Recently, broadcaster, rapper and social scientist, Nnamdi Nwabasili, popularly known as N6, gave his candid opinion on a number of societal ills in a track called “clout”. The song addressed trends such as cosmetic surgeries and deception by public figures. Even before “clout”, N6 had dropped what many considered controversial tracks in the past. There are loads of unanswered questions as regards “clout”. N6 opens up to Azuka Ogujiuba, on why he wrote the song and blasted actress, Eniola Badmus and broadcaster, Toke Makinwa, his altercation with rapper, take on Naira Marley’s arrest and more
• I Was Hairy, Had Full Beards But Lost My Hair At the Age of 17
What does N6 mean and how did it come about?
I used to rap when I was much younger but I didn’t have a rap name. Whenever I was on holiday, I would go to the studio. So there was this gospel Yoruba artiste who paid me N20,000 in 1997 to do a verse on a song for her and I had to come with a stage name. My real name is Nnamdi and there was this singer called ‘W4’ and I thought I could have a similar name. Now Nnamdi is a 6-word name so with the initial ‘N’, I came up with ‘N6’.
Have you always wanted to be a broadcaster?
I have never thought I would be a broadcaster. I used to do music before I traveled overseas and after four years I came back, rounded off from school and then got a nine to five job. The company was located in same building with Cool FM. In my capacity as the HR of the company, I used to talk to a lot of broadcasters around. There was this highly decorated presenter working with Wazobia FM, Mashe, so I would talk to her, talk to Daddy Freeze etc. Freeze was one of the first persons to give me a shot. He would say ‘do you know that just gisting with you I already have something to talk on the radio?’ So, one day, he said ‘how about you joining me on air when you are done from work?’ And that was how it started.
I would round off at my nine to five job and then go on radio and gist with Freeze. I did that for like two weeks and everybody was like who is that N6; he is really good. I kept going on air with Freeze after my regular job for about a year without being paid. So one day, my MD called me and said ‘you are good on radio and Freeze has no co-host, how about giving you three months to train someone to assume your position here while you go join Freeze,’ and that was it.
What is the most interesting part of being a broadcaster?
For me, I would say the feedback. I didn’t know how much of a social scientist I was until I started the radio job. We discuss pressing issues in the country and get immediate feedback.
When should we expect an EP or album from N6?
My album has been ready for a while but before the year runs out I will drop it.
We heard you had an altercation with M.I’s crew after the beef you two had in 2017. Are you guys in good terms now?
Yes, we are good. I saw M.I last week at an event and we said hi.
Your single “clout” started a conversation on social media recently; did you have specific persons in mind when writing those verses?
I only had specific situations in mind and persons. I just noticed some dishonest trends in the entertainment industry in Nigeria and decided to address it. People just lie without minding those who look up to us. People come on social media and claim what they are not. I feel that depression and suicide rate are increasing because of this trend among entertainers and nobody was doing anything about it. So, that was it.
Tell us about the lady under your radio supervision that committed suicide?
Her death still makes me emotional. She used to work at power 45, and she would come to my show in the evening and when her job became demanding, she started coming during the weekends. She was very smart and could even play the guitar. So, I was wondering how such a young girl would kill herself. She had never told me about any issues and there were no signs because she was very vibrant and cheerful. In fact, we had a long discussion the day before and I taught her a lot on how to be socially conscious then gave her an assignment to be submitted the following day. I asked her to come with 10 social media discussion that were trending. The next day, I got a call and was told Pelumi, that’s her name, drank poison and I was shocked. It surprising and shocking, I did not see it coming.
Do you think social media contributes to these cases of depression and suicide?
Yes! It’s our reality. It actually started as a reconstructive surgery. If you have issue with any part of your body then you can go for a reconstructive surgery but if you go for surgery just for vanity reasons then you are starting and promoting a vanity culture. It’s really not the way forward.
You dragged Toke Makinwa on Instagram after she called you out last year. Do you know her in person and are you guys good now?
I don’t know her in person but her brother is my good friend. What actually happened was AY the comedian made a tasteless and insensitive joke about D’Banj and his wife after they lost their son. AY came on Instagram asking them to try and make another baby. So, I went on air and talked about it and said it was insensitive. Hours later, people started tagging me on instablog9ja after they shaded what she said about me. She said if I haven’t achieved anything in the industry then I shouldn’t be putting my mouth in other people’s business. So, I came and dropped a comment and asked her to clear the air within 24 hours if the post was about me but she did not respond so the following day I put up a blast about her too.
