportunity to diss a global artist to get their attention and their audience whose head are you going for?

BB: Haha..I’m not sure I’d go that route, I don’t think at this stage I have to diss anyone for attention.

GQ: Mr Boombastic peaked at number 1 on iTunes, Haba was a viral sensation, the “Sex Over Love” project is doing some mad numbers. What’s the secret?

BB: I think for me it’s consistency. I believe I can do better. Going back to work on whatever I think didn’t get me further than I got and most importantly Me being myself at every point.

GQ: How have you enjoyed your Ghana tour? Are there any collaborations on the way with any Ghanaian artist?

BB: Ghana has been beautiful tbh. Beautiful place, beautiful people. Definitely coming back. I’ve hung out with Kelvyn Boy , Black Sherif, Gyakie, Yawtog, Kidi, Amaarae ….sure music will come. Keep your finger crossed

GQ: As an artist what goes into creating your unique looks?? Is it inspired by personal taste or the work of a style team?

BB: Sometimes it’s just me, other times collaborations. But at all times, I make sure I’m comfortable with my looks

GQ: What drives you to make music?

BB: It’s basically just the norm at this point. I just make it. Nothing pushes me to. I’m wired that way…to just want to make especially when the last one sounds good. I’m like yup, there’s more where that came from

GQ: Do you have any last words for your fans and readers of this interview?

BB: Keep streaming, keep supporting, there’s so much in the works and I can’t wait to share with y’all. Follow @blaqbonez on social media platforms. Love y’all

 

CC _ GQ South Africa

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