Boobs, Bums, Pretty Face And Intelligence Attract Me To Girls — Mode 9
He is Olusegun Babatunde. But since he did some magic with the scientific calculator function, Mode, and the number 9, a friend re-christened him Mode 9. That was way back in 1992 while studying Building Technology at Bida Polytechnic, Niger State. Though he made the best result in his class, the certificate is resting but not the name. Rap music has always been his thing. Today, with some albums and singles to his name, many followers of this traditionally tense genre of music see him as an icon. Mode 9 loves James Brown, listens to Asa and prefers a discman to an i-pod. He met with Amaka Agwuegbo, waxed philosophical, remains enigmatic Mode 9, Olusegun Babatunde.while breathing fire and yet shows depth. Do you wear names? I wear Academics, South Pole and some other American jeans. But I have a tailor who sews them if I can’t get my size in the market. Basically, for fragrance, I use BOD, though I have Issey Miyake, Hugo Boss. I also mix three different fragrances of BOD so as to confuse people What do you do when you are not busy being Mode 9? Mode 9 and Segun are one and the same person. There is a song in my album called Mathematical Sege. So I guess Mode 9 and Segun are fused into one. What attracts you to people? I like easy going people who smile a lot, people who are positive. Hanging around people who are always saying negative things actually spoils the fun for the positive people. If you have one negative person in the midst of five positive people, the negative person can affect them because the negative traits are stronger than the positive one. I like being optimistic. What attracts you to the opposite sex? Ah! The boobs, bums, pretty face and intelligence. Those physical things you can see will attract me first. But if the person is not intelligent, that is when the issue starts. If you can’t hold on to a normal conversation, that means you are boring. At times, you might see a chick and she is so hot, but when you just hang out with her, and she is boring, you might not want to call her again. But if I am stuck with a boring chick, it’s not a problem. Let the person sit her boring ass down and listen to me. What is your definition of wealth? Wealth is when you are happy and content. To an extent the physical cash counts. But you have to be content with who you are, what you are doing and with your surrounding and be happy. If you have all the money and you do not let the people around you benefit, you are going to be lonely, sad and mentally broke. When you have money, you long to have more and when you have more, you want to have power and that destroys people. I’ve seen a lot of rich people become poor because of this. Where do you draw your inspiration from? I listen to a lot of old school songs and I hang around with the right and intelligent people. Sometime, I just travel and hang out with some much older friends. Some are professors. I listen to them and I also learn from their experiences and theories. For instance the song Fellow Nigerians, was inspired by such discussion on the state of the nation. I sampled a speech from an ex-Head of State, Murtala Mohammed and not Gen. Sani Abacha like so many people say. A friend got the speech from an old radio station and I converted it to CD and was able to use it. If you were not Mode 9, what would you have been? I would have been a building technologist because that was what I studied in school. What are your fantasies? (Laughs) Trust me, you don’t want to know. Not when I want this to be readable for kids. What is the wildest thing you have ever done? I’m not a wild person, just very conservative. Well, in primary school, we had this bubble gum vending machine that brings out gums when you slot-in coins. So my friends and I would go steal the plastic coins we had in the school to get gums from the machine. The teachers were wondering where the plastic coins were all disappearing to. We did this for three days till I thought that it was too good to be true so I stopped. But my friends still went to get more gums and they were caught. In your adult life, no wild thing? Ok, though this may not be seen as crazy, but I consider it bold. During the ThisDay show and without any tag, I snuck in because the security was tight and I was not invited. I was at Eko Hotels when Snoop Dog’s people showed up and were to go to the venue. I entered the bus and sat down confidently. The driver thought I was with ThisDay while Snoop’s guys were talking to me like I was a staff of ThisDay. When we got to the venue, I pretended to be an American with Snoop’s band and was talking with the American accent and that was how I entered. This was in 2006 and I wasn’t that popular then. If you were to dress corporately, what kind of suit would you prefer? I like the Malcolm X type of old school suits with nice sharp cuts, white shirt, black tie that will give you that straight business look. With glasses too. That’s actually what I’m going to wear in one of the videos for my new album. And I’ll be looking out a window, like his famous picture where he was looking out the window with a gun; but I’m not going to hold any gun. The album is called Paradigm Shift and it will be released on the 09-09-08. There is going to be problem that day and a lot of people will quit rap because of my songs. You make so much reference to Malcolm X is he your role model? Actually, he is one of them. The reason I like him is because he knew when to mix an equal amount of violence with peace. You can’t be telling someone not to sit down there and the person still sits. You have to whoop his ass with a big stick. So if the person doesn’t move, you move him. Not that I am an advocate of violence. But some people have a lot of ear wax. They don’t want to listen. So until you coerce them, they don’t listen and you would not have to do that again because they know what can happen when they refuse to do the right thing. How would you rate the Nigerian music industry since anybody can just walk into a studio and record something? I’m a freak when it comes to lyrics because I love to hear stuffs that make sense. If I understand the language, I pay attention to make sense out of what you are saying. When the Tribesmen first came out with Shake Body. I listened to it and knew that they could rap and were getting their message across. Right now, the industry is growing and the videos are getting fantastic. I can’t tell anyone not to sing, but I think there is the need for quality control in terms of our output. You’ll be amazed that some singers with hit tracks will not know what to do when called on to perform because they are not seasoned artistes. When we started, it was from cassette – recording instrumentals on cassettes. Not even our instrumentals, but those of other artistes, and we will give such to DJs who will play them and we will rap and rock the crowd with vocals over the instrumentals. Or we could go to shows and ask the DJ if he has instrumentals which we can rap to. But now, most singers mime to their songs because they are studio mix. How can an artiste like that perform internationally except to go make a fool of us? When I performed in South Africa, it was stated in the contract that artistes should only perform to backing tracks and not to the track. If I were one of those that mime their songs, I would have been in trouble. Why are there lots of almost naked girls in most musical videos? The truth is that I like the naked girls. There is nothing wrong with using pretty ladies in your videos and they are not naked as they have something on and they look good. There has to be the ying and the yang so that things would be balanced. The only problem is when you start over-doing it and everybody starts doing the same thing, using the same gimmick and it becomes boring. Why use cars that you are not driving and ladies you can’t talk to after the video shoot? When you look at the Nigerian youth, what do you see? I see people who are really ambitious but are kind of like sleeping on the fact that they need to work hard. Back in the days, the Nigerian youth just wanted to get good jobs after school, but today’s Nigerian youth wants to live large but do not want to work for those good things of life. I advise that they look beyond wealth because it is not every rich person that is happy. Could you elaborate more on dissing in the music industry? Dissing is hip hop as you have to assert your position in the industry because if you are weak, people will mess you up. So you have to let them know that nobody can mess with you. I am not dissing any body though. But I have to let them know that if they mess with me, I’ll make them look stupid and their career will end. If you were to do a collabo with an international artiste, who will it be? Nas, because I have been down with him since 1991.
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