Olamide, Illbliss: These stars rapping about their kids is the sweetest thing in Nigerian music
Rappers make music to support their kids. And when the kids inspire a new song, it isn’t just cute, it is the way it ought to be.
The first time I can remember stopping by my father’s office in Port Harcourt, I was a chubby bow-legged toddler who everyone wanted to pinch his cheeks in affection. He was the boss, and everyone wanted to spoil the boss’s song. My dad brought me into his workspace, introducing me to his business. I was his little bouncy trophy, and when he spoke about me, the pride in his voice was inspiring.
I feel the same pride when I listen to Olamide’s ‘Letter to Milli’. The rapper welcomed his first son Batifeori Maximilliano Adedeji in January 31, 2015 to his partner Adebukunmi Aisha Suleiman. ‘Milli’ as Olamide calls him always finds his name thrown into the spotlight. Olamide took on the moniker. Papa Milli, which he threw into the polarizing record, ‘Ladi’ off his joint album with Phyno – “2 Kings,”
“Emi Baddo, Baba Milli, Miliano” he sang on his verse, which loosely translates into English as “I am Baddo, Milli’s father.” It’s the ultimate declaration of pride in the existence of his son. All fathers love their first sons more deeply than they can express. They represent copies of themselves, existing in a different time and age. It is that bond that Olamide displays when he dedicated an entire song to the boy.
“Hey son what’s up, this is your dad. I’m writing this to motivate you whenever you are down. Just remember my story and things that people told me,” he raps in the song which reads out like an open letter to his Milli. So strong is their bond, that sometimes, they ‘twin’. In 2016, Olamide dyed the little man’s hair brown to reflect the exact shade he had applied to his.
“Dyeing my son’s hair was deliberate. We are just jumping on this twinning trend. I’m doing my best to raise my son in the right way. I try as much as I can to spend time with him and make sure I’m part of his day to day growth,” he told Soundcity.
For Illbliss, his daughter is the greatest gift that he ever received. The rapper’s bundle of joy recently arrived in July 2016. Illbliss, a first time Dad has that ‘new baby’ rush. The kind that cannot be captured by words alone. He wrote the words alright, but that wasn’t enough, so a song was created with that open letter.
Unlike Olamide’s ‘man up’ note, Illbliss is an emotional ride from her first moments on earth, to appreciative voice notes to his wife, Munachiso Ejiofor.
“Tears of joy Rolling down my cheeks/ listen to kicks from deep inside your mums belly! Sex Girly! Eight long years waited for this day to come! Admire sonograms waited for my seed to form! Finally she here! Welcome to your world baby!” that’s the opener of his song ‘DaddyLuvsU’ which is housed on new album “Illy Bomaye.” As the little lady finds her feet and continues to blossom, you can be sure to find references to her all over. This isn’t new.
Daddies love their kid, and for expressive creatives like artists, music which draws from their personal situation has to involve the Apple of their eyes. When artists introduce their kids to their music, it is beautiful to see. Rappers make music to support their kids. And when the kids inspire a new song, it isn’t just cute, it is the way it ought to be.
So when I pointed out a theft by one of my father’s staff that I witnessed, he gave me a knuckle and told me “son I am proud of you.” He hoisted me in the air, and continued to sing my praises. Even to this day, I still hear that husky voice.