On our next episode of Fortnight Chat would be one of the most respected rappers in Nigeria. A ‘Headies’ award winner and one who is mentored by most youths
He is T.R aka Terry tha Rapman (Same name, just abbreviated), a hip hop artist & performer, Tiv by tribe and hails from Nasarawa state. Born & raised in Kaduna. He currently has 3 Albums to his credit and 2 Mix tapes.
He discussed with us his journey through success and how he was able to break from the Northern part of the country to being one of the most successful rappers in the country, he had a lot to say. Read bellow!
Hello TR, can we meet you?
We can meet. Block me corner then, lol
Lol, We really meant we would like to know u better!
Well I’m T.R aka Terry tha Rapman (Same name, just abbreviated) I’m a hip hop artist & performer. I’m tiv by tribe. I hail from Nasarawa state. Born & raised in Kaduna. I have 3 Albums to my credit and 2 Mix tapes.
Wow..could you kindly enlighten us on what #BANS is all about?
B.A.N.S is Boys Are Not Smiling in acronym. Its simply means being in a go ‘getter’ state of mind. The hustler mode. Its a slogan I coined in 2005. It has nothing to do with the facial expression but mentality.
Wow… A CREATIVE MIND you have got there Sir!
Did U at any point have to choose between music and school?
Not exactly, I was able to juggle between school and music because I wasn’t chasing rap music as a profession. It was after I was done with my HND Mass Communication in Kaduna Polytechnique that I got signed to ‘Payback Tyme Records’ in Abuja 2001.
So I fulfilled my education before heading into music fully.
That’s rare, how were you able to break from Kaduna (far north) to being amongst the top lyricists in the country?
Well, I pretty much think it was the people I was associated with. Six foot plus, who is a friend and elder bro and I grew up with in Kaduna hooked me up with a record label in Abuja (Pay Back Tyme). After the label went defunct, I followed Modenine to Lagos and through him made a lot of contacts. Emmanuel Ugolee was another man who introduced me to a lot of Lagos showbiz moguls, so I got my connects and started building my name and reputation.
What or who will you say has been your greatest influence in the past decade?
In the past decade, two people who influenced my music was Sixfoot Plus and Modenine. International influence was Tupac, Biggie and Eminem.
Tell us about your last project
My last project was an EP called G.O.D (Grabbing Our Destiny) the title track was nominated for Best Rap single & Lyricist on a roll 2015.
We are well aware of your latest joint “Wrong Number”, however, Are we to expect anything new soon?
Yes, I’m dropping a joint E.P with Modenine and super producer Doc Def called “CROWN”. An 8 track EP featuring guests Pherowshuz and Simi. First singled just dropped called Wrong number. My album will be after Crown E.P. drops in November
Do you think an artist’s location in the country could limit his/her success potentials? We often hear that if you ain’t in Lagos, you ain’t doing nothing yet.
It used to be back then,because Lagos was the only entertainment hub in the country but over the years. Abuja, P.H and even Jos slowly catching up. It will take time but we’ll get there.
What’s your opinion about artists dropping out of school to do music?
Please do not ditch school for music. Get some level of education, unless you couldn’t help it. You need to be learned to know about the business side or they will cheat you.
Nice! Well said. What’s your dream for the Nigerian music industry?
Our music is already getting the right buzz,I pray our industry is more structures so we can have more distribution labels not just record labels. We been relying on Alaba since the late 90s.
Plus we need more tours and concerts in Nigeria with more acts not just the same faces.
Do you think hip hop in Nigeria will ever be bigger than pop/afro pop in terms of commercial returns?
It will. Contrary to what many think, rap music is actually big in Nigeria we just ignorant to the fact. For example, Star Mega Jam has brought in mostly rappers to headline here eg. Ja Rule, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, L.L.Cool J & Kanye West. All we need is more show promoters to give rappers more chances to headline shows and brands to endorse rappers. Rap music is big globally, indigenous or English. No denying that, its a matter of time.
Yeah, we believe and agree with that.
The way you tackle our questions, emphasises the importance of not just being an entertainer but a learned entertainer. Impressive!
Like I said earlier,get a decent education because knowledge is power. Besides school I read a lot of books to get general knowledge and information.
As artistes, our job is to also educate and inspire people,while entertaining them.
Yes, absolutely true.
Recently everybody has been trying to “trap” everything… Lol! What are your thoughts about this new “trend”?
In hip hop there are always trending beats, hip hop never had one particular sound. It borrows from all genres of music. One time it was jazz music, then rock music, then crunk then trap. Now its moved to wave beats. Its important to evolve with hip hop as it grows or one might sound old.
If music stayed the same, it would be boring and would die fast.
Sure! Are you currently in any relationship?
Yes,I am. I don’t like to delve into my personal relationship but I’m with a great woman so far.
Talking about your personal life, tell us something personal people don’t know about T.R
Apart from music, I’m a great illustrator. I sketch cartoons and stuff as hobby. I’m also a comic book buff. I hope to try animation after music though.
That’s really nice…. we would love to see some sometime
Finally, Any advice to upcoming artist?
Yeah. I advice artistes, like I always do say: no shortcut to success. Work hard, pray harder. You can’t be an overnight star. One must gather his fan base, perform at the right shows for free to gain reputation in his area then he can conquer the world.
Alright! The entire Trendkingz blog team would at this point what to thank you for this opportunity, we appreciate it 100%. It was a nice time with the lyricist himself.
Any sign out words boss?
Watch out for Modenine x T.R collab EP #CROWN & #BLAMEHIPHOP my 4th album
Stay Connected, follow him on Twiter & IG: @iamlord_tr