Sunday, 11 April 2010
BLACKFACE NAIJA: THE RETURN OF A SOCIAL CRUSADER.
If you've always been curious about Nigerian music, it is likely that you'll come across the songs of a group called ''The Plantation Boys''. The group played a huge role in bringing Nigerian Hip-Hop and R&B to the attention of music lovers all over the world. Augustine Ahmedu, one of the founding members of Plantation Boys, took a fresh musical direction when the group broke up after their two albums ''Body N Soul'' (2000) and ''Sold Out'' (2003). Unlike his former band mates, Faze [ Chibuzor Orji ] and 2face [ Innocent Idibia ] who are good at releasing love songs and party jams, Blackface has carved a name for himself as a social critic and incurable fighter for human rights. He's just come out of a 2-year hiatus with a new album.
Blackface, who was born at the Creek Military Hospital, Obalende, Lagos, Nigeria in 1974 grew up listening to the music of Boney M, The Whispers and The Sledge Sisters. He was also inspired to pick up the microphone by rappers like Nas, Method Man and Redman. As a student of St Gabriel's Secondary School, Makurdi, in Northern Nigeria, Blackface joined various dance groups and was a member of the school choir. The prolific songwriter later attended the Institute of Management Technology [IMT], Enugu, where he met Tuface and started the Plantation Boys. After the group's demise, he released his solo album ''Ghetto Child'' in 2004. The album revealed Blackface's connection with the suffering masses of his country and thus a revolutionary was born. If you've listened to two of his songs ''E Dey Pain Me'' and ''Hard Life'', you'll get my drift. Though he's not as popular as his ex-bandmates, Augustine Ahmedu has his own dedicated fans who've purchased his other albums like ''Evergreen'' and ''Me,Music and I''.
Lovers of Blackface's brand of music can start smiling because he has a new album in the stores. After touring Europe [ Switzerland and Spain ], he's returned to Nigeria with a fresh dimension to his music. His latest album ''Dancehall Business'' was released on March 27,2010. Blackface collaborated with upcoming artistes like Oti, Ruffman and Rocksteady on some songs in the release. The album is being marketed by his company, Loudhouse Entertainment. Blackface has also taken the time to answer his critics. According to him '' Though people are saying I've not made it like Faze and Tuface and that they're not seeing me like the others, I have my own values. I don't want to be seen all the time. The more you don't see me, the more music I do''. However, it is widely acknowledged that Blackface wrote 2face's hit song ''African Queen'' which was the soundtrack of ''Phat Girls '', a Movie featuring Monique. With his new album, it is time for Augustine Ahmedu to shed his underdog tag and shoot videos that will make music fans acknowledge his talent. RV wishes him the best as he relaunches his music career.
Sources: www.africahit.com, RV
Where to find Blackface online: www.myspace.com/blackfacealive