Do you think you owe Eniola Badmus an apology following her claims that you body-shamed her four years ago?
I do not owe her an apology and I believe that malice is one bus stop away from witchcraft. If you keep malice with people you can actually do jazz to them since you don’t want to confront them or call their attention to it. When I wrote that comment about her being fat, I did state that it was a joke but blogs blew it out of proportion and I deleted it. I sent her a DM explaining myself but she never replied and I didn’t mean to hurt her. I thought she was going to understand it was a joke. For her to bring it up four years later is what hurts me.
There was a time Eniola came out and said she was suicidal on social media and it was huge and everyone was trying to reach her but her phone was off. Now, I did my recent “clout” which went viral and Tunde Ednut posted it on his page and Eniola came to Tunde’s page and wrote ‘Balu’ under the post and I replied her and said ‘you that formed suicidal for clout’. Then she came back and said she was not forming suicidal, it was for a movie coming soon and that hit me. She added that she was going to treat my file soon for body shaming her four years ago and that I should go to Jumia and buy a life. People started tagging me, mocking and cursing me. At this point I decided to really reply her and give her something to be mad about. So, I won’t apologise to her because I don’t owe her one.
Who are your favorite Nigerian musicians?
Tiwa Savage is like a big sister to me. I respect her and place her up there. I also like Don Jazzy, Davido, Wizkid, 2Baba and I am cool with Olamide and Kizz Daniel too.
What do you think about the recent attack on Tiwa Savage by Seyi Shay and Victoria Kimani on Instagram?
What hurts me is that Seyi and Victoria are also my friends but what they did was uncalled for.
What’s your take on Naira Marley’s case and cyber fraud generally?
Naira did glorify cyber fraud. I was at his first trial and I think he made a big mistake. Here’s the thing, drug dealers and cyber fraudsters don’t come out to say they are into such crimes, they stay low key. So when Naira’s issue started, I think he came out to promote it for clout. Singer, Simi made a blanket statement and Naira Marley had no reason to stand up for cyber fraud.
What is wrong is wrong. Let’s not justify it because our politicians are corrupt. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Naira Marley made himself a target. Do whatever you want to do, it’s your life but be discreet about it.
What would you have done differently if you weren’t a broadcaster and a rapper?
I probably would be a lawyer or a nurse because I found out that I love to take care of people physically.
What’s your take on couples who bring their private issues to social media?
I don’t think couples should take their issues to social media. There are so many options to explore. They can talk to their families, go for counseling or therapy etc. If all of these don’t work at the end of the day, then I think it’s over already.
Tell is about your formative years
We moved around a lot. I was born in London, my brother was born in Lagos, my other brother was born in Port Harcourt.
I don’t have a British passport because I was born during the reign of Margaret Thatcher. She was a racist so we didn’t get the passport. So I started schooling in London then moved to Nigeria and we’ve been going back and forth since then.
My first degree was in Political science from University of Nigeria, Nsuka.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
I would say YouTube. I watch weird information there.
Who is your kind of woman?
She has to be intelligent, confident and be kind. I am not all about the cliche ‘God fearing’ tuff but just be human.
People always refer to you as escaped albino, how did that come about?
Okay, this is the first time I am revealing this. I was hairy and had full beards but I lost my hair at the age of 17. It was a medical misdiagnosis by a doctor who ended up losing her certificate because my mother followed up the case. I used to be asthmatic and back in the day one of the treatments for asthma was aminophylline, a drug they inject you after every 15 minutes. Now, the lady who put me in this condition used to be domestically abused by her husband. That fateful day, she came to the clinic black-eyed and unhappy. She mixed something and injected me and it was not aminophylline. I almost lost my arm. I was unconscious for a while and lost two years of school. I didn’t lose my hair immediately until after three months. So, when they did the biopsy, they found out that she didn’t use aminophylline. Doctors told me I might lose my hair, arm or legs. Six months later I wanted to comb my hair and everything just pulled off with the comb and that was the beginning of the horror. And this is why I won’t pity Eniola Badmus because I went through serious bullying back in high school.
Generally, I am confident right know because of knowledge. I read a lot and I know everything about what happened to me. So I have learnt to be confident in myself. That was how I lost my hair. The condition is called ‘alopacia’ but mine was from medical misdiagnosis.
Should we expect more music from you?
Yes, but I have to take it more seriously. Lol.
If offered a movie role, would you try acting?
Yes I will give it a try. If someone says hey I think you can act and offers me role, why not?