2Baba… Grooving The King 20 Years After
Organised as part of activities to celebrate 2Baba’s 20 years of active participation in the entertainment industry, the Eko Convention Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, was a perfect venue to celebrate a man, who has contributed immensely to the development of the music industry.
Put together by TEC, Achievas Entertainment and Hypertek Digital, the concert has been classified by many as the king of all concerts for 2019, following intriguing live performances from 2baba and his band members, which got guests grooving. Aside from 2baba, who treated the audience to the best of his compositions, the night of tribute also featured several exciting performances from a-list acts including Wizkid, Patoranking, Terry G, Solidstar, Reekado Banks, 9ice, Ycee, Waje, and others.
Naija Ninja, Sound Sultan, set the tone for the evening with an acoustic version of his popular early hit Motherland. Shortly after the rendition, the host entertained the crowd with a short skit before introducing DJ Jimmy Jatt, who got the crowd swinging to the vintage sounds of 2Baba; he practically took much down memory lane.
However, 2baba’s entrance was grand. It all started with a mini-documentary detailing his life, music, the industrial revolution, throwback photos and rise to stardom was aired; it featured RMD as the narrator. Shortly after the documentary, 2face made his way onstage joining T-boiz, winners of the Next up talent to perform their single Falling For Me; the crowd went wild in excitement.
At this point, controlling the excited crowd became a tough task for the security operatives, as fans struggled to catch a glimpse of the African Queen crooner.
2baba then launched into performances of his considerable hit catalog including, For Instance, Ole, Knock Me off, Only Me, Implication, Nfana Ibaga, and I dey feel like. You need to see the excitement, as the Benue State native switched from one track to another. He then wrapped up his first round of performance with advice for the youths to practice safe sex by using condom.
Actress Osas Ighodaro took the stage in quick succession to render short poetry on how great 2baba is; how he has risen despite shortcomings and rumours. Before the euphoria from that performance died down, 2baba made his second stage entrance to perform Only me and Rainbow. He was later joined by DJ Jimmy Jatt to perform Stylee, a vintage collaboration between 2Baba, Jimmy Jatt, and Elajoe. Singer Waje also joined 2baba to perform Frenemies.
It was time for the next act and what an entrance it was. 9ice made his way on stage and the crowd sang along enthusiastically as he performed Street Credibility, Le fenu, Living Things and Ganja Man.
2baba then created one of the night’s biggest surprises when he brought Wizkid on stage for a surprise performance. He performed Ojuelegba and Joro to the delight of the increasingly boisterous crowd. Shortly after his performance, Wizkid declared that 2baba inspired him to make music.
Other top artists that graced the stage on the night include Patoranking, Reekado Banks, Ycee, Solidstar, Kenny Blaq and Terry G. DJ Consequence then arrived to close a night of fantastic entertainment with delightful music as fans of 2baba danced till the lights went off to signal the end of the show.
The concert is a celebration of 2baba’s 20 years in the Nigerian music industry since the release of classic hit Knock Me Off as a member of the now-defunct Plantashun Boiz in 1999.
Looking back to when he resolved to play music, 2Baba said, “You know that time when you are hoping, wishing and working towards a thing, you definitely pray and picture something that you want. And then along the line, you start seeing it and you want extra. I didn’t see it the way it is now, but I dreamt that I want to achieve something from this thing and so far, I have not reached the exact place, but we are getting there as a human being and not just as an artist.”
On how he has managed to remain humble even with his obvious achievements, the former Plantashun Boiz member explained, “I think it’s the way my parents brought me up. I’m somebody that is famous and able to sing, but it doesn’t mean that I’m more than you; that’s how my parents brought me up and it is in my nature. I started hearing that a lot and I take it like that, but sometimes, some young kids used to forget that because of how I play with them. It’s all good and I just take my life one step at a time. For me, life is so simple; everything has a solution,” he noted.
In his journey to stardom, 2baba made two very important decisions; marrying his old-time lover Annie and moving back to his long-time manager, Efe Omorogbe.
“I have always been in love with Annie. Over the years, I have done some stupid things, but my heart has been there all the way. My solo movement started with Efe and along the line, there were some glitches for five years. We came back together and we have a natural blend and our story is like that of a prodigal son,” 2Baba said.
On the decision to have series of activities for the celebration, he said, “it’s a yearlong celebration and we have been doing this since OAU Obafemi Awolowo University conferred on me as a Fellow of the School Of Music; it was part of my first celebration of 20 years. Apart from the competition, there’s a whole lot of charity stuff that we will be ding; some series of concerts, tours, party with my people that I haven’t seen in some time.”