People hear the name Pope, from the Nigerian music industry, and find it very easy to think of hit songs like ‘Enjoy’ and ‘Baale Baale’. People think on the successful ‘Pope & Friends Club Tour’ that spanned through several clubs at the end of last year, and with recent collaborations in the last few weeks with Eldee, 2Shotz and 19th Street, the raphead has staked his claim in the rap game.
Michael Egube, or Pope, or Pope da hitman, was born in Benin City and spent his early years in Warri before moving to Lagos. The 24-year old lyricist who is an Accounting graduate from Covenant University will tell you of his passion for music and how he has always been a music lover and enthusiast.
Drawing inspiration from a diverse range of influences including Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z and Fela; Pope started music at an early age, learning to play the keyboard while in primary school. He later added the drums and bass guitar to his repertoire in secondary school, as well as what would ultimately become his foremost skill, rap.
In 2006, Pope had long since moved from being a Church choirboy and school stage performer to becoming a respected name on the underground hip-hop scene in Nigeria, where he cut his teeth on numerous underground mixtapes while pushing out his signature melody-driven rap sound and eventually getting the attention of Cackland Music.
Fast forward to 2012, Pope, who is no longer signed to Cackland Music, has become a widely recognized brand of a fusion of western rap and Afro Culture. NotJuskOk describes Pope as an artiste who isn’t a one-way artiste, especially with his ability to switch flows from hard rap to something softer. iWantAirPlay describes Pope as the heir to the Nigerian industry’s rap throne.
With covers on B.o.B’s ‘Nothing On You’, Lil Wayne’s ‘6 Foot 7 Foot’ with Eva, and Kanye West’s ‘Power’, Pope has shown versatility in music that most Nigerian artistes haven’t. His first 2 singles [‘Enjoy‘-where he sampled Fela & fused it with jazzy hip-hop to make a classic & ‘Baale Baale‘-which he made a club hit from only drums] were on the Beat FM Naija Top Ten for weeks being the only Artiste to have had his 2singles on the chart After Tuface.
Why the name Pope? He says it’s because he births a new style of Rap music which is an infusion of Western and Afro Culture, and Pope originates from a Latin word meaning father. Though currently unsigned, Pope remains under the M.et.al management company and has effectively proven that he is set to take the entertainment industry in Africa by storm.
Songs like Let Me (With Shaydee), Owo Kudi Ego, You Know, I Can’t Shout (With Eldee), T-Flava’s Think You Know (Pope, Zara, Mr. Outtatown), MI’s Pain (With Pope, Shaydee), Terry Da Rapman’s Shano (With Pope), Beazy’s Fall Back (Pope, Loose Kanyon, Skales), Baale Baale remix (With 9ice, Reminisce), Chuddy K’s Make Up Love (With Pope), and more, Pope is a rapstar to reckon with.
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