ModeNine real/full name is Babatunde Olusegun Adewale born June 14, 1975, is a Nigerian rapper. As a seven time The Headies Lyricist on the Roll winner, he is the most decorated artist by
the magazine. In 2014, he released a song titled “Super Human” with Jamaican-American rapper Canibus.
ModeNine is a Nigerian rapper often regarded as
one of the best rappers in Africa. He is known to epitomize what he
calls Afro Hip Hop (which signifies African hip hop) with his amazing
metaphorical lyrics, deep relevant punchlines and creativity.
style of music was greatly influenced by artists like KRS-One, Roy Ayers, Kurtis Blow
and Big Daddy Kane.
ModeNine grew up in London, England. He came
back to Nigeria in 1979, where he obtained a degree on Building Technology. He
graduated in 1999 and had his National Youth Service Corps program in
Calabar. His parents were not pleased with him when he dabbled into
music in 2000 since as typical parents, they wanted him to get a job.
For him, it was like a dream come true since he had always loved music,
especially rap music. He pictured himself doing what Rakim and Eric B
did on TV.
He hung out with friends in school rapping and he wanted to
make a rap album in 1991 for the fun of it. ModeNine worked with Rhythm
84.7fm in Abuja (a sister station to Rhythm 93.7 Lagos). He worked as a
small time radio presenter featuring up-coming rap acts like Terry Da
Rapman and Six-Foot Plus. He quit a few years later and went to Lagos
having secured a deal with Paybacktyme Records. He recorded an album
called IX files. Although it never hit the market but singles like ‘It’s
About To Get Ugly‘ and ‘Schooling‘ emerged from the unreleased album.
This brought him in tight competition with other hip hop acts in very
hard-to-be-known music industry where rap itself has fully reached a
grand lucrative stage compared to the US. However, ModeNine reared his
head with a new mixtape called Malcolm IX released under paybacktyme
records in 2004. It had tracks like ‘Head’,’Orisuna basement freestlye’
and ‘419 state of mind’.
The latter was played on Rick Dees top 40. The
mixtape reinvigorated his career. ModeNine met with the CEO of
QuestionMark Entertainment known as Luciano Gabriel a number of times,
but a show at French cultural centre tagged ‘E ka bo’. Kevin was
impressed by ModeNine’s performance and he invited him to come feature
on one of the street Monks tracks.
At QuestionMark entertainment
he propelled the underground music to mainstream when he dropped the
deserving 5 mics album called ‘Pentium IX’ whic sold out completely.
This album contains tracks like ‘Rock on’, ‘Lagos state of mind’.
Pentium IX has set a new standard for other African rappers coming out
ModeNine has performed alongside some of the finest
emcees like Guru of Gangstarr, Wyclef and in 2005 he opened for Akon in
Port Harcourt, Nigeria. His last single CRY featuring label mate Nnenna
got massive airplay and on the 15th of October 2006, ModeNine won 3
Channel O awards.