22nd August, 2021
Nigerian comedian and producer, Bright Okpocha, better known as Basketmouth has narrated how his being booed off stage during a rap show on campus led him to comedy.
Basketmouth spoke of his journey in the entertainment industry during a chat with Ebuka Obi-Uchendu,
He said he came to terms with his failed rap career after the incident during a show at the University of Benin (UNIBEN).
He said he got his stage name from the incident and his close friends also urged him to quit.
“Those guys are wicked. They came at us. My guys walked off. I came back, told DJ to stop the music,” he said.
“That was when the loud criticism started. They were hitting me and I was getting back at them, using their bodily features as diss material.
“It was rowdy at first but the hall became quiet. All of a sudden, people started laughing.
“When I was done, some guy walked up to me and said, ‘man, you get basket mouth o’ and walked away.
“I told my guys my name would be just that if I were to do comedy. My colleague advised me to leave the rap thing.
“My brother felt bad since I was in a music group with him. But he didn’t tell me. He supported me instead. Now that I think of it, I feel bad too.
“Bayo Adekeye became my manager. That was when I decided to quit rap.
“I was popular in UNIBEN as the only comedian that was kicking it. When I left, they started seeing me on TV.”
Basketmouth released an album titled ‘Yabasi‘ as a soundtrack for ‘Papa Benji’, his comedy series, last November.
The album featured artistes like Ladipoe, BOJ, The Cavemen, Bez, Waje, Duncan Mighty, Flavour, and Phyno.
Basketmouth said he had worked on projects with top acts like Wizkid but didn’t release them for fear of criticism.
“I decided to create ‘Papa Benji’, a sitcom. I needed music for the beer parlour [scenes]. I didn’t want to start asking people for their songs. I used the opportunity to create ‘Yabasi’, a blend of highlife and hip hop,” he added.
“We had three weeks to create the album and one to mix. We pulled it off and everything was done in one month.
“I’m a failed rapper. Yes, I failed as a rapper. But I didn’t fail because it was a case of [not delivering]. On stage, I was funny, but all my friends were funny so I didn’t know it was a gift. I thought it was a normal thing,” he said.
On why his rap career failed, Basketmouth noted that he delivered a sound that was futuristic.
“I was pushing rap; trying to make music but what I was doing then was blending Afrobeat with hip hop vibe. It was a bit too ahead of my time. People didn’t get it. We struggled, so I’ll say we failed at doing something new,” he said.