Olanrewaju Ogunmefun popularly known as Vector is the barrack kid, who ass much as anything, carries his hood, Lafiaji, Lagos Island, Lagos on his chest and back. It’s an identity, a grounding, a DNA and a strength. In return, Lafiaji recognizes him.
When he had a court case with YSG Entertainment – which was settled out of Court – Lafiaji rose up. His third studio album is also titled, Lafiaji.
On his 1 hour 20 minutes interview, Vector talks about his background, religion, his beef with M.I, Vibes Before T.E.S.L.I.M EP, T.E.S.L.I.M and the 2017 open letter. He grew up in the Celestial Church of Christ. As the son of an affluent Pastor who was also a police officer. He says that he first realized societal disparity/classism in church. His younger brother would be allowed to play around the church with a console-controlled toy car while other kids were conscripted to a space.
He reflects upon how special ‘Church Harvest ceremony’ days were for his family. He would be dressed in gold chains with his brother and Dad while everybody else celebrated them like kings.
It wasn’t without its negatives too. People wanted to test him as they thought him bougie. He says even had to fight a guy in church to prove his street cred.
But now, he’s left the church after a Pastor who was later arrested for fraud would always foretell money-related talk. Now, he’s spiritual, but not religious. However, he still visits the church to seek mercy from God. To him, mercy is all he needs.
Talking about his Music
Vector’s mom told him he used to wordplay as a child. He was always different, but he didn’t understand it. At some point, he was going to become a Doctor because he was good at biology.
Then, he started drawing comics in his books. Then, after he’d been beaten by Mr. Salami (his Maths teacher) at St. Gregory’s College, he’d go home and listen to the Raekwon album he bought at Obalende.
Then one day, he met some older guys who lived two blocks away in the barracks he grew up in. They were kicking freestyles. He remembers one line from that day, “I keep going, I no dey tire. Unleash the dragon, tattoo Sisquo higher.” Then he started a rap group with friends called, Badder Boys.
At the time, he also sang tenor in the Church choir while learning to play drums. His sister had taught him melodies and keys. His choir won competitions for fun and the first time he rapped in church, people said in Yoruba that, “Hip-Hop in church? The holy church is now spoiled o.”
On his Education
He got into the renowned University of Lagos where Vector studied Philosophy. He discovered battle rap and says he was unbeaten for three years.
In 2008, these events led him to a show organized by Illbliss. The DJ was Spinall. He won with the line, “And now you’re scared to watch. It is my time, it is your watch.” There, he met with YSG Entertainment and signed with them. Then, he says he signed a deal with UK-based Odinero Records in 2009.
His debut album, State of Surprise dropped in 2010.
Court Case, Label Issues and Personality
On September 13, 2013, Nigerian rapper, Vector’s dispute with his then-label, YSG Entertainment, under which he released his first two albums became a court dispute.
A Federal High Court in Lagos granted an injunction to restrain Vector from further breaching his then-contract with record label YSG Entertainment. This came after dispute over Vector’s willingness to see out the terms of the record contract he signed with YSG. The matter was settled and Vector apologized with an open letter.
Although he is now cool with the label guys, it was a torrid time that also opened his eyes to the inadequacies of Nigeria. He claims that the issue wasn’t as much about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the case, it was about PTSD for from watching the degeneration of Nigeria from a legal standpoint.
When the matter was over, Vector had been dragged to court dates outside Lagos. He says that he moved out of his apartment with only 33 pairs of sneakers and 20-something hats. It ended and he had to start from the scratch. He gave all the shoes and hats out and challenged himself to get back up.
The money he had left on him, he used it to purchase studio equipment – music was an outlet to deal with the pain. He recorded his first song after his car got bashed. But then, he bounced back. He says, “Sometimes, you go all the way down, but you just have to get back up.”
Interestingly, he says he had lots of sex during that period. It made him realize the problem with overpopulation, “The poor man can’t afford anything fun except sex with him wife.”
On whether he has moved on, he says, “Guy, you never really move past it. I realized that everything you go through registers mentally. You may suppress it, but I don’t think you can ever move past it because there will be certain triggers in the future (that will take you back to that moment)… The human brain is such an amazing organ that deters you from those situations.
Unknown to him, he was describing PTSD. Interestingly, he also says, “I’ve also realized that to some people, I’m a bad person.”
“You just have to suppress that and move on to greater to things. The same way I believe that everybody has negative traits, but what makes you a better person is the ability to take that negative trait and tell it to sit down for the positive trait. But now, I’m cool with that, I’m cool with the label and the CEO. I think I even owe him one content (laughs).
While working on the Lafiaji album, Vector’s father passed away
On His Beef with M.I Abaga
First things first, he says he doesn’t compare himself with others, “Everybody’s life is too much of a rollercoaster… Even worse, you’re worse. But then, that’s the mentality we were raised with. We were raised in the competitive nature of things… You automatically register in your mindset what all your mates are doing.
“And I’m sure we’ve thought about it as adults too. The yardstick we judge ourselves by is what will other person do…”
As M.I claims in that open letter, Vector confirms they did meet at the British Council, Words and Pictures, Ikoyi in 2007. However, they never had a rap battle.
He says people told him, “’This guy (M.I) could can rap with virtually anything’ and they go ‘okay, thrown words at him, show him stuff’ (Vector raps). They were like ‘Oh my God’ and I was just a barrack boy that was there – a different type of kid. I guess that was it, the first encounter.”
On ‘The Viper,’ M.I confirms that he felt some energy from Vector after listening to ‘Kilode,’ Vector’s debut single from his debut album, State of Surprise in 2010. He rapped that he felt Vector had always hated him.
Vector rejects that claim, “To be very honest, I was just getting too many ‘you sound too much like Jay Z’ and I was like, ‘Guys, I’m just a very young boy rapping.’ If I would project, I would sound on a high pitch, There’s no bass in my voice. Projecting is leaving your comfort zone of speaking and increasing your vocal ability.
“I will definitely get into head or slightly no voice. And I was like ‘Kilode?’ Like General Pype is my friend and he sounds like Sean Paul. Durella sounds like D’Banj, P Square; that’s Usher and Usher Ray. Na so e be, but these guys were not listening to me. I was saying some stuff.
“It was just me using my music as usual as an avenue to let out what I felt and that was like… And they kept asking my like, ‘Yo, can you battle M.I?’ And I was like he’s a cool kid now, like he’s chill. Not in a condescending way… We all call ourselves cool kids on our records. So, that was what it was.
“If there was any animosity or frustration, it was more from the angle of, ‘You guys are denying me my respect and things I deserve’ simply because they think I sound like Jay? Come on.”
Oleku (Rmx) – The Beginning of the heat we feeling today
Vector says the first time he felt the energy from M.I was after he made a remix to Ice Prince’s ‘Oleku.’ He says, “As a point, where it all started was the ‘Oleku’ remake that I did with H-Code. He played the beat and I was excited. I did my verse and from there, I was hearing a lot of things that were coming in that it look like I was sabotaging their work…”
“I was like ‘No now, like come on, guys…’ It even leaked out of H-Code’s studio. At that point, it started to feel like they took a lot of offence and they took it personal. But I didn’t understand why.
On why he feels Chocolate City felt slighted, Vector says, “I wouldn’t know. I’ve heard people say my version was fire. I guess it was the first rap song that had people going, ‘I’m A-list now, so I cannot be you. Oye mi tide po si you…’ I was just having fun. People have preferences, but I always gave shout-out to Ice Prince and all that.
“I remember always telling people that, ‘Don’t say Ice Prince’s version’ is the original version.’ I remember saying that on Rhythm FM back in the day. Ice is the originator, I am the one with the version.
“From there, it was heated at a point and became news on radio and certain things were said about actions that they were going to take. So my CEO then had called me, and I was just telling them that I just did a version and that it wasn’t that serious…
“They called a Lawyer and talked about copyright infringement… I admitted that maybe I shouldn’t have because it really isn’t my own.
In 2017, M.I Abaga spoke on a radio show that he had never made any music with Vector. Vector came back with a message that felt like a clapback. He said he tried to get M.I on his 2015 single, ‘King Kong.’ Vector also stated it clearly he was ready. M.I then ended it with an open letter.
Martell vs. Hennessy
“You don’t now go do a cypher and now take a swipe at another brand that does another cypher. There is only one other – the bigger one, but yeah. We let that go too.
“I’ve never said this before, but I feel like that first cypher was the premise upon which other activations was supposed to happen with his brand, but because we ignored, it didn’t kick off. That can only explain why Martell let M.I go. For you to tweet that you want the job at Hennessy, it means your contract is done with the other guys. They’re both cognac brands.
“Then he does a second one… Abi he has forgotten who I am? So, this is me just disciplining him on some level like… That was why I went to his lounge to buy Hennessy because I don’t give a f*** I can be disrespectful, I can from the battlefield in life and in rap. What is wrong with you? If we are all excelling, you should keep your opinions to yourself. Let’s just all excel.
“But then if you want this, na sand for bar beach. E plenty. So let’s make this very clear, let’s do this (the diss tracks) once and for all. I stopped entering for Headies because I felt there was too much discussions around validation.”
M.I Abaga scooped Vector for ‘The Purge‘ and posted the song on his own page. Vector called it, “stupidity” and says that M.I risked a lawsuit. When asked why he didn’t sue M.I, he says, “What makes you think I didn’t?”
You might notice that M.I has taken ‘The Purge’ down from his YouTube page. When asked why he dropped, ‘Tetracycling,’ he laughed and says that he’s just having fun.
READ ALSO: Vector – Tetracycling (M.I Abaga Diss)
Friday, 11th of October 2019 was very eventful as, Vector released a diss track directly targetted M.I and on “Judas The Rat”, Vector called M.I for not doing enough to salvage his brother, Jesse Jagz. He went further to mention the Brymo’s controversial exit alongside Milli and other stories surrounding Chocolate City.
Due to the record ‘Judas The Rat’ everyone who was a former member of Chocolate City was trending on social media including former CC rapper Milli.
Milli reacted to his mentions concerning his stay at Chocolate City. It was insinuated by someone that he was dropped off the label so he stepped in to correct the wrong impression.
According to Milli he had to buy his way out of his contract at Chocolate City. He further explained that he paid three times the requirement of his contract to get out of the label.4. READ MORE HERE.
Watch Exclusive Interview with Vector Below
Source: PulseNGConnect With iTunesNG