Olamide, Nigerian rapper and YBNL founder, says his experience growing up in a slum in the Bariga axis of Lagos state motivated him to hustle hard.
The 32-year-old singer spoke about his journey to fame in a recent interview with The Guardian UK wherein he reflected on his music career.
According to him, surviving at the time was so difficult that getting three square meals was almost an impossible task for his family.
The rapper said the development played a significant role on his drive to succeed against the odds.
“Surviving was hard. Bariga was not far from the other slums you see across the world, from Mumbai to New York and London – life in the ghetto is almost always the same everywhere,” he said.
“There were days when being able to afford three square meals was a big deal for my family. All of that motivated me to hustle hard – I wanted to see the whole world and experience different cultures from what I grew up seeing.”
Olamide, however, said contrary to opinions in some quarters that the ghetto is made up of only violent personalities, it also houses people with great potentials.
He added that ‘Triumphant‘, a track off ‘Carpe Diem’, his 2020 album, was inspired by the need to change the narrative about people living in ghettos.
“Many people have a very limited understanding of the ghetto. They think it’s all ruggedness and violence. The ghetto is way beyond that. Being from the ghetto is not only about guns and knives or living dangerously, it’s about being smart with your choices and moves,” he added.
“If you’re smart enough you can do better for yourself. I don’t want people in the ghetto to feel like they are inferior or in competition with anybody. The important thing is looking out for yourself and trusting your process.”