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The Rise And Rise Of Paybac iBoro

Paybac iBoroPaybac iBoro is one of the best to do it…Attracting the attention of Juelz Santanas and respected rappers in the game, Paybac ibORO has gained following and this is partly due to his ‘deep’ thought process which reflects in his lyrics. The Guardian Life caught up with the Headies award nominee to discuss rap, collaborations and the chemical X.

At what point in your life did you decide that rap is what you want to do?

I think of three instances in my memory whenever I get asked this. The first was when I was a little kid in like 1997 and my sister was transcribing a Biggie verse. Like with the old cassette tapes, stopping and playing and I remember seeing the picture get clearer and remember being fascinated. The next memory I think was at a Christmas end of year party in school. This was around the same time and this little kid performed on stage, a Puff daddy and Mase song and it was the coolest thing ever. The last memory is, in my later years in secondary school, a classmate wrote this rap about boarding house life and dissed our seniors. Almost immediately after that, I started writing raps.


How has the reception been with your music? Speaking of reception, you were recently nominated for the Headies awards in the “lyricist on the roll “category, what does this mean to you?

The reception has been growing man, I think that’s the only way to put it. With each release, I get more fans and that’s why I keep going. The Headies nomination was wild and unexpected. I didn’t think I was at that level yet but I guess when it’s time, it’s time. I’m very grateful for being honoured like that. 

In your opinion, what are rappers missing out in the Industry today?

Honestly, I think we’re good as long as we keep knocking down doors something will happen. It’s already happening. I think because of how big Afrobeats is, people expect Nigerian hip-hop to be just as big overnight but that’s not how it works. So as long as we keep building all these individual movements we have now, we’re good. It’s all about creating value and that’s what we’ve been doing.

Paybac iBoro

On the issue of toxic masculinity in rap, what is your take on expression in music?

Art is usually an expression of self. The toxic masculinity in music to me is just a by-product of the negative aspects of patriarchy. I think we’re all tryna figure out what masculinity is in this new world and I’m positive it will be reflected in the music.

What and who are the major influences in your music?

This would be too hard to say in general but I’d say the biggest influences for my next project are the Funkees, Kendrick Lamar, kid Cudi, Kanye, William Onyeabor, the Beatles and maybe Fela.

What are the biggest take-homes from your projects you hope your audience will receive? 

Lately, I’ve been noticing that most of my music tries to correct the insecurities or flaws I had as a kid. As a kid, I used to feel ashamed of being Nigerian because we seemed to have the worst of everything. So my next project is titled CULT! And we tagged it a cult of self-love cos we want it to promote an unrepentant “nigerianess” to celebrate ourselves, imperfections and all. 

Are you working on any international collaboration?

I got a DM from Juelz Santanas for a feature so I’m looking forward to that?

Whose track are you more than ready to jump on?

I’d love to work with Kanye, Pharrell and Rick Rubin.

What is the greatest lyrics you have ever heard?

I can’t give you one lyric. I’m sure I’ll think of a better one right after this interview. I can give you a song though. Two songs that helped me open up my songwriting third eye. “Nas – I gave you pawa” and “the Beatles – across the universe.”

In this article:
Njideka AgboPaybac iBoro
